Have you ever wanted a path where there isn’t one? Or ever felt frustrated by obstacles, like overgrowth, cows, ditches or dangerous roads?
Across Britain people are unable to go where they want because either there are no paths or the only paths available are unusable.
Make Ways is a new citizen project that aims to make Britain more accessible. People from across the country will be asked to map where they would like to go, but can’t.
Dan Raven-Ellison, Make Ways co-founder, explained “dodgy roads, private land, grumpy cows, noise, pinch-points, pollution, muddy paths, fences, stiles, darkness, lack of signage to help us find our way, going a really long way around, there being no path at all - take your pick! All these things and more stop millions of us from walking and wheeling as much as we’d like”
“We need to make more ways for people to be well, active and enjoy themselves. Inaccessible, undesirable and non-existent paths limit our access. And by limiting access they limit our health, our wellbeing, and our opportunities. They fragment and divide communities. And by stopping people from travelling under their own steam, create unnecessary costs for both their pockets and the climate.”
“The ultimate aim of Make Ways is to generate a giant map and national conversation that leads to a healthier and more accessible future for millions of us.”
Make Ways is being developed by the team that developed Slow Ways, the ambitious grassroots initiative to create a national walking network that connects all of Britain’s towns, cities and national parks. Volunteers from across Britain have shared 9,000 routes that stretch for over 130,000km for that initiative.
The organisers now plan to inspire even more “citizen-power” for Make Ways. They believe there are people in every “hamlet, neighbourhood, village, town and city” that will want to contribute to and benefit from the effort.
“Some people will want to share things that get in their way. Others will want to share ways they would like to go, but can’t. At the same time, some land managers might want to show people ways to go that are more accessible or are more sensitive to local wildlife, crops or people. This could be especially useful where there is open access or a freedom to roam.”
Make Ways kicks off this week with the launch of a crowdfunding campaign that will enable the bold initiative. Funds will be used by the organisers to develop the Make Ways web platform, mapping, and a national conversation on the need for new and better paths.
As well as knowing they are supporting a bold national initiative, people and organisations that support the crowdfunding campaign are able to claim a number of rewards. These include limited edition black and gold maps of Britain or Scotland.
You can support the crowdfunding campaign here https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/makeways