A woman from Purley who wants to travel the length of England on a paddleboard has been selected as one of 15 champions of the great outdoors by map-makers the Ordnance Survey for a year-long #GetOutside project.
Lizzie Carr, a marketing consultant, was chosen for her ability to communicate her love for being outside; her part in the project was announced at a gala reception attended by naturalist Steve Backshall, endurance adventurer Sean Conway and mountaineer and Everest climber Bonita Norris.
Carr wants to travel the length of England using its connected waterways – canals and rivers – using only a paddle and a slightly over-sized surfboard.
“I want to make the outdoors accessible to everyone,” Carr said.
“People can enjoy the outdoors with minimum funds, expertise or resource. Adventure isn’t just about the fastest unsupported trip to the South Pole, or scaling unclimbed peaks – these are great achievements but they aren’t for everyone. Adventure should be defined by the individual and it can be found in the everyday.”
The OS campaign is not just aimed at reversing the apparent lack of adventure among Britain’s growing armies of couch potatoes – they just want more of us to get outside each day for at least a short stroll.
Ordnance Survey launched the #GetOutside campaign after conducting research that showed that one-quarter of the British public won’t walk anywhere that takes more than 15 minutes. Three-quarters won’t walk to work. Almost 70 per cent never walk to the shops, while only one-third would ever do the school run on foot.
Only around one-third of those surveyed admitted to enjoying a weekend walk for pleasure.
“By connecting Lizzie with the other champions, we are hoping their ideas and experiences will motivate others to join them in discovering what is beyond the doorstep,” OS #GetOutside campaign manager, Melanie Osborne, said.
“The benefits of exercising and getting regular fresh air are already well-documented, but more needs to be done to get that message across. By sharing the passion they feel and the fun they have being outdoors Lizzie and the other champions will help people reconnect with spending quality time outdoors.”
Steve Backshall said: “Britain is one of the most beautiful and interesting countries to discover and explore. Getting outside is therapy. It gives you a spring in your step. No question, the outdoors has always been a big part of my life. It should be a big part of everyone’s life.”
The champions will take part in OS product trials, including full access to OS’s latest digital mapping product OS Maps, which includes all OS Landranger and OS Explorer maps, and an exclusive #GetOutside champions clothing bundle, £200 cash sponsorship and a special discount on all goods sold in OS’s online shop.
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