National Trust to promote open-access countryside

The National Trust will push its 270,000ha of open-access countryside this year in a bid to boost Britain's health and well-being.

"A quarter of children never play outdoors and this is one of the reasons behind the rise of rickets in this country," said director-general Fiona Reynolds. "We want to play a full part in reconnecting people with nature by giving them reasons to go there, whether that's walking, cycling or camping."

Under its Outdoor Nation campaign, 100 miles (161km) of walking paths will be created this year, rising to 1,000 miles (1,610km) by 2020. "There are psychological as well as physical barriers to people exploring the country, but paths can offer an inducement to the public," said Reynolds. He also promised a "ramp-up" of outdoor-related content on the trust's website.

"We had 350,000 downloads of our walking guides last year. We will have 100 new ones in the Lake District alone." Following its iPhone application, an Android mobile phone app will be launched shortly.


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