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We have recently been contacted by members of the Open Spaces Society who are unhappy about the Trailblaze project which is currently being trialled by Natural England on eight national trails.

The society, while generally welcoming the wider use of paths, does have some concerns about this initiative which are broadly as follows:

1. the encouragement of speed is likely to cause interference with other path users,

2. the additional use of paths at speed is likely to damage the path surface, particularly at the start of trails as many attempts will be started but not necessarily finished,

3. the brightly coloured boxes are visually very intrusive in areas of natural beauty and seem contrary to the ethos of both national trails and Natural England,

4. the legal basis for positioning such intrusive objects on public paths.

We have asked Natural England for their feedback on these points and on the long-term prospects for this project.

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