The Ordnance Survey (OS) #GetOutside champions were unveiled at a London event where they were joined by OS ambassadors, the wildlife presenter and naturalist Steve Backshall, endurance adventurer Sean Conway and mountaineer and Everest climber Bonita Norris.
The champions, chosen for their ability to communicate their love for being outside, include journalists, bloggers and authors who all write about their adventures in Britain.
OS #GetOutside campaign manager, Melanie Osborne, says: “The champions come from different parts of the country. By connecting them together and supporting and developing their current efforts, we are hoping their ideas and experiences will motivate others to join them in discovering what is beyond the doorstep. 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, the #GetOutside champions will help people reconnect with spending quality time outdoors.”
OS launched #GetOutside after conducting research that showed walking to be on the decline with British people. The results suggested a quarter of the British public won’t walk anywhere that takes over 15 minutes. Three quarters won’t walk to work. Almost 70% never walk to the shops, while only a third would ever do the school run on foot, with only around a third of us admitting to enjoying a weekend walk for pleasure.
OS ambassador, Steve Backshall, says: “Britain is one of the most beautiful and interesting countries to discover and explore. It really is amazing. Throughout six million years of evolution we’ve been outside. We are outdoor animals. In the last few decades we have had more of a sedentary lifestyle, although we haven’t changed much psychologically and physically. Getting outside is therapy. It gives you a spring in your step. My parents were obsessed by the outdoors and animals. My sister and I had a wonderful childhood and opportunities. 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 have been given exclusive access to OS products before anyone else and will take part in product trials. Also included is 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.