Since the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) was first set up, a priority of this initiative has been to make sure there are better opportunities to walk, or cycle, between and around communities and to enjoy local parks and greenspaces. The Ramblers Scotland Medal Routes project helps to support this priority, as it is all about making sure everyone can find short walks close to home.
Project volunteers have been mapping routes around local communities throughout Scotland, but with a focus on the CSGN area, to inspire people to rediscover and share great walks in their area. It’s all about making it easy for people to find short, circular walks of different lengths in both rural and urban environments. These bronze, silver and gold Medal Routes, of approximately 15, 30 and 60 minutes in length, can help to get people of all abilities across Scotland to be more active by going for a regular walk near to their homes.
The project started in October 2011 and is currently funded up to November 2014 by Scottish Natural Heritage, Paths for All and Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust. More than 200 Medal Routes in over 70 locations in Scotland have been identified so far, and many more will be added in the run up to the Commonwealth Games, supporting the creation of a physical activity legacy from this major sporting event.
The routes are all mapped by local people, providing an opportunity to share their local knowledge of paths, greenspaces and places of scenic or historic interest so others can also enjoy them. Local volunteers decide on the start/finish point for the walks – the Walking Hub location – and map the 3 routes. Hubs need to be where people congregate – perhaps at a community centre, library, hospital or large workplace – and where information on the routes can be made available.
To celebrate the development of over 200 Medal Routes, Ramblers are giving local people the chance to win an iPad Mini. Simply try out a Medal Route walk and complete a short online survey to be entered into this fantastic competition. To enter, go to medal routes website.
As part of a heritage walk, Medal Routes have been created in Armadale by a local Volunteer Ambassador, Mary Gristwood from Armadale in West Lothian commented “The Medal Routes, with their potential for wide community involvement and promotion of an active lifestyle, are an excellent symbiotic partner to the heritage project.”
“The beauty of the walks is their appeal and potential to bring together all ages and demographics of the community. They can be enjoyed by individuals, or groups of more than forty people. In addition, their location provides easy access in a central and safe environment.”
The Medal Routes Project Officer mentions “It is fantastic to see so many people throughout Scotland choosing to be part of Medal Routes. We have lots of opportunities for people to get involved and we encourage anyone that is interested to come forward - we will find a role just right for you!”
All Medal Routes are available to view on the Ramblers Scotland website and can easily be downloaded to any mobile or hand held device.