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How to explore more from your door

We’re supporting Ordnance Survey on #GetOutsideDay (25 September)! Back for its 5th year, we want to help more of you get out into nature and reap the benefits of the great outdoors, no matter where you live…

This year’s #GetOutsideDay theme is ‘explore from your front door’, with the aim of helping you to easily access nature without it costing the earth. With rising costs a daily headache, we know this is something we’re all extremely conscious of at the minute. That’s why we want to help you continue to get outside and enjoy all the great physical, mental and social benefits that adventuring in the great outdoors can bring.

Covid-19 lockdowns mean many of us are now very familiar with our local area, but we want to challenge you to reconnect with your local spaces on an even deeper level this season. To find new wonder and enjoyment in its many nooks and crannies.

You’ll find tons of great ideas to get you started over on the OS website, but we have a few of our own to share, too. Keep reading to get inspired and we look forward to hearing all about your local adventures over on our instagram. Don’t forget to tag us so we can easily see and share our end…

Learn more about local nature 

Whether you’re based in the countryside or the city, there’s an abundance of nature to be found around every corner! From small plants to trees and local wildlife, each place has its very own ecosystem, working in perfect harmony and constantly changing, depending on the season.

But how well do you know this nature? We bet not many of you could tell us all the names of the trees and plants you regularly pass. So why not learn how to better identify your local trees and find out a bit more about them? This simple act is easy to do now thanks to the help of The Woodland Trust who have have several handy resources and even an app to help you identify a variety of trees.

 

For an even more immersive experience, foraging for locally grown goods is a great seasonal activity. Whether it’s picking those pungent wild garlic leaves in early spring or raspberries, blackberries and an abundance of fungi later in the season, there’s year-round tasty treats to be found. The Foragers Calendar is also a great read for anyone eager to better understand what can be safely eaten throughout the year.

Get active in a different way

A simple way to help you see your local routes in a new light is by exploring them in a new way. New perspectives, and in turn, routes can be found by mixing up your usual routine. Exploring by bike is a great option for those looking to go a little further from their doorstep. The National Cycle Network is a great place to start for those just getting into cycling, with a vast network of well paved routes across the UK you can explore. 

For more advanced riders looking to get off the beaten track, Komoot provides plenty of options to help you easily navigate your way there and back. Earlier this year, we chatted to editor of Komoot and passionate bikepacker Katherine Moore on our podcast to find out why she loves exploring by bike and her top tips to get started. Listen in for lots of biking inspiration. 

Another great way to breathe new life into exploring your local area is to start getting a little inventive. Head out without a set route in mind or take that path you’ve never been down before -  you never know where it will lead! #TeamMontane’s Howard Dracup has a great suggestion to help you explore a little differently next time you head out:

“Before you set off, have a look for trails on a map that you haven’t noticed before and then set off and try to link a few up. You’ll be surprised by how many new trails and finger posts you’ll find right on your doorstep that you haven’t noticed before.” Howard Dracup, #TeamMontane Ultra Runner

Litter pick in your local area

Give back to your local area and become a litter hero this season. Breathe in fresh air and help keep your unique local ecosystem thriving. Not only is litter picking a good thing to do for the environment, it allows you to slow down and take in all those hidden little alcoves you might otherwise miss. Here at Montane, we love a local litterpick and can testify that it’s a really rewarding activity to undertake in the great outdoors.

There’s no hard and fast rules of how to go about litter picking, but some essential pieces of kit to help get you started include: a pair of hard wearing gloves, a grab-and-grip litter picker and, of course, a bag to stash all that rubbish. 

For those really strapped for cash, it’s worthwhile reaching out to your local park representatives, as lots of organisations now have the kit you need to litter pick and may be able to donate these to you free of charge. Some of these even offer nice incentives to get out and do your good deed!

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