Four wheels bad, two legs good

In Walk, the magazine of the Ramblers, Will Self argues that urban-fleeing walkers’ tunnel vision of the countryside is both damaging and self-defeating:

“The modern rambling movement began with a mass trespass on Kinder Scout in the Peak District, but in my view what’s needed now is a mass exodus. The last time I was on Kinder Scout workmen were hard at it, laying a stone-flagged staircase all the way up from Edale. Even when I gained the ridge, I saw that more stone-flagging lay ahead of me, as if wayward Romans had been building wonky roads. Actually, the Roman analogy isn’t that misplaced, because in the last 20 years legions of walkers have invaded the British hinterland intent on stealing beauty.

In praise of industrial estates

“A couple of years ago, the writer Nick Royle and I decided that we would undertake the Three Peaks Challenge. We’d get another rambling writer to join us, raise sponsorship and give the proceeds to charity. However, it transpired that there were grave environmental concerns about the peaks. The sheer numbers of sponsored walkers clambering up Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon were leading to catastrophic erosion, denudation of flora, scaring off of fauna – not to mention the large quantities of plastic water bottles that were left behind by these charitable folk.