Wild Paths

Wild Paths is a Wildhomestays open source program. It’s designed to bring guests and locals together to help develop and manage the local trail network for walkers, runners, bikers, visitors and locals alike.

It’s aims & goals

  • Joining trails making new and longer routes.
  • Cutting back trails to make them more enjoyable, safer and in some cases bikeable.
  • Signage for trails so your less lickly to get lost and their is some engaging content along the way.

Who and how to participate

We, along with some active villagers work with corporate groups, schools and outdoor clubs to help manage sections of trails. Groups, so called adopt a section, help cut it back and provide signage for the trail. The local government also very importantly helps in the work and supporting our endevours. Adopted path sections are given the groups name and we keep the groups updated about their welbeing. Individuals support by using the paths responsibly, providing media, ploding, the occasional prune and other support services.

The 5 Stages of local trail management

  1. Plan: select the paths which best meet our criteria and which are easy to impliment. 
  2. Cut: open path for walk runs, more adventurous, connecting villages, basic maps.
  3. Polish: cut base back further and level to enable biking, soft signage, push and promot to the public.
  4. Content: developing interesting trail content over the long time. Digital and physical.
  5. Seasonal Management: keeping the path well groomed. 

The Process (in pictures)

We start by walking areas, talking with locals and getting an overall viewpoint with satellite imagery.
Lots of thought and research goes into finding suitable trails. It is important the trails are kept natural and do not use concrete to build or maintain them. There is a enough concrete in cities and its not the most sustainable of materials.
After identifying the route we first remove the big stuff!
We then take a trimmer and remove the side growth. We never use chemicals or herbicides.
We mark areas which need further work, are unsafe or have issues.
The traditional knife works well at chopping branches, secateurs work great at removing smaller shoots. Teams of three people seem to work best with the heavy machinery in front.
Rubbish is removed.
and soft signage is put up to help guide people.
Some areas are still too overgrown to mountain bike.
So we have to further polish the trail and cut back small twigs and branches
This results in a well-groomed trail that’s safe and easy to walk and ride.
Work does not stop there. We then help build usage and understanding of the trails along with the support of many outdoor clubs.
We help build activities around the paths and hiking.
The paths and trails need maintenance twice a year and end up helping both visitors and locals alike.