Call for walkers to map ‘hidden’ paths in Dumfries and Galloway

Ramblers Scotland has published the best-ever map of the nation’s paths – but needs help to further improve it in Dumfries and Galloway.

By Brian Yule
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 12:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th May 2022, 12:16 pm
Two hundred Ramblers volunteers contributed to the Scottish Paths Map
Two hundred Ramblers volunteers contributed to the Scottish Paths Map

The online Scottish Paths Map features hundreds of previously-hidden trails, including paths checked and recorded by more than 200 Ramblers volunteers across the nation.

The walking charity is now running a drive to recruit volunteers in a few selected lesser-mapped areas, which include Dumfries and Galloway.

Heath Brown, community engagement officer at Ramblers Scotland, said: “Our Scottish Paths Map includes tens of thousands of miles of paths – from traffic-free city routes to relaxing loch-side trails. Many are ‘hidden’ trails not previously been shown by Ordnance Survey.

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“While it’s the best-ever map of Scotland’s paths, we need communities to check their paths, to work to improve local routes so everyone has somewhere to walk.

"That includes here in Dumfries and Galloway where our coverage can definitely be improved so that more people can enjoy walks from their doorsteps.

“It’s easy and fun to record trails using our simple app. Every time a volunteer audits or adds a path to the map, it makes it easier for people living in or visiting Dumfries and Galloway to get healthy and active on foot.”

You can view the map and volunteer at www.ramblers.org.uk/scottishpathsmap

The Scottish Paths Map has already been viewed 61,000 times since launching last autumn.

Mr Brown added: “Scotland has amazing countryside and world-class access rights, yet sadly many paths do not appear on printed maps.

“Better mapping of the paths in Dumfries and Galloway can help give more people here the confidence and knowledge to get outdoors.

“I’d urge all keen walkers in the area to consider volunteering. Whether you just check one trail, or add dozens of hidden paths, you’ll be leaving a lasting legacy that supports walking in Dumfries and Galloway.”

Ramblers Scotland offer a short free online training to all its mapping volunteers, as well as access to its free path checking software.

Scottish Paths Map users are urged to exercise caution and remember the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.