Salford Ramblers. Image credit given by David Yates
Ramblers are a walking group with regional teams who simply go walking but it’s where they walk which is important and why they are in the news at the moment.
The Ramblers walk through some of the most scenic and historic footpaths in England but a lot of the footpaths have been lost on England’s maps and the government has made an ultimatum for 2026 to add old paths to maps in the UK.
The way in which the group are asking the public to help is by using it’s new mapping site to identify the currently missing footpaths.
The clever digital site allows people to compare historic and current maps next to each other and help spot any differences in the maps.
This is where people from Salford can come into play as Ramblers, as they are looking for any volunteers to make applications and give paths back to local authorities before the 2026 deadline.
Salford’s ramblers footpath officer David Yates explained in more detail exactly what people from Salford have to do.
He said: “So what you’ve got to do is look at the old map, look at the new map and say hey there is a difference, this path from the old map is not here.
“You then have to apply to the local authority and as long as you do that by the end of 2026, your okay.”
David is keen to identify as many lost footpaths as possible and hopes locals will help with the collective effort and he explained what it is the ramblers are trying to do.
“The Ramblers have decided to try to formalise this, instead of there being an enthusiast in the Cotswold’s trying to sort things out there, what the ramblers have done is said okay we will divide the country into one kilometre squares.
“If you go online to don’t lose your way, go onto the map of Great Britain and you look at an area, you click on it and find one kilometre square.
“You’ll find someone has bagged that already so you click on another one near your home and it’s free.
“You then go on it and what you can then pick up is a comparison of the current map on the same page with the old map.”
Practically impassable route cleared by Manchester and Salford Ramblers🎉👨🌾🎉
A well-used section of the Salford trail – the group footpath officer secured support and funds, and the footpath team headed out last weekend to produce this transformation!#YourPathAwaits pic.twitter.com/iUwjWXHMse
— The Ramblers (@RamblersGB) November 29, 2019
So essentially from there it’s a game of spot the difference and volunteers have until 2026 to send in corrected versions of the map in Britain.
In regards to Salford and it’s local aims to find lost paths, David said: “You might say well hold on a minute this isn’t the Cotswold’s, there aren’t any nice footpaths around in central Salford and your probably right.
“There are certainly footpaths around Worsley and over on Chat Moss it’s just jaw-dropping, you wouldn’t believe that 5 miles from here there is a vast expanse.
“It’s a lovely area and so there is undoubtedly a few paths like this [missing] and so that is where we’re concentrating on, although we will be looking at central Salford as well, particularly behind the river.”
Currently nobody from Salford has applied to make changes to the UK map and so David is pleading for locals to get involved.
“Indeed, take a kilometre square, the majority of people would think what a waste of time in a dirty old town, there aren’t any open spaces.
“Yes there is, there is a lot of open space and it’s more important to get all these lost ways on the map in Salford than it is in Cornwall.
“Because there are a lot of people that need to get out and walking [in Salford] with health and inequalities being so great. So that’s why i’m pushing it so much because I do feel quite passionately that walking is good for you.”