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Walk Together Pathway

A group of people laughing together and resting on their hike Mam Tor, Peak District, Derbyshire
Walking group on Mam Tor in the Peak District, Derbyshire | © National Trust Images/Trevor Ray Hart

We're working in partnership on a new project that aims to widen participation in the outdoors by supporting people from global majority ethnic communities to become qualified walk leaders.

Find out how the Walk Together Pathway is helping to transform access to the outdoors so that everyone can enjoy the essential benefits that time in green space and nature brings.

What are walk leaders?

Walk leaders play their part in getting more people active outdoors and more often, as they help people discover their local area. As a leader, they ensure that they’re familiar with a route before leading a walk – often sharing their favourite walks with others – and provide a warm welcome, making sure everyone's well prepared before setting off.

Many walking group members gain the confidence to try walking on their own – or with family and friends – after walking and getting to know new routes under the guidance of a trained leader. And that's often due to the enthusiasm, knowledge and skills of the person leading as they help people to explore safely.

All trainee walk leaders on the Walk Together Pathway will undertake either Lowland Leader, Hill and Moorland Leader, or Mountain Leader training. This will enable them to lead safe and enjoyable walks, for groups of all abilities and over different terrain, in the mountains and hills of England and Wales.

Walking group following the 1931 Alfred Wainwright route across the Lakeland Fells, Great Langdale to Ambleside, Cumbria
Walking group members on the 1931 Alfred Wainwright Trail in the Lake District, Cumbria | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Why is the Walk Together Pathway project important?

Increasing participation in the outdoors

The project aims to widen participation in the outdoors where global majority ethnic groups are currently underrepresented. We want everyone to feel welcome in the outdoors and experience the mental and physical benefits of spending time in nature.

Breaking down barriers

Our work on the Walk Together Pathway is just one example of how we're working towards ensuring everyone, regardless of background and abilities, feels welcome and able to take part in activities outdoors, at places we care for and beyond. The main barriers people encounter, regardless of their ethnicity, are cost and access, but for people who are global majority ethnic, these challenges are often coupled with a lack of representation in the outdoors.

The Walk Together Pathway looks to increase representation by training walk leaders from global majority ethnic groups. The training programme will equip new walk leaders with the skills, confidence and knowledge that they need to become a successful walk leader in the outdoor community.

Everyone needs nature

The nature and climate crises are two of the biggest threats we face. We hope that once trained — as well as increasing representation in the outdoors — the new walk leaders will provide much-needed support for walking groups and go on to inspire more people to get outside and enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. The more people who have access to nature and green spaces, the more people will care about their future and be moved to take action to protect them.

Nordic walking in autumn along the wall at Hadrian's Wall and Housesteads Fort, Northumberland
Nordic walking along the wall at Hadrian's Wall and Housesteads Fort | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Training funded by Walk Together Pathway

Training began in April 2024 for the first of the aspiring walk leaders taking part as they work towards Lowland Leader, Hill and Moorland Leader, and Mountain Leader qualifications. Throughout the project, the Walk Together Pathway will see a total of 100 new walk leaders trained to inspire more people from ethnic communities to get active outdoors.

About the Walk Together Pathway

The Walk Together Pathway is a project we've funded and coordinated, with support from organisations from the outdoor community including:

The project brings together eight walking groups representing people from global majority ethnicities, aiming to train 100 new walk leaders. The eight groups we're working with are:

How can I get involved?

Could you or someone you know inspire more people to get active outdoors?

Over the coming months, we'll continue to work in partnership, enabling more people from global majority ethnic groups to start training to become a walk leader. Later this year, you'll be able to submit a training application through the walking groups we're working with on the Walk Together Pathway. We'll update this page when applications open to let you know when and how you can apply.

In the meantime, if you're interested in becoming a walk leader and want to get started, you can find information about other training available. Access free walk leader resources and training by becoming a walking volunteer with us – please contact your local National Trust place for information – or by becoming a Ramblers volunteer. For higher-level training, you can try the Mountain Training courses.

Close up of walkers boots with Llyn Ogwen lake and Tryfan mountain in the background. Carneddau and Glyderau, Gwynedd, Wales

Discover more about walk leader training

Find out about the training courses on offer on the Walk Together Pathway. You'll find resources to help inspire others to get active outdoors on the Mountain Training website.

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