Natural England - National Trails stride forward with new promotion partner

National Trails stride forward with new promotion partner

11 January 2013

Natural England and the Countryside Council for Wales have unveiled exciting new arrangements for promoting National Trails with the announcement that Walk England have won the contract to manage all promotional activity for the 15 National Trails in England and Wales from April 2013.

National Trails, which include many of the UK’s best known and best loved routes, offer 2500 miles of world-class walking, cycling and horse riding. They include Hadrian’s Wall in the North of England, Offa’s Dyke along the Welsh border, and the South West Coast Path, which runs 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset through Devon and Cornwall to Poole Harbour in Dorset. Over 10 million people each year enjoy the stunning scenery, diverse wildlife and rich history that National Trails provide.

Walk England are a highly respected and experienced social enterprise and their innovative plans to promote National Trails were put forward as part of a detailed and competitive process to identify how new promotion arrangements could take National Trails to the next level. Walk England will bring a fresh look to the National Trails’ website and other promotional materials, they will explore ways to reach out to new audiences and new markets – and continue to offer the millions of existing users a first-class service to help them get the most out of these world-class routes.

Anne Clark, Walk England's Managing Director said: "We're delighted to be working with Natural England and CCW to promote National Trails. We all have a deep love of and commitment to the Trails, and we're really excited to have the opportunity to use our expertise to help share this enthusiasm with existing Trail users and new audiences. We have ambitious plans to bring up-to-date web design, mapping and social media to the project. We hope in the coming months you'll see a new, inspiring, clear and accessible National Trail website which provides all the information anyone will need to try one of our amazing National Trails."

Richard Benyon, Environment Minister said: “Our National Trails bring great enjoyment and health benefits to the millions of people that use them for walking or cycling. They also bring tourists to a region that support local shops and businesses along the trails. This new partnership opens an exciting chapter for the trails that will help even more people enjoy the countryside and support local businesses in some of our most remote communities.”

Natural England’s Access and Engagement Director, Liz Newton said; “This is an exciting step for National Trails and it’s great to see a partnership of this type bringing fresh ideas into the promotion of these unique routes. Walk England have an excellent track-record of promoting the great outdoors. They will bring a sharp, dynamic and updated approach to National Trails promotion and help people discover even more about the wonders of the National Trail network.”

Jont Bulbeck, CCW Access, Recreation and Tourism Team Leader said: "The Welsh National Trails provide the finest walking in Wales' most spectacular landscapes. The exciting new partnership with Walk England will provide important information for people to be able to discover, visit and enjoy the Trails whether they're from Wales, the UK or around the world. With improved promotion of the Trails will come benefits to local people, businesses and communities."

Ends

Notes to editors:

For further information, please contact:

Natural England – Lyndon Marquis, lyndon.marquis@naturalengland.org.uk, 0300 060 4236

The Countryside Council for Wales – Helen Evans, h.evans@ccw.gov.uk, 07717 225589

Walk England – Amanda Searle, amanda.searle@walkengland.org.uk, 07909 920322

About National Trailsexternal link

National Trails are long distance routes for walking, cycling and horse riding through the finest landscapes in England and Wales. In Scotland the equivalent trails are called long distance routes. They have all been created by linking existing local footpaths, bridleways and minor roads and by developing new ones where there were gaps. There are 15 Trails in England and Wales (when complete 2 of these will be suitable for use by horse riders and cyclists along their entire length). About Walk England Walk England is a social enterprise. Our aim is to get more people walking to more places. We trade as a business and we are not directly funded by anyone. We deliver projects for a range of organisations, large and small. Any profit we make goes back into delivering more walking projects.

About Natural Resources Walesexternal link (previously Countryside Council for Wales)

The Countryside Council for Wales is a Welsh Government Sponsored Body, working for a better Wales where everyone values and cares for our natural environment. From 1 April 2013, Natural Resources Wales will take over the functions currently carried out by the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency Wales and Forestry Commission Wales.

About Walk Englandexternal link

Walk England is a social enterprise. Our aim is to get more people walking to more places. We trade as a business and we are not directly funded by anyone. We deliver projects for a range of organisations, large and small. Any profit we make goes back into delivering more walking projects.

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