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Black To The Trails 2024, Wave Wahines' Summer Slide and the biggest UK wildfire on record...

Updated: Sep 5

[MUSIC starts - ON THE OUTSIDE theme - Bassbeat by Alex Norton: "Funky and upbeat, jangling guitars, a fat bassline and a full horn section create the perfect soundtrack to a late summer block party."]

Hello and welcome to On The Outside, the podcast sharing diverse views on what’s happening outdoors. This is an outdoor news roundup for 10th June, 2023.


Well it's been a busy couple of months for me in my podcast work away from On The Outside, and I've been writing articles, hosting panels and of course creating podcast episodes, as well as running Tremula Network's new Outdoors Podcast Club.

Thank you to Ani, Anesu and Kathi for taking to the microphone whilst I've been resting from hosting duties. It's been great to see the stories they've chosen to talk about.

I'm back with a few of the stories that have caught my eye for this outdoor news round-up, and it's a busy one so let's get cracking.


The Black Trail Runners have announced a second year of their Black To The Trails event. They will be heading back to Dunstable Downs, on Sunday 12th May 2024.

Black To The Trails made history last month as the UK’s FIRST trail running event designed, directed and run by Black Trail Runners for Black people, people of colour, and White allies who want to do their bit to diversify the UK trail running scene.

There were three distances 1k, 5k and 10k, designed to encourage all ages and abilities to take part in trail running. Alongside the runs themselves were a number of complimentary activities including circus skills, giant bubbles, sports activities, kite flying, food reflecting the organisation’s culture, and music.

For those who couldn’t attend in person, The Black To The Trails Virtual 5k @strava Event had an incredible 250k sign ups!

In an instagram post, photographer Simon Roberts called it “A real landmark occasion etched into the history books with moments, stories and experiences. This was a huge effort from many volunteers, run crews, partners, sponsors and beyond.”


An open letter signed by more than 139 organisations has urged Labour leader Keir Starmer not to U-turn on his party pledge to ban new North Sea oil and gas.

The Labour leader is due to give a speech in Scotland later this month, which will unveil his net zero energy policies, including the plan to ban all North Sea oil and gas licences.

The promise is a key part of Labour’s environmental platform, and has been welcomed by many campaigners from inside about outside the environmental sector, but it has caused anger among business and political leaders in the north-east of Scotland, where the oil industry is strong.

RSPB Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Save The Children and Protect Our Winters and UNISON are among the organisations who have signed the letter.

The letter was released days before the Labour party announced it was scaling back plans to borrow £28bn a year to invest in green jobs and industry in an attempt to focus on the party’s fiscal credibility.


The Scottish Government has pledged to raise awareness of the risk from wildfires following a massive blaze in the Highlands.

Siobhian Brown, Community safety minister made the commitment in response to a wildfire in Cannich, in the hills above Loch Ness, after there were suggestions the fire was started by wild campers.

The Cannich wildfire began on 28th May and at the time of recording is still not under control. It could be largest wildfire in UK on record, and satellite images from Nasa have shown the smoke.

Wildfires are getting far more regular in Britain and there have already been a large number of wildfires all across the country this year, including in the Peak District, the Yorkshire Moors and Surrey, which has had more than 80 wildfires already this year.

The UK’s firefighting service has announced it is setting up specialist units to tackle wildfire. Matt Wrack, the Fire Brigades Union's general secretary, called for more funding from the government, saying: "Rising temperatures and the systematic underfunding of the fire and rescue service are a recipe for destruction."


Submissions are now open for the Nan Shepherd Prize 2023. The prize opens up every two years to previously unpublished writers based in the UK and Ireland who consider themselves underrepresented in nature writing. The winner receives a £10,000 publishing contract with Canongate Books. This includes editorial mentoring.

Previous winners are Marchelle Farrell with her book Uprooting about finding home in an English country garden after moving from Trinidad, and Nina Mingya Powles Small Bodies of Water which explores everything from migration and family to the ancient lunisolar calendar.

Submissions are open until 17th July.


The Gold Coast OceanFest takes place next weekend in Croyde Bay, North Devon. OceanFest has been running for more than two decades, and brings together music, surfing and culture in a three-day event on North Devon’s golden coast. This year’s music acts include Dread Zone and Dizzie Rascal, and events include surf competitions, a rockpool ramble, and 2 minute beach clean.

The Wave Wahines will be there running their Wave Wahines Summer Slide, which is the first dedicated women and girls surf contest in the UK. Tickets are still available and links are in our newsletter, or you can get them via


If you are attending the National Cycling Show next weekend, our panellist Vedangi Kulkarni is speaking, Her talk is called ‘Rookie – A journey in Mountain Biking’ and she’ll be talking about - you guessed - getting into mountain biking!


And lastly, if you are in Gloucestershire tomorrow, you could see Britian’s rarest buttercup! The Badgeworth nature reserve near Cheltenham is open to the public for one day only on Sunday 11th June 2023, and visitors can look for the rare adder's-tongue spearwort — affectionately known as the Badgeworth buttercup.

Just don’t pick them to hold under someone’s chin and test if they like butter…

the reserve is closed to the public for the other 364 days of the year to prevent such foraging from happening.


Those are the stories for this episode. Can find links to all those stories and more in our newsletter - If you are not currently getting that, you sign up And if you have any stories you would like us to share, please tag us on social media @ontheoutsidepod or send us an email to

We will do our best to share as many as we can.

The episode of On The Outside is Produced, Written and Hosted by Francesca Turauskis

On The Outside artwork is created by Sophie Nolan.

Music is Bass Beats by Alex Norton.

And YOU have been our listener. Thank you very much for listening.

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