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Walking paths have become bogs and need repair, says charity

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Walking paths have become bogs and need repair, says charity



Many of England's paths have become impassable with flooding and erosion because of the increase in foot traffic in 2020, a walking charity says.

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The Ramblers say more people took to walking during the lockdowns, causing deep mud and boggy conditions.

The charity is now calling on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to include a "vital" emergency repair fund in the Autumn Budget.

The government said it would not be drawn ahead of the statement next week.

Last year, people in England made 32% of all their trips on foot compared to 26% in 2019, according to statistics from the Office for National Statistics.

And miles walked per person increased to their highest levels since 2002, says the ONS.

As a result of this increase, and wet weather, the Ramblers received 203 reports of muddy or waterlogged paths between October 2020 and March 2021.

This was almost one per day - double the number just 12 months earlier.

Mr Sunak is to deliver his statement on 27 October, when the Ramblers hope to see a financial commitment to maintain popular routes.

Alan Manning, 70, a volunteer with the Greater Manchester Area Ramblers, told the BBC that the charity wants walking to continue to be popular but paths were now "badly eroded" across the country.

Mr Manning said many were "very difficult to walk and at times impassable" because of flooding and deep mud, which reduced accessibility.