From the iconic Pennine Way to the South Downs Way, National Trails offer some of the greatest walking, cycling and horse-riding opportunities in the world. However, the Government is seeking to drastically change the way the trails are managed by handing responsibility over to Local Trail Partnerships.
As hugely important as local involvement is, without anyone overseeing these partnerships and championing the trails’ interests, there is risk of an enormous fall in their quality.
And it’s not just the intrinsic value of accessing our countryside and National Parks that makes National Trails so important. People using National Trails help support ailing rural economies. The South West Coast Path alone generates over £300 million a year for local businesses and supports over 7,500 jobs. If the quality of National Trails declines then we fear that not only would path users lose out, but so too would the local economy.
A new national charity is essential to unite and coordinate this precious network for local, national and international users.
Sign the petition today and urge the Government to rethink its proposals for the future of management of National Trails and to make sure that National Trails remain our national treasures.