The small changes walkers can make to #SaveOurOutdoors

The small changes walkers can make to #SaveOurOutdoors

There’s nothing better than going for a walk in the UK countryside, which is why Cotswold Outdoors and Runners Need are highlighting the need to save our outdoors.

However, with the impact of climate change looming over us, it’s important we’re doing what we can to try and preserve the planet and the areas we love so we can continue to enjoy them for years to come.

New research from Cotswold Outdoor and Runners Need, shows that 69% of people are worried about the impact of climate change on some of the UK’s most iconic locations, so much so that 42% think about it at least once a week.

More than half (58%) also said they’re worried about what the state of the planet will be in 50 years’ time.

To demonstrate what might happen to some of our most iconic landscapes if nothing changes, Cotswold Outdoor and Runners Need have teamed up an environmental expert to produce imagery depicting what these locations might look like as part of their #SaveOurOutdoors campaign.

Save Our Outdoors

“There really is nothing like the British countryside, and being able to represent the UK on an international stage will be something I’ll always be proud of,” said Double Olympic Champion and Cotswold Outdoor ambassador, Helen Glover MBE.

“However, just like the rest of the world, we’re starting to see and feel the impact of the climate crisis.

“If we don’t take action, the country we love so much is going to be beyond saving. But it’s not too late to make changes that will make a difference, which is why I’m proud to be part of the #SaveOurOutdoors campaign.

“It’s crucial everyone takes whatever steps they can to protect the countryside we cherish so much, so that future generations can feel the same sense of pride we take in it today.”

Environmental management and biodiversity conservation expert, John Howell, who helped created the harrowing imagery, said: “We’re seeing an increase in extreme heatwaves, floods and other weather-induced events across the globe, and we’ve reached a point where we can no longer ignore the impact our growing population is having on our planet.

“Many of the places we’re so proud of in the UK have already started to change drastically, and not in a good way. However, the signs of this are not yet obvious without careful study.

“That’s why these images are so important, as they show what these places could look like in the next 50 years if we don’t take action. As you can see, not only has rubbish built up drastically in our countryside and shorelines, but the lush greenery our country is known for has dwindled massively.

“Luckily, it’s not too late and there’s still a lot we can do, but we must all start implementing change now.”

With almost a fifth of people surveyed (16%) saying they enjoy walking and one in 10 also taking part in hiking (9%) or camping (8%), it’s important we all follow the Countryside Code when out exploring.

Top tips while exploring

John has some other top tips to help reduce our impact when out exploring:

· If there is a paved path or track, stay on that, but if there isn’t avoid bare, muddy areas, as soil loss by foot erosion takes years to restore

· Remember you might see your dog as a cuddly pet, but bird’s instinctively see a ruthless hunter, so keep your dog on a lead

· Only camp in approved or designated areas

· Put camping stoves and hot things on rocks and never on the ground

· Bury your excrement and toilet paper at least 15 cm down

· Never damage any living vegetation, even mosses

· Pass these messages on to others (politely!) if they’re not following the Countryside Code

· If you’re in a National Park, AONB or another area with a ranger service, call to report issues as soon as you see them

“Walking has an important role to play in connecting people to nature and strengthening their desire to protect it from the devastating effects of climate change,” said Jack Cornish, Head of Paths at The Ramblers in partnership with Cotswold Outdoor.

“It’s also one of the best ways to enjoy the nation’s much-loved landscapes with minimal impact to the environment.

“But there are still many small steps we can take to protect our environment and the places we like to walk and explore. From the clothes we wear to the kit we use, we can make sustainable choices before we even leave the house. The Countryside Code also provides helpful guidance on how to enjoy a visit to the countryside responsibly, protecting it from threats such as litter and wildfires.

“In some popular locations, keeping to designated paths can help protect landscapes and natural wildlife habitats from harm, but for those wanting to venture off the beaten track, Ramblers group walks are a fantastic way to explore different parts of the country under the expert guidance of a walk leader who will ensure no trace is left behind.

“With more than 140,000 miles of public paths across England and Wales, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer with us and help us to protect and expand the paths, tracks and trails that connect people to the great outdoors.”

The right kit

When it comes to choosing the right kit, the experts at Cotswold Outdoor are on hand to help you make the right choice the first time, to avoid unnecessary waste.

“You don’t have to go for the most expensive equipment, but it is important to invest in products that meet your needs,” said Mark Skelton, an expert at Cotswold Outdoor.

“If you make sure they’re right for you and they’re good quality, you won’t need to replace them so soon, which is good for the planet and your wallet .

“When it comes to kit, we offer a range of in-store appointments to ensure that you can find the best fit for your adventures. Our boot fitting service enables you to discuss your specific needs with our in-store experts so they can offer recommendations on the best fit for your adventures.

“We also offer a range of services to help prolong the life of your kit, including our Repair and Care service, which helps keep your kit performing at its best for longer and our Recycle My Gear scheme for those items which have reached the end of their life.”

Be prepared with the correct kit

Cotswold Outdoor also offer a kit rental service for people who want to rent high-quality kit for their adventures.

“For those who are trying their hand at a new form of adventure for the first time, renting kit can be the perfect way to get a sense if the equipment is right for you, before committing to buying first time round,” Mark said.

“Not only does this give you the option to try before you buy, it also means you can make a considered decision before buying kit yourself, helping you buy right the first time – reducing the chance of waste.”

Cotswold Outdoor are passionate about helping everyone make the right choice and find the best kit for their needs. For more information and expert advice or to find your nearest store, visit

Join the #SaveOurOutdoors movement

Get involved by showing the action you’re taking to help save our precious outdoor environments. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SaveOurOutdoors and tag @cotswoldoutdoor in your posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Mountains not molehills

Leave a Reply

Follow by Email