Ramblers Scotland is hoping Orcadians will share some of their favourite walks and pathways.
The walking charity is running a campaign to recruit volunteers in a few selected lesser-mapped areas, like Orkney, to add to the online Scottish Paths Map. It features hundreds of previously-hidden trails, including paths checked and recorded by more than 200 Ramblers volunteers across the nation.
Heath Brown, community engagement officer at Ramblers Scotland, said:
“Our Scottish Paths Map includes tens of thousands of miles of paths – from traffic-free city routes to relaxing loch-side trails. Many are ‘hidden’ trails not previously been shown by Ordnance Survey.
“While it’s the best-ever map of Scotland’s paths, we need communities to check their paths, to work to improve local routes so everyone in the local community has somewhere to walk. That includes here in Orkney where our coverage can definitely be improved so that more people can enjoy walks from their doorsteps.
“It’s easy and fun to record trails using our simple app. Every time a volunteer checks or adds a path to the map, it makes it easier for people living in or visiting Orkney to get healthy and active on foot.”
You can view the map and volunteer at ramblers.org.uk/scottishpathsmap.
The Scottish Paths Map includes tens of thousands of miles of paths, using data collected by volunteers as well as from councils, national parks and charities. It has already been viewed 61,000 times since launching last autumn.
Heath Brown added:
“Scotland has amazing countryside and world-class access rights, yet sadly many paths do not appear on printed maps.
“Better mapping of the paths in Orkney can help give more people here the confidence and knowledge to get outdoors.
“I’d urge all keen walkers in the area to consider volunteering. Whether you just audit one trail, or add dozens of hidden paths, you’ll be leaving a lasting legacy that supports walking in Orkney.”
Ramblers Scotland offer a short free online training to all its mapping volunteers, as well as access to its free path checking software.
Scottish Paths Map users are urged to exercise caution and remember the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, particularly as path audits will always be subjective.
In The Orkney New we have many walks checked out by Bernie and Mike Bell. If you would like to try them out just use the search button and find one you like. And there is the St Magnus Way.