International Trails Day is taking place on Saturday 5 June 2021 as an annual celebration of walking trails worldwide, their significance and the important role we all play in conserving them.
Originally founded by The American Hiking Society (AMS) and inspired by the National Trails Day that has been established for 30 years in the US, International Trails Day takes place on the first Saturday of June each year and is a way to celebrate the amazing trails to be enjoyed around the world.
The past year has confirmed the huge benefits that we all receive from the green spaces that surround us and our National Trails are a key part of that. Providing us with the chance to connect with nature, exercise in the open air and explore new pathways and places, they are vital spaces for both our mental and physical health, as well as for the species that call them home. Perfect both for long-distance hikes and shorter countryside walks, these great walking trails of the UK criss-cross the country, opening up the countryside for adventures of discovery and showcasing some of the very best scenery to eager explorers.
Here in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) we are lucky enough to have the North Downs Way National Trail pass through the Surrey Hills from Farnham and on to the Kent Downs AONB, before finishing at the famous White Cliffs of Dover. One of England’s most accessible trails, the North Downs Way cuts across South East England, providing 153 miles of walking trails of stunning scenery, rich history, countryside views and pretty villages to visit along the way.
This year, in celebration of International Trails Day, people are being encouraged to take a moment to share a ‘Trail Tribute’ on social media as a way of expressing their appreciation for the National Trails they enjoy and as a way to express their gratitude for the people that look after them. Using the hashtags #ITD2021 and #MyTrailTribute, celebrate the North Downs Way this International Trails Day and share a photo of the trail, tagging @surreyhillsaonb on Instagram, @SurreyHills on Facebook and @SurreyHillsAONB on Twitter, alongside @NorthDownsWay.
International Trails Day helps us to see our treasured North Downs Way as part of a wider network of trails, each cared for by a community of rangers, volunteers and essential workers who ensure that they are safely maintained for the walkers of today and those of future generations. They are places of exploration, relaxation, reconnection, discovery, adventure and more, and this International Trails Day will shine a spotlight on the vital part they play in our countryside.