This summer, people across Great Britain have a unique opportunity to contribute to a new national tradition—the Great Slow Ways Waycheck. From June 16th to 25th, during the longest and brightest days of the year, individuals are invited to collectively walk, run, wheel, and check as many Slow Ways walking routes as possible.
The initiative is led by Slow Ways, a grassroots movement aiming to establish a national network of walking routes that connect towns, cities, and national parks across Great Britain. While communities like Nottingham, Exmouth, and West Kirby have already accomplished the impressive feat of 100% route checks for their local Slow Ways, numerous towns still require checking to become part of this national walking network.
Dan Raven-Ellison, the founder of Slow Ways, shares the vision behind the initiative, saying, “Imagine a world-class walking network that allows people to traverse between any two towns, cities, or national parks in Britain—it would be truly wonderful. Slow Ways is a beautiful and unifying project, with thousands of individuals contributing by sharing and checking routes. To fully complete the network and enable people to enjoy it, we not only need to ensure all routes are checked for quality but also maintain regular rechecks each year to ensure they remain accessible and enjoyable. To achieve this, we’re seeking participation from outdoor enthusiasts across Great Britain.”
Raven-Ellison emphasizes the significance of this mission, as it aims to create more than just a network for walking, running, and wheeling. It’s about fostering joy, health, love, ideas, creativity, relationships, communities, cost savings, environmental action, connection to nature, and so much more.
Each day, as individuals walk and check the network, they identify the best routes and provide reviews, photos, and surveys that encourage and guide others. This grassroots effort is rapidly building a remarkable network, but Slow Ways is calling for the involvement of thousands more individuals who share a passion for walking, running, and wheeling to join the Great Slow Ways Waycheck.
The Great Slow Ways Waycheck draws inspiration from the ancient tradition of “beating the bounds,” where people would annually walk the boundaries of their area. In this modern-day adaptation, individuals from older generations can guide the younger ones, nurturing an understanding of their landscape through footsteps.
Even once the Slow Ways network has undergone comprehensive checking, regular rechecks will be necessary once or twice a year to ensure the routes maintain their quality and accessibility. This is where the Great Waychecks come into play—a future tradition starting now. The ambition is to establish an extensive walking network that millions of people can rely on, showcasing the value of exploring Britain’s paths and demonstrating national unity.
Slow Ways is seeking participation from individuals in every town and city across Great Britain during the ten-day period in mid-summer. To become part of the Great Slow Ways Waycheck, simply travel, check, and review as many Slow Ways routes as possible between June 16 and 25.
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