Just starting out  with regular walking or cycling?

Perhaps lockdown prompted you to buy your first bike or OS map, perhaps the middle-aged spread is spreading a little too enthusiastically or perhaps the imminent climate crisis is making you re-think the impact of your carbon footprint. Whatever your reason for reducing car trips and/or getting out and about by foot or peddle more, you can be sure that you're not alone and that if you keep up what you've started, you'll experience huge benefits.

 Start by building good habits  

A wise person once said: "Motivation is what gets you started, habit keeps you going." Hopefully this website and our residents' stories have helped provide some motivation, so let's move to habits. We've designed some simple habit maker and builder sheets to download, fill in and help you develop more environmentally friendly and healthy ways of living.

Habit maker
Habit builder

  Build your confidence by joining others  

If you're just starting out with walking and cycling, joining in with organised events and activities can help boost your confidence and take your new sustainable lifestyle to a whole new level. ​

 

There are millions of people right across the world already committed to helping the planet, their wallet, their health and happiness by using cars less and feet, peddles or pubic transport more. Many of them have created groups and communities just looking for people like you to join them - here are some suggestions below (if you run a group not listed, just email us at gearchange@northumberland.gov.uk to get in on the action).

Northumberland Meet Up Walking group 

Northumberland Walking Clubs list

West Northumberland Health Walks

Northumbria Short Circuits walking group

NorthWalk

20s-30s walking group

Northumbria Family Walking Group

Northumberland Cycling groups list

 Ideas to get started  

The best way to get started is to make a decision to make a change. It doesn't matter how big or how small that change is  - what matters is that you are deciding to make a difference.

 

 Quick fact  if every single person in Northumberland made a decision to look for 64km of opportunities to ditch the car and walk or cycle (the length of the Northumberland coastline), collectively we would save 26,541 tonnes of car exhaust Co2  - that's enough to completely offset the annual carbon footprint of 2089 people! You could be one of them by taking part in our Big C02 swap.

Writing on a Notebook

 Make a note 

Note down all the car journeys you made last week 0r in an average week if you can't remember! Identify any that could be done on foot, bike or by public transport, and list those you'd be willing to change now and again, regularly, or all the time.

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 Walk to school 

Try reducing the number of school journeys taken by car.

Many journeys to school do not need to be taken in a car - are you taking the easy way out? Could you/your child walk or cycle some or all of the time? See how others have done it here.

Commuting to Work

 Consider your commute 

It won't be possible for everyone, but for many people taking the car to work isn't always necessary all of the time. Ask yourself honestly if you could walk cycle or take public transport once a week or even a fortnight to get you started. Meet some doctors who have done it and never looked back here

Friends On A Walk

 Phone a friend 

It's easier to stick to new habits if you tell others about your plans. Buddy up with someone else who also wants to walk or cycle more and/or broadcast your intentions to become an eco-champ on social media (or the parish newsletter!). Once you tell people your target, it will be much harder not to follow through which will help get you started.

 Our favourite apps 

There are 1000s of websites and apps out there that promise to help bring your sustainable transport goals to life, so we've done the hard work and gathered together some of the best ones available. If we've missed a great one please email us at gearchange@northumberland.gov.uk and we'll add the most popular suggestions to our list. ​

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One You Active 10 walk tracke‪r

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Komoot route planner 

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Busby bike safety/ incident detection

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Ordnance Survey online maps

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Strava activity tracking & sharing

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Met Office weather forecasts

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UK Bus checker journey planner

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Earth Rewards carbon calculator