Data reveals 38% yearly rise in outdoor activity at Northumberland National Park

With record Britons enjoying summers staycations this year, latest data from Ordnance Survey (OS) shows the nation is walking for further and for longer.

By Joshua Wright
Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 4:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 4:14 pm
On the moors above Elsdon in Northumberland National Park. Picture: Jane Coltman
On the moors above Elsdon in Northumberland National Park. Picture: Jane Coltman

OS has been studying the nation’s outdoor habits throughout June, July, August and September of 2021, according to the routes the British public logged and shared within its popular OS Maps app.

It showed in the Northumberland National Park, the number of routes logged and shared by walkers, runners and cyclists had risen by 38% compared to 2020, with 5,646 routes in 2021 compared to 4,077 previously.

OS managing director for leisure, Nick Giles, said: “This summer has revealed a significant upward trend in outdoor activities.

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"Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, we have seen people build new connections with the outdoors and demand for OS mapping and the OS Maps app highlights how people are exploring both locally and further afield.

“The big headline is that across walking, cycling and running, there has been about a 30 per cent rise in the numbers of routes people have recorded, and an increase of a third in the total distance covered.

“It seems not only are more people creating routes, they are tending to be slightly longer too. This is also reflected by an increase in the average route distance across all three disciplines.

“It appears people have tended to seek flatter routes this year with a significant decrease in the average elevation change across all three activity types – a potential suggestion of more newcomers taking to the outdoors and exploring less challenging routes.”

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