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Sharing Paths with a Smile

This February the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) is encouraging everyone to get into the happy and courteous spirit of sharing our paths with a smile. When you pass by or bump into other people in the great outdoors, it is the perfect opportunity to give them, and you, a warm glow by sharing a simple hello!

SDNPASharethePathThe South Downs National Park contains hundreds of miles of shared paths ranging from iconic routes such as the South Downs Way to smaller local bridleways. These paths are enjoyed every day by ramblers, hikers, dog walkers, cyclists, horse riders, land owners and farmers. Spending time in the great outdoors is known to lift the spirits and you’ll almost always be greeted by a hello, thank you, excuse me or even a much obliged.

The SDNPA says, ‘The English are renowned for their courtesy, no more so than here in the South Downs. This February we’re encouraging everybody to get into the spirit and pass on a greeting as they meet others. So don’t be surprised if you get an even friendlier reception than usual if you’re out enjoying the National Park this week.’

It’s a lovely sentiment, one that can be applied nationwide, and you never know, you might just make someone else’s day. So smiles and cheery hellos at the ready…get out there and pass it on!

#sharethepath #SouthDowns

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The length of our walking guides is given in miles and rounded to the nearest full mile (whole number) for simplicity. For short walks (of less than 2 miles) or walks that have a length that ends in .5, a more accurate walk length may be given in the first section of the walk introduction. For example, the Length in the header may be listed as 6 miles, and the introduction may confirm that the exact length of the walk is 5.5 miles. The walk length is calculated from the GPS file that was created by the walk author GPS tracking the walk whilst walking, using the iFootpath App GPS Tracker, meaning it is very accurate. Our bespoke tracker is particularly detailed and plots a walkers position about every 10 seconds. The tracker is calibrated to match two other reputable map and walking sources, Ordnance Survey and Nike. As with all standardised walk and map lengths, the distance does not take account of hills and slopes, just the distance you would measure using a piece of string on a flat map version of the terrain, so hilly walks will feel longer than stated. If you track the route using another GPS App or Tracker App or Fitness Device, you can expect the distance you record to be different due to different calibrations. This is particularly true of those Apps and devices that count your motion and steps – these can only guess the distance you have travelled with each step and so are much less accurate.

Grade (Boots)

The grade of a walk is an indicator of how difficult the terrain is that you will encounter along the way. This does not take into account the walk length but does suggest how challenging the walk will be. It takes into account things like hills, path surfaces and obstacles (like stiles, gates, steps and rock scrambles). An easy walk, graded as 1 (and shown as 1 Boot) indicates a walk that is essentially flat, has no sharp hills to climb, has no stiles, is easy to navigate (probably along a well-worn path) and is suitable for most levels of fitness. A difficult walk, graded as 5 (and represented by 5 Boots) indicates a walk that is strenuous and involves steep ascents and/or descents. It may be technically challenging involving difficult terrain or obstacles that require scrambling with your hands. Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

NOTE: Do be aware that the level of stamina required for any walk will vary depending on both the walk length and the difficulty grade - you should only walk within your limits.

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