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Category: Walking tips

Walking tips such as staying safe, food and drink, walking with children and so forth.

Walking with children: Ideas for even more fun

Walking with children: Ideas for even more fun

Getting children to take part in physical activity can be very difficult but it is very important to keep your children active. Growing children should take part in a certain amount of physical activity every week to help their bodies to grow and develop. Getting children involved in walking is a great way to get them involved in a type of physical activity that the whole family can enjoy together. What is more, there are a variety of different ways to make walking for pleasure an even more enjoyable activity for your kids.

Map reading

Children can have great fun reading the map and using the compass when they go out on walks with friends and family members. Even when you are not trying to find buried treasure, there are plenty of unique sights to find and explore on any OS map.

Show them what all of the different map symbols mean so that they will be able to understand how to relate the land to the paper that they are holding. Allow them to be in charge of holding the map and keeping track of where you are as you follow your route. Make sure they still know where you are and where you are going when you get to major junctions. They can use ‘navigational handrails’ to figure out where they are on the map based on all of the major geographical features that they are able to see around them.


Orienteering is a fun walking or running based sport which can be done in the great outdoors. It is the perfect choice for children who find a normal walk to be a little bit boring.

Participants are given a map which shows the location of various different checkpoints. There will also be a short description of the location of the checkpoint. Participants use the map to navigate between checkpoints. A small device, known as a dibber, is used to record the visit to the checkpoint. At the end of the route, all of the times are collected and downloaded. Orienteering adds a subtle competitive edge to walking.

Flora and Fauna

If you go out walking in the British countryside, there are plenty of fantastic plants and animals to see. Make a game out of spotting as many different types of flora and fauna as you can. There are plenty of books and apps available to help you to identify the things that you find.

If you do see any animals, make sure that you only watch them from a distance so that you do not scare them. Do not feed any of the animals, because human food may not be suitable for their digestive systems.

Never pick or destroy the flowers and plants that you find. Teaching young children how to interact with wildlife and plants will help them to give them a better understanding of how humans can have a negative impact on the natural world if they do not treat it with respect.

Myths and Folklore

Most areas in the United Kingdom have their own local myths and folklore. These tales tend to have been created centuries ago by people who were trying to explain wonderful and mysterious things that they didn’t understand. Stories include ghosts, ghouls, giants, elves, fairies and other fantastical tales. Children seem to love these sorts of stories, because they are often still trying to make sense of the natural world around them.

Check in the local tourist information office to see whether there are any books or leaflets about the areas that you want to walk in. Share these stories with your children whilst they are on route. Looking out for faeries and exploring haunted hillsides will keep them busy whilst you enjoy the beautiful natural wonders around you.

Making trail mix

Trail mix is great to take on walks with you, because it will help to keep your energy levels up. Most children love trail mix because it is a handful of tasty treats. Your children will be even more excited about walking if they are allowed to help you to make trail mix.

Give them a list of potential ingredients for a trail mix under specific columns, such as nuts, seeds, dried fruits and chocolate. Ask them to choose two ingredients from the first 3 columns and 1 ingredient from the chocolate column. Once you have been out to buy all of the ingredients, they can help you to mix it all together in a ziplock bag so that it is ready to take with you on your walk. Carry the trail mix with you in your rucksack and ration it out to your children to help to keep their energy levels up. Do not let them try any of their trail mix until they are out on the walk, because the anticipation will help to keep their enthusiasm levels high.

Minimising the ecological impact of walking

Minimising the ecological impact of walking

Going walking in Britain can be an incredibly pleasurable pastime; however walkers can have a negative effect on the environments which they visit. Conscientious walkers will do what they can to minimise the impact of their visit.


Conscientious walkers make the effort to take all of their rubbish home with them. Plastic and glass are not biodegradable (or take an exceedingly long time to biodegrade) meaning that rubbish which has been left out will not just disappear. As well as being unsightly, this rubbish can prove harmful to the local wildlife. It can injure them, impede them or be eaten by them. Any of these factors can be fatal to the local wildlife.

Rubbish which is left by inconsiderate walkers can also affect the quality of the land on which it is left. This can affect plant growth which will further affect the biodiversity of the area. Even if a product is biodegradable (e.g. orange peel), you should still take it with you when you leave because you have introduced the item to an area where it may not normally be found.

It is a good idea to take a spare plastic bag or similar container out with you when you go on a walk, so that you can collect all of your rubbish together. This will help you to make sure that you are able to take it all home with you or transport it all safely to the nearest rubbish bin.

If you stop for lunch or a snack break whilst you are out on a walk, you should quickly survey the scene before you leave, to make sure that nothing has fallen out or been dropped by accident. Not only will this help you to safeguard your possessions, but it will also help you to make sure that you have not left any rubbish behind you.


Foraging for food is one of the latest cooking trends and many walkers are keen to try foraging whilst they are out and about. However; foraging can have a profound effect on the biodiversity of the region. Taking food for human consumption may mean that there is not enough food available for the animals who feed on them. You should also avoid picking flowers from the wild, because it reduces the ability of the flower to germinate and repopulate. This can lead to certain plant species becoming rarer and rarer.

When you are out walking, you should not take anything natural away from the environment that you are travelling through.


Ecological Impact
Ecological Impact

Erosion can occur when large numbers of people pass through the same area. The ground is worn away or the grasses which cover the ground are killed, which in turn makes the ground less secure. When walkers speed up erosion through increased footfall, they can irreversibly change the way that the landscape looks.

In order to reduce the impact of erosion which is caused by footfall, you should make sure that you keep to footpaths whenever possible. Try to avoid walking on the grass next to the edge of the path, because this will serve to make the path wider and wider.

Noise pollution

When you are out walking or camping, you must try to keep noise levels to a minimum. Most people come to the outdoors to enjoy the tranquillity of the areas that they are visiting, and therefore they do not want to be disturbed by shouting or loud music. In addition to annoying your fellow outdoor enthusiasts, noisy groups are likely to scare animals. Every walker should do their upmost to reduce the impact that they have on wildlife.

Affecting wildlife

Humans have a huge impact on how animals behave in their natural environment. Although it is always nice to see animals in their natural habitats, walkers must never try to interact with the animals that they see. Interacting with animals can cause them to change their natural behaviour which may put them at risk.

Never feed animals that you see when you are out walking, because human food will not have the right nutritional balance for individual animals. Attempting to approach animals can cause them to feel stressed and it might prevent them from returning to the same area again in future.

Do not approach baby animals, even if you are worried that they may be lost or hurt. If a human touches or approaches a baby animal, it may cause the parent to reject the animal. This could put the animal at risk if it is not old enough to fend for itself and can result in an extremely negative impact on the ecology of the area.


Do not come to the great outdoors to smoke. Even when you are in a wide open space, other walkers and local wildlife will still be able to smell and inhale your cigarette fumes.