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Why should you GetOutside in 2017


Belinda Dixon By Belinda Dixon

GetOutside Champion Belinda Dixon gives you a brief insight into who the rest of the Champions are, and why Britain really needs to GetOutside more

A flock of blue jackets flits through the New Forest's tawny woods. Strolling beside tall trees, squelching through mud, trying out the OS Maps app - the Ordnance Survey 2017 GetOutside Champions are out on a walk.

We're here because OS has gathered champions and staff to share tips and stats, information and inspiration. A kind of glorious GetOutside getting-to-know you session.

Why should you join us and GetOutside?

So what have we learned? Well, that as a nation, we have alarming health issues.

One in four British adults are obese. One in three English adults are on the cusp of obesity. A quarter of people in the UK feel that a 15 minute walk is too far and they will take the car instead and when 2,000 people from the UK took part in an OS survey, only 40% of them could put London in the right place on a map.

Perhaps the most worrying statistic is that this trend looks get to continue with younger generations. Our children spend six hours a day in front of a screen.

Who are the champions?

We've also learned that between those gathered here we 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 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, history finders, 100 peakers, frostbite defiers, wild runners, dog walkers, pier-to-pier swimmers, passionate crafters, trig baggers.

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 extraordinary, their key achievement is simple - and easily achievable by everyone.

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 – here to help educate and inspire you to GetOutside and have your own adventures. Whether epic or everyday, their adventure stories and plans are pretty darned inspiring.

Which just leaves one question - what are yours going to be in 2017?

Belinda Dixon By Belinda Dixon


Belinda Dixon is a travel and adventure writer, a broadcaster and a leader for the charity, the British Exploring Society.

Belinda champions the benefits of an active, outdoors lifestyle in everything she does and loves to 'showcase how everyone – whoever and wherever you are, and however you live – can enrich their lives by getting outside.'

You can find out about Belinda's adventures at belindadixon.com/blog.