Trodden paths with National Trust and OS Maps

By Richard Martin, GIS Analyst at the National Trust

As keen followers of the OS blog, we found the ‘trodden paths’ post in August of particular interest. The National Trust (NT) is a charity founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. We were therefore interested in discovering how much NT land currently occupies the most popular OS 1km map tiles that contain the largest number of public routes going through them. We were delighted to find that within the OS top 20 tiles (2,000ha) the NT looks after 924ha (46%), showing a very strong correlation with the places that OS Maps subscribers most like to walk.


Edale and Kinder Scout (Peak District), Borrowdale and Wasdale (Lake District) and Brecon Beacons (Wales) were the largest properties that contributed towards the 924ha. OS mark on their maps the NT areas of land that are Always Open or have Limited Access to the public. Of the 924ha within the OS tiles, 658ha has been classified as Always Open – for more information on this or to download the datasets, please visit: http://uk-nationaltrust.opendata.arcgis.com/


OS also highlighted the top 10 towns or cities that had the largest number of routes running through them.  We were pleased to find that six of these locations contain strong links to NT properties too:

  • Ambleside – surrounded by NT properties such as Ambleside, Windermere and Grasmere
  • Richmond upon Thames – close to Ham House and Garden and East Sheen Common
  • Bath – contains Prior Park and Bath skyline
  • Guildford – includes River Wrey navigations
  • Bakewell – close to Dovedale and Longshaw Estate
  • Church Stretton – includes Carding Mill Valley and Long Mynd

Last, but not least, the NT website host a number of OS-based trail maps that members of the public can download to navigate specific routes. You can find these at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/walking

Our own top 5 most downloaded trails from September to October 2017:

  1. Mam Tor Circular Walk (Kinder, Edale and the Dark Peak)
  2. Pen y Fan and Corn Du Circular Walk (Brecon Beacons)
  3. Bath Skyline (Bath skyline)
  4. Ilam Park to the Stepping Stones in Dovedale (Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak
  5. Cheddar Gorge Walk (Somerset)

As you can see from the list, this is also a great fit with the original OS results of areas that people most like to visit. Take a look at Bath skyline below:

So why don’t you grab an OS map or create a route online and enjoy the outdoors (and if that is on National Trust land then all the better)!

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