Outdoor writing – how to write children’s walks

Planning and writing walking routes can be really rewarding but some types of walks take more research and thought than others. I would definitely say that family walking trails are an example of this.  Not only do you need to make sure the basics such as a good route map, and accurate walking instructions are in place, you also need to pay careful attention to the specifics.

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We all love outdoor gear but is it costing us the planet?

There’s an abundance of information out there about climate change and what we can all do to help stop it. So much so that, for those of us who want to make a difference, it’s relatively easy to select an aspect for change that won’t have too much impact on the way we live our lives.

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Life on the edge. Why we feel drawn to outdoor liminal spaces

It was only a couple of years ago that a friend first introduced me to the word ‘liminal’. We were standing on a golden sandy beach, in the middle of London.

She slipped off her shoes (I suspect not something you see often on the Southbank), and headed for the liminal line where sand met murky Thames water. Literally a line in the sand.

What does liminal space mean?

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Peel the acorns and pass the mulberries

Mr D recently accused me (in humorous tones) of feeding him acorns. He’s not far wrong because I’ve developed a somewhat disconcerting (even to me) habit of including as many strange locally foraged edibles as possible into our diet.

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Five ways social media is lying to us about the outdoors

‘Social media is toxic’, ‘social media is fake’, ‘social media is bad for your mental health’.

How many times have you heard (and perhaps agreed with) those statements? The truth however is more complicated. Social media is a tool, and like any tool it’s how you use it that matters.

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How possible is it to adventure by public transport in the UK?

When did you last opt for public transport instead of the car?

Over the last couple of years the statistics for public transport use have made interesting reading. In 2019 84% we in Great Britain travelled 873 billion passenger kilometres (that’s 22 million times around the world). 84% of these kilometres were in cars, vans or taxis.

Journeys for work, leisure and adventure.

Some of these journeys will have been for work but many will also have been for leisure. For those of us who love outdoor adventures, access to our favourite outdoor spaces has become synonymous with jumping in the car (or more recently the camper van).

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Promoting a destination? Make sure you don’t miss out on its stories.

It’s half term down here in the Southwest. Both Dartmoor and Torbay are full of happy visitors, and I’ve been doing a bit of amateur tourism research.

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Wet tents at dawn – remembering the old ways

Did you learn how to pitch a ridge tent? I did and it is the teaching I remember more than those first camp nights.

Camping rituals

It seemed to me, at the tender age of eleven, there was a ritual to the whole affair. Even then I was aware of the passing down of skills. Like sailors on a land-ridden sea as we pitched we, master and apprentice, were not only partaking of tradition, we were becoming tradition.

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We all need outdoor education. Here’s how to support it.

This week, thanks to a great piece of research work from Plas-y-Brenin (The National Outdoor Centre) . I read the fantastic news that almost a third (32%) of the British population have tried a new outdoor activity since the start of lockdown.

Trying a new outdoor activity

Ordnance Survey, Street to Peak

That’s almost 17 million UK adults who have experienced the challenge and exhilaration that outdoor achievement delivers. The Plas-y-Brenin ‘Outdoor Aware 2021’ report (definitely worth a read) also reveals that 32% of people plan to continue their new-found enjoyment of being outside once lockdown ends.

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Woodland encounters. A lost learning experience?

The other day I had a wonderful outdoor experience. One that reminded me of my own childhood.

Freedom to explore

I’ve recently realised that my happiest childhood memories are outside ones. I grew up next to the Malvern Hills, and spent a fair amount of my time roaming the hills and commons near our home. I grew intimate with the outdoors, built dens in freshly mown grass, climbed rocks next to quarries, and made friends with the horses grazing on the common.

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