Understanding why young people are under-represented on Scotland’s Great Trails

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Young people are under-represented on Scotland’s Great Trails, part of the National Walking and Cycling Network in Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage and Young Scot worked together to explore barriers that young people may experience to using the trails and to develop key solutions to address these.

Whilst young people generally felt they did not know a lot about Scotland’s Great Trails, more young people had used and been on them. Young people identified eight broad themes regarding young people and Scotland’s Great Trails; the environment, awareness and knowledge, equipment & skills, safety concerns, technology, trail maintenance and infrastructure, access, and young people’s lives & perceptions.

The insights and ideas were then consolidated into two key solutions by young people.

These were The Scot Trails app – an online hub of information about Scotland’s Great Trails which can be personalised to each young person, and The Nature Passport – a small A6 booklet which provides users with useful information about different Trails, and allows them to collect a variety of stamps to mark their progress along each trail.

It’s clear there is no one way to encouraging more young people to use Scotland’s Great Trails, but lots of different routes to getting people of all ages interested and supported to get out and about.