Walking with Nature Backpack Kits: Caring for your local walking, wheeling and cycling routes

We are encouraging people to care for the places where they walk, wheel and cycle and to notice the wildlife that lives right beside them on their doorstep.

Walking with Nature: Litter picking
Walking with Nature backpacks: nature bag contents
Walking with Nature: branch pruning
Walking with Nature waterproof backpacks
Walking with Nature

To help more people to do this we have created an easy to carry, fully waterproof Walking with Nature backpack kit containing a tool bag and a nature bag with easy to use equipment. Taking the backpack kits out on group walks or cycles can be an easy way to get more people tidying up overgrown or litter strewn paths.  

The tool bag contains: 

  • gardening gloves,
  • secateurs,
  • bio-degradable wipes,
  • a roll of heavy duty black bags, and
  • a foldable litter picker.

These hand tools enable people to quickly prune back overhanging branches, pick up litter and clean signs to keep local areas pleasant. We know that if paths are attractive and not overgrown, they are more likely to be used for regular active travel and recreation to reduce pollution and improve people’s health. 

The contents of the nature bag can help to develop a deeper connection with nature through spending more time observing wildlife and plants. The pieces of equipment are:

  • a magnifying cup,
  • a sweep net to catch insects,
  • waterproof wildlife identification charts for using while outdoors,
  • small binoculars, and 
  • a magnifying glass to observe flora and fauna up close.

Undertaking small tasks or micro-volunteering is a great way to start connecting with nature. Spotting 3 good things in nature everyday can lead to a greater sense of wellbeing, relaxation and joy.

A recent training day on using the Walking with Nature backpacks took place with Health Walk volunteers with Inverclyde Bothy, managed by Cycling UK. 

During the training, walkers received guidance on how to get the most from using the kits and got some practical experience, pruning, litter picking and sign cleaning while walking between Port Glasgow and Parklea. 

During the walk, walkers used the binoculars to watch birds and once they got to Parklea vibrant gardens they used the magnifying glasses to notice the intricate details of leaves and flowers growing in the glasshouses.

Even the torrential rain did not dampen everyone’s enthusiasm.

Jenni Murray, project coordinator with Inverclyde Bothy Health Walks who helped to organise the day said:

Our seven Health Walk groups are out every week and know the places that need some tender loving care.

Many of the volunteers have been inspired to look after their local environment, especially after the Covid-19 lockdowns when local facilities were of paramount importance.  

I would encourage other groups to consider using the Walking with Nature backpacks to keep local walking, wheeling and cycling routes in tip top condition.

If you would like to obtain a pack for your workplace, community paths group, active travel or Walking for Health project then please email: communitypaths@pathsforall.org.uk