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.
Guest blog by Huw Davies, Head of Conservation Information, National Trust
In 1965, concerned about the impact of development along the coast of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the National Trust launched ‘Enterprise Neptune’ to help raise money to buy and protect the most ‘pristine’ stretches. There was particular concern about caravan parks, shacks, sprawling industrialisation and the defence relics left over from the war.
In order to understand which areas were most at risk from development, the Neptune committee commissioned John Whittow at the University of Reading to produce a ground-breaking land use survey on a scale not seen since the Dudley Stamp survey of the 1930s. It was a massive undertaking, but during the wet and windy summer of 1965 undergraduate students and staff walked the whole coastline mapping detailed land use classes onto 350 OS 2.5 miles to 1 inch scale maps, along with some lovely value-laden annotations that reflected the feeling of threat at the time.
By Mike Collins from the National Trust
Whenever I head down to the North Cornwall coast one of the things that I always make sure that I’ve packed is the OS Explorer 106 map. It’s a well-thumbed and much-loved edition now as we’ve been down to this beautiful stretch of coast in a county full of wonderful coastline many times.
Like so many people going on holiday as soon as I arrive at my destination I carefully unfold the map of the place that I’m staying, usually on the table in the kitchen, to get my bearings. It might mean getting to know somewhere new or starting to re-acquaint myself with the contours of the landscape that feels so familiar; in this case the craggy coastal cliffs around Port Isaac or the sweeping beauty of the Camel estuary.
As the nights draw in, the National Trust are hosting a series of Night Run events for runners, walkers and families at 12 places around the country.
It’s a unique chance to see National Trust places at times when they’re usually closed, and enjoy the invigorating fresh winter air while exploring scenic countryside and woodlands.
OS Explorer Map – Dorking, Box Hill & Reigate 146
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A view that stretches for 26 miles. That is a pretty impressive statement, one that can only really be confirmed if you have seen and marvelled at it yourself. Aged 11, sat on Boxhill, I spent a whole hour watching the planes at Gatwick take off with hypnotic regularity whilst basking in the sun surrounded by wild flowers and butterflies. An affection for the beautiful British countryside started that day!
Box Hill on a clear day is glorious and very much worth the steep climb to the viewpoint. There are plenty of routes to investigate and many pre-exsisting trails, this one covers bits of each, so if you do want to explore it further ensure you take a map and compass to keep yourself on track. This walk is full of steep climbs and descensions, so a good strudy pair of walking boots should be worn on this venture. Also remember to take some change as parking is pay and display, £3.50 per day.
The National Trust provides fantastic facilities including a café offering food, gifts, toilets and an interactive learning section. Once the walk is complete I like to reward myself with one of their delicious afternoon teas.
It is at the café that you will start and follow the signs up to Salomon’s Memorial which is the main viewing platform. From this point you can see from Dorking right across to the South Downs. If it is very clear you will be lucky enough to see Devil’s Dyke based in Sussex. It really is spectacular so make sure you have that camera to hand! You may recognise a lot of the landscape if you watched a lot of last years London 2012 Olympics as it was used as part of the route for the cycling road race events.
Next to this viewpoint are some steps down to a track, head right and keep going until you pass through a wooded area and emerge in to a clearing. As you look out to your left you will see 12 large concrete obelisks by the bank of the River Mole, walk down the hill in the direction of them. Follow the signs for the North Downs Way through the trees and down the steps on your left. Then look out for signs for the Riverside Walk whilst walking down the hill and follow them to view the obelisks.
Last week a team of outdoor enthusiasts from the Ordnance Survey Research Department rolled up their sleeves to help the National Trust raise the profile of a newly opened area of the New Forest National Park.
The team were given the challenge to create a huge sign saying ‘Foxbury’ from cut birch logs on a hill side in the New Forest National Park. The hillside sign will publicise the 370 acre area of the New Forest National Park that has been acquired, and is now being managed by, the National Trust. The Foxbury area was formerly a plantation and was about to be turned into landfill when the National Trust stepped in and rescued it. The area is now being restored to heathland and deciduous woodland, and a dedicated recreation space for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
While most mums will be more than happy with a card and a bunch of flowers, if your mum likes the great outdoors, why not treat her to a special day that really means something to her? It could be a stroll around some beautiful gardens and some afternoon tea, an invigorating beachfront walk and a brisk cycle ride somewhere new. Whatever you choose to do, your mum will enjoy the gift of time this Mother’s Day.
Here’s a selection of our favourite suggestions around Great Britain for Mother’s Day:
Castell Coch, Wales
Castell Coch is a Victorian folly built on the site of an older castle. It can be seen for miles around (including from the M4) and has excellent views of the Taff valley below.
While your mum may enjoy the Marquess of Bute’s elaborate furnishings and the fairytale atmosphere, if she’s a lover of the great outdoors, she’ll also appreciate a wander through the beautiful woodlands.
If you also have little ones to cater for, on the hill above the castle there’s a great scuplture trail that includes treasure chests, goblins and fairies, and a magnificent scary dragon.
If you like a cycle, you can reach the castle from the Taff Trail and there’s a range of trails (best if you have a mountain bike) around the woods.
That’s it – Easter is now out of the way, and we’re now on to the May bank holidays. It’s time to start thinking about where to go for your summer holiday. Over the past couple of years we’ve seen a rise in the number of people taking “staycations” – staying either at home or within the British Isles for their holiday.
Today on the Ordnance Survey blog we thought we’d give you our top ten ways of doing something a bit different this year.
- Keep watch from a Lighthouse – You could rent a lighthouse to stay in for your holiday. There are ones to chose from all around the coastline. They are often owned by charities which means that your rental will be helping to keep them going. The National Trust for Scotland has a selection to choose from or other companies have them in Pembrokeshire or Sussex amongst many more.
As we come to the end of one long bank holiday weekend – we have another one next weekend to look forward to. With thanks to Prince William and Kate Middleton, we have been given an extra bank holiday in celebration of their nuptials. Today we thought we’d have a look at our top 5 suggestions of what to do with the extra holiday.
- Join the wedding procession – given the reason for the extra holiday it seems only right that number one on our list is going to London and joining the thousands expected to line the route of the royal wedding procession. The carriage procession is due to travel along The Mall, Horse Guards Road, Horse Guards Parade, through Horse Guards Arch, along the south side of Parliament Square and into Broad Sanctuary. If you are around Buckingham Palace / The Mall you should also be able to see the balcony appearance once the newly weds arrive back at Buckingham Palace. If you can’t get to the route you will also be able to view the wedding and procession on large screens in London in Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square.
If you’re looking for somewhere great to go walking in your leisure time then you could head for the best route in Britain. Did you know that The Bath Skyline walking trail has been named Britain’s most popular city walk, in a new study by The National Trust?
Apparently, enthusiastic walkers questioned by the Trust suggested the 6-mile circular walking trail circumnavigating the historic city is the finest in Great Britain, closely followed by Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire, where green, open spaces lined with lime trees have become a walking hot spot.
Having recently spent some time in Bath I can definitely see what the fuss is about. The city is steeped in history and stunning views of Georgian sandstone buildings and rolling hills can be found on every corner, just what you need on a leisurely hike!
Jo Burgon, Head of Access and Recreation at The National Trust, says:
We’re finding that more people want to get out into the great outdoors but often need to be pointed in the right direction.
Bath Skyline and Clumber Park came out on top of a list of 130 walking trails in Great Britain, what better way to get some use out of your Ordnance Survey maps.