A new National Trails website launches today, offering visitor info, OS-supported detailed mapping and route info for the 15 National Trails in England and Wales, which together account for over 2500 miles of walking, riding and cycling.
The new website www.nationaltrail.co.uk is the result of a partnership between government agencies Natural England and Natural Resources Wales, and private firm Walk Unlimited.
Recommended itineraries for walking and cycling are easily downloadable, and there are ideas for tailored outings such as geocaching trails too. Interactive features mean that local businesses can upload details of the services they provide to people visiting the area. This includes how to get there and where to stay, what to see and where to eat, and where to find facilities such as bike hire shops, horse-riding stables and outdoor equipment shops.
Trail users and local residents can also upload content including photographs, word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews, plus details of visitor events. They can even use the site to report any relevant breaking news.
Environment Minister, Dan Rogerson, said:
'National Trails pass through some of the most stunning landscapes in Britain and are a welcome attraction for visitors. This new website will make it easier for people to make the most of the countryside and can help build stronger local economies and businesses.'
John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport at the Welsh Government, was equally upbeat, saying:
'This development should enable businesses to further benefit from our well established National Trails, as well as improve the experience of visitors.'
'The Wales Coast Path has provided a significant economic boost for Wales and local businesses since it opened, and capitalises on the Welsh countryside and coast being a fantastic draw for visitors to Wales. It’s important that we continue to invest in the trail facilities and information so that they are up to the job of giving people a quality experience.'