A responsible kind of trail app

Another piece of good news for you this #NationalWalkingMonth, readers: we know that many of you are now using mapping apps to plan and track your adventures on the South West Coast Path (SWCP), which is why we are chuffed to be sharing news of our partnership with Hiiker! Hiiker have just become the first ever ‘Coast Path Friendly’ app, read on to find out what that means (and how SWCPA members can get 20% off the app)…

As many of you will hopefully know, the Coast Path Friendly scheme, launched back in 2019, provides the above badge to organisations that pledge £1 per participant back to the Trail on which their events or tours are hosted, in recognition of the fact that they are doing their bit to minimise impact of their activities, and to positively contribute towards management and maintenance of the Coast Path.  We developed the scheme partly in response to the concerns of our supporters who wanted to see more sustainable events on their favourite Trail.We originally set up the scheme partly in response to the concerns of our supporters who wanted to see more sustainable events on their favourite Trail. With this in mind, we have decided to apply the same logic to the app world: route-planning apps essentially put extra users on to trails who can create more wear and tear. Hiiker are leading the way in contributing £1 for each user that downloads SWCP content from their app to protect the Path for the future.

Get started with Hiiker in 3 easy steps:

  • Head to the App store or Play store on your smart phone
  • Search for ‘Hiiker’ and download the app for free (the logo looks like a mountain)
  • Set up your profile and start browsing long distance paths
  • If you are a member of the South West Coast Path Association, you can get 20% off the premium version of the app (which includes maps available for download so that they are accessible when you are offline) using the discount code on the Member Offer webpage.

Hiiker is actually an Irish start up run by a group of hiking enthusiasts for hiking enthusiasts. Eoin, one of their Directors told us “we are first and foremost a group of hikers, exploring the outdoors is our greatest passion, so working with trail organisations like the South West Coast Path Association to protect and improve the paths that take us to these places is a no-brainer for us. Trails might be free to use and always should be, but we know that does not mean they are free to maintain. We all have to play our part if we want to ensure these routes exist for years to come”.

Pictured: example of re-surfacing work (before and after) in Dorset

We hope you agree that this is a great step towards a sustainable future for the SWCP and that you will choose apps and events with the Coast Path Friendly badge for the good of the National Trail. To give you some idea of how ‘voting with your money’ in this way makes a difference, the funds raised by Coast Path Friendly activities in 2019 were put to good use in 2020 mitigating wear and tear along the Trail in Dorset, where the need was identified as greatest, on a combination of resurfacing, drainage and safety fencing.

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