Those who spend time accross Europe’s beautiful forest and park networks will have seen a variety of different signs conveying information on walking tracks. Track grading is a primary means of informing people about the features of walking tracks, so they can gauge their suitability for a particular track. It also assists to encourage walking as a leisure activity, in line with ENOS vision to make outdoor sports available for all. We also know from European surveys that walking in nature is the activity that most Europe with lower level of physical activity level would like to do.
Many different grade systems coexist in Europe. Depending on history, culture, grading methods and criteria. In the same country, there can be a number of different rating systems. The clear and harmonised level of difficulty between hikes is a real challenge : to enable hikers of all levels to make an informed choice about the technical and physical level of the route planned.
For this reason, the French Rambling Federation (FFRandonnée), with the support of the European Ramblers Association (FERP/ERA), would like to survey Ramblers associations at national, regional and local level about the grading systems they use, in order to map different practices.
Over the long run, these results will serve as support for European dialogue. A dedicated workshop will be organised during the Outdoor Sports EuroMeet in order to engage with European partners on this matter.
Please respond before 25 July.