Tomorrow is World Environment Day and globally we’re turning our attention to air pollution. Here in the South West, our coast gives us all the chance to breath in deep lungfuls of fresh air on a regular basis. But we mustn’t take it for granted. We all need to take action to protect our environment and there are things we can do right now to make a difference, like changing the way you get to the South West Coast Path.
Hop on the bus
Local buses run more regularly throughout the summer making it the perfect time to ditch the car and hop on a bus. It also means you can do a full day of walking without having to retrace you steps to get back to where you parked. To help you find out times, on our walk maps you can find the nearest bus stops and clicking on these will bring up timetable information. Alternatively, visit TravelineSW or Google maps which have very useful trip planners. TOP TIP: It is better to catch the bus out at the beginning of the day, rather than the end, as that way, you won’t worry about missing it if you end up taking longer than you anticipated, or if you are quicker not having to wait for it.
Take the train
Catching the train is a great way to get to the Coast Path. Not only will you be helping the environment, you won’t get stuck in summer traffic and are often treated to fantastic views! The world-famous Great Western Railway built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s stretches all the way down to Penzance, and branch lines head off to many of the resorts along the Path. To make it easy to plan a walk along the Coast Path using the train, we’ve created a number of short break ideas. Check out our ‘Walks from the track’.
Try lift sharing
We know some parts of the Path are tricky to access without a car, so if you do have to drive, why not lift share with friends, family or a walking group to lessen the impact? If you don’t live in the same town, utilise public transport to get to a central location. Fewer cars means fewer emissions, plus you can have a good natter along the way! If you usually walk by yourself, you may want to get involved with our solo walkers network. It’s a great way of meeting others walking the Path and you could try buddying up with someone to try lift sharing. This is only available to member of the South West Coast Path Association, so if you’re not a member already find out more here.
Think globally, act locally
World Environment Day was established by the United Nations in 1972 (just one year before the Association was born!). Since then, it has focused on a different theme each year to raise awareness about important issues. Last year, the theme was to reduce plastic waste, which has been gaining huge traction across the South West. Innovative campaigns like Refill (which started in Cornwall) are seeing all of us using less single use plastic. Plogging is getting a name for itself as the latest eco-friendly fitness craze and thousands of you have been doing your bit by joining community beach cleans to rid our coastline of rubbish. In fact, our friends at Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) organised a record-breaking spring clean up this year with over 45,000 showing up to clean beaches, river banks and mountain tops. We’ll be supporting SAS with their Autumn beach clean, so make sure you’re signed up to our newsletter so you can get involved when we send out more details. If you want to start doing something right now, why not sign up to the South West Coast Path Challenge and do your very own ‘Pick the Path’ fundraiser. We’ve got lots of great tips and advice on how to do this in our Fundraising Guide.
Together, we can all make small steps toward big change in caring for this amazing planet we live on.