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Ramblers Scotland's new president, calls on the Government to expand Freedom to Roam & bikepacking w

Updated: Jul 10

5th April 2023

Hi folks, You might be familiar with me from previous podcasts. I'm giving Fran a break/taking over this newsletter and minisode and also sharing some stories that have caught MY eye. It’s really great to see so many people in the outdoor community levelling up and doing such amazing work. Here’s some of my favourite stories recently. Ani x


Zahrah Mahmood named Ramblers Scotland President

Zahrah Mahmood is a Muslim woman of South Asian heritage. She has been appointed for the 3 year voluntary role on the 4th March this year. Zahrah is well known as the Hillwalking Hijabi on Instagram, where she shares her hikes and how her faith and spirituality ties in to the outdoors. Recently she’s also be sharing her journey as an outdoorsy mother. She has spent many years using her platform to champion diversity in the outdoors and advocate for equality. She intends to continue this in her new role, not only focusing on ethnic minorities enjoying the outdoors, but on issues that transcend race and religion such as finances, access and time.



Darren Edwards becomes the first person disabled person to complete the World Marathon Challenge

Darren Edwards is a record-breaking disabled adventurer, motivational speaker and author. In February he became the first disabled person to complete the world marathon challenge by hand-bike. The World Marathon Challenge is seven marathons, on seven different continents in seven days. Travelling from Antarctica, to Africa, to Australia, to Asia, to Europe, to South America and concluding in North America. He is raising money for the Armed Forces Para-Snow sports team and has raised £53,500 so far - which is over half of his goal. Next he and a team, including Ed Jackson and Niall McCann are attempting to cross Europe’s largest icecap - the Vatnajokull in Iceland, to raise money for Ed’s charity Millimetres 2 Mountains. Darren also recently released his book Strength Through Adversity.

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Extinction Rebellion “The Big One” Action

Extinction Rebellion have organised a 4 day action from the 21st April - 24th April in what may be the biggest climate protest ever held in the UK. That’s probably why its called The Big One. It’s being advertised as family friendly and accessible. People will gather around Westminster and at the Houses of Parliament, where the will be a diverse programme of speakers, performers, art, music and workshops, as well as activities for kids. The action is supported by more than 70 organisations including Patagonia and Right to Roam. So far over 22,00 people have said they’ll be there.

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Beyond Words: Combining Film, Music & Bikepacking

This April multi-ethnic composer Mari will be embarking on a three day bike packing trip in Wales, and afterwards will compose a solo piece of music on her bassoon inspired by the experience and the way her journey made her feel. Their motto is when words fail us, music speaks. The trip will be filmed by Play Outdoors Productions and made into a short film called Beyond Words. By sharing Mari’s story, Play Outdoors Productions hope to take music from the sterile concert halls filled with rules and rituals, and share it with folk who wouldn’t normally feel unwelcome in that space. There’s still two days left to help support the film through its crowd funder.



Cycling is ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities

Recent research has showed that the emissions saved from replacing diesel/petrol cars to electric cars will not make the necessary difference in the next five years, which is all we have to spare. Christian Brand’s research shows that active travel, such as cycling is the answer. Cycling is 30 times lower in carbon for each trip than a fossil fuel car, and 10 times lower than an electric one. His research showed that if an urban resident switched from driving to cycling for just one trip per day it would save the equivalent emissions of a one-way flight from London to New York.



Unicorns return to the Cairngorms..?

After years working with local stakeholders in Cairngorm National Park, Wilderness Scotland have announced the return of Scotland's national animal! By supporting and expanding ancient Caledonian pine forest they have managed to welcome the unicorn back to its ancestral grazing grounds. Or have they? This was just one of the April Fool’s jokes shared this year. Other fun ones were a picture of the Pope rock climbing and the Queer Surfers group announcing they were going back into the closet.


We are on Patreon! If you find value in On The Outside, please consider supporting our work by heading over to The Tremula Network is a signatory of the Equality In Audio Pact, which means we pay all freelancers for their work on our productions. OTO gets no external funding and Fran is currently self-funding production costs. We're currently getting around £30 a month from Patreon, and funds accrued are offered first to the panellists for their time. Find a full breakdown of what the show costs to make in this newsletter >> Thank you x


And in other news:

  • Ubuntu Global Productions has released the trailer to their latest film Wave Women UK. Wave Women UK is a documentary film following five young black women from inner city London as they embark on a transformative journey to learn how to surf. The now skilled surfers strive to be ambassadors for Black women in the UK to get out into the waves. Read more >>

  • The Ramblers are calling on the Government to expand the Freedom to Roam. We only have access to 8% of England's land and the most deprived neighbourhoods of the England are the furthest away from land people can freely roam on. The Ramblers are calling on the government to expand the CROW Act to bring the Freedom to Roam closer to more people. You can sign the petition here >>

  • Dr Greta Ludhra has released the Decolonising Green Spaces live e-book which has intercultural dialogues about climate conservation, sustainability, engagement and inclusion. The book centres the narratives of women of colour whose work aims to bring about social change in the green and blue spaces. Read now >>


News from the Tremula Network

Francesca Turauskis - the Producer and often host of On The Outside - has launched The Outdoors Podcast Club to support more podcasters within the outdoors/adventure/nature space. The Outdoors Podcast Club will offer monthly events and a group chat designed to help outdoors podcasters create engaging shows, promote in the right places and grow together... The Monthly events are designed to cover topics relevant to this small niche - from getting good audio when you're outside to interviewing with inclusion in mind and learning the best place to promote your show.


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