Become a Walkingworld contributor

Walkingworld has been going for over 22 years now. We’re a small independent team, mainly family, working with our wonderful contributors to keep our members enjoying the stunning countryside (and towns) in Britain and further afield day in day out. Every year has brought a few hundred new walks into the library.

We thoroughly appreciate that so many of our members are good enough to report back with issues that arise on their walks, either through the app or by submitting a comment on the website. With over 8000 routes we can’t check every walk ourselves so it’s always very helpful to receive these updates, even if sometimes it can be painful to discover that our members didn’t enjoy the walk as much as we’d hoped.

After 20 plus years not all our contributors are able to revisit some affected areas themselves to reroute or take new photos. Some have moved away, some are no longer still walking due to health issues and some sadly are no longer with us at all. Consequently we are forced to take walks offline permanently or we search for existing contributors who might be happy to add other walks to their list. This is a successful way to keep those much loved routes on the website but sometimes we don’t have a contributor near enough able to step in.

We believe there is room for more routes too, so right now we’re particularly interested in looking for walkers in Scotland, Wales, South West England, Midlands and East Anglia. If you think you’d like to join our cracking band of contributors, either taking over existing walks that need a new owner to cherish them or indeed create new routes that you would like to share with others please contact Chris Stewart (chris@walkingworld.com).

Don’t worry if you’ve never done this before. We will take you through the process and help you all the way. It helps if you have the Walkingworld app on your smartphone but it’s not essential. For every walk adopted from a contributor who is no longer active we’d like to offer a subscription extension of 2 months with the understanding they will help us update the walk in their account whenever necessary. For every new walk submitted contributors receive a year’s subscription and every contributor benefits from our annual commission scheme.

Contributing walks adds an extra dimension to walking. Most find it a fun hobby which keeps them fit and active in both body and mind. Just be careful it doesn’t become addictive!

This is what some contributors have to say about their experiences:

Alison:

I submitted my first Walkingworld walk in response to a plea for more contributors – that was 15 years ago or more. Back then, planning a walk involved juggling with a flapping O.S. map while jotting down instructions on an often soggy piece of paper and remembering to work out the exact grid reference of where you were standing. After walking on another few hundred yards, you’d often have to pop back to the original spot because you’d forgotten to take a photo! Despite this, I persevered because it encouraged me to discover the sort of routes which don’t often appear in guide books. It’s improved my map-reading no end, too! Quite apart from that, it’s a great feeling that you may be encouraging others to go out and experience the countryside – something which has become especially important over the last few years.

Part of the Contributor’s task is to curate the walks they have submitted, which means walking them over again from time to time, to check that paths haven’t been re-routed, or stiles fallen into disrepair. Sometimes, you will be asked to respond to problems which walkers of the route bring to your attention through the website. Usually, in this case, you’ll receive a polite little message from Walkingworld’s Dan, to check things out if you can. This job, too, has been an education for me. In my home area parts of the countryside have evolved beyond imagination, as disused orchards become absorbed into woodland, or where, in extreme cases, whole landscapes have been intentionally flooded.

Nowadays, new technology makes the recording of a walk so much easier. (Well, usually, that is … never rely on a mobile phone signal!) Mobile apps will give you an instant grid reference, voice recorders cut out the need for scraps of paper and blunt pencils and online maps help you to submit the plotted route to Walkingworld. And if, like me, you come up against the occasional technological problem with submitting your route, I can confidently tell you that Chris is an endlessly patient teacher and encourager!

Thank you Walkingworld. You’ve been a great companion!

Sid:

I joined Walkingworld in 2010 and have enjoyed every minute of it. I started out downloading contributors’ walks back then and was really amazed how easy it was to follow the directions including the waymark photos and the map. No other walking website gives you this amount of information regarding the walks.

Living in Essex, most of the walks I downloaded were written by Brian & Anne Sandland, and I thoroughly enjoyed walking their numerous routes. About a year ago The Sandlands contacted Chris at Walkingworld asking if I could take over some of their walks as they are no longer able to update them. They starting contributing about 20 years ago, so as time goes by things change along the routes and they need updating. So I agreed to this and started updating their walks which I really enjoyed. After a couple of months I decided to start writing my own routes and after Chris guided me through the process, I have never looked back. I now class this as my main hobby and so look forward to contributing a walk, being retired, normally once a week.

I would encourage any member who hasn’t already, to become a contributor and start writing their own walks. I’m sure they would find it very rewarding especially when you get nice feedback from other members who have walked their route. Walkingworld needs new walks coming in so it would be lovely to see more walks being uploaded so we can keep this excellent walking website going.

Jean:

It’s over 12 years since I started surveying walks for the Walkingworld website. I was somewhat daunted at first being a bit of a technophobe but Chris patiently talked me through the process. Once I’d done a few it became second nature and hopefully I became more skilled in describing the routes.

It adds a further focus to my walks and, just doing a few a year, it’s rewarding to see how my portfolio has expanded.  I find it interesting to research places I walk – history, wildlife etc. which I wouldn’t do otherwise (of course that’s optional – it’s accurately describing the route that’s important).

I also feel I am being useful in helping others enjoy the countryside – not everyone has the ability or confidence to plan and walk a route from a map.

And I reckon the annual royalties now keep me in walking footwear!

2 Comments on “Become a Walkingworld contributor

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: