A flock of blue jackets flits through the New Forest’s tawny woods. Strolling beside tall trees, squelching through mud, studdying maps – the Ordnance Survey 2017 GetOutside Champions are out on a walk
We’re here because OS has gathered staff and champions to share tips and stats, information and inspiration. A kind of glorious GetOutside getting-to-know you session.
So what have we learned? That as a nation, we have alarming health issues. That one in four British adults are obese. That one in three English adults are on the cusp of obesity. That UK children are spending an average of six hours a day in front of a screen.
We’ve learned that between us these GetOutside Champions have: scaled Everest 12 times; rowed across the Pacific; paddleboarded the length of Britain; swam, ran, cycled, scootered and skateboarded from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
But we’ve also learned these aren’t a bunch of super-human adventurers. They’re everyday people living everyday lives: teachers, massage therapists, school kids, IT specialists, working mums.
Yet these are also people who’ve campaigned against single-use plastic bottles and have seen people’s lives transformed by the great outdoors.
They’re family adventurers, trig baggers, 100 peakers, frostbite defiers, wild runners, dog walkers, pier-to-pier swimmers, passionate crafters, history finders.
They’ve swam in seas backed by frost-dusted shores, have bivvied and bothied and watched countless wild sunrises.
They’ve used maps to make memories, plot adventures and navigate towards dreams.
They’ve helped Explorers Connect, fuelled our Wanderlust and prompted us to SayYesMore.
But although their stories are sometimes extraordinary, their key achievement is simple – and easily achievable by everyone.
Like millions of other people, they’ve really just twigged that the outdoors helps us connect better with our world, our selves and with loved ones and friends.
So these are the Ordnance Survey 2017 GetOutside Champions. Whether epic or everyday, their adventure stories and plans are pretty darned inspiring. Which just leaves one question – what are yours?
Tag @OSLeisure and #GetOutside if you want more people to hear about your challenge