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Ok, so this page was meant to be about how well our Spring Trail Clean Tour had gone. We were supposed to be happily regaling you with stories and stats from trail communities across the world. However, this horrific virus had other ideas...


But, after more than our fair share of sulking we realised that we don't have to be together to work together to protect our trails and wild places. What's more, after 17 days of Groundhog Day meanders we had come to value our 'home trails' so much that we couldn't think of a place that deserved our protection more. As they say; "think global, act local!" 


So, whether you're a teacher, trail runner or dog walking ambler, keep reading for a series of ideas for how to add some purposeful adventure to your daily exercise.

Of course, the coolest thing is that you get to make a map of your home trails! So, don't forget to update it each time you get home and share your #selflLESSisolation stories with us online :)

Thanks for joining in!

"People protect what they love, but love only what they know" - Jacques Cousteau.


*There is a flow between each of the 'project boxes' below but you can do them however and whenever you like :) 

*We have included a little more info on how to use the project boxes and  STAY SAFE at the foot of the page. 


All too often our brains are elsewhere, so busy pondering problems and plans that we're rarely, truly present. 


So, the first thing to do is, well, nothing! Simply set out on your daily exercise with the intention of truly 'noticing' your surroundings. Let things come to you, don't seek them. Nothing more, nothing less. 

INTENTION - Mindfulness in nature. 


WORD TRAIL -  Be present / see / prints / nests / feel / smell / hear / meander / pause / breathe / sun / wind / temperature / water / tired /  connection / pet your dog :)

ACTIVITY IDEA - Forestry England's 'Learn to Forest Bathe at home' guide is a really nice introduction to mindfulness in nature.


WORDS FOR THE DAY - 'Shinrin yoku' - The Japanese practice of forest bathing, is the simple method of being calm and quiet amongst the trees and has been proven to help both adults and children de-stress. 


If the act of 'noticing' means that things come to you as you ride, run or roam then this task is about deliberately paying attention.


Hopefully you will have remembered some of the things that you noticed (both good and bad, beautiful and sad) on your previous #1adayadventures. Now is the time to decide on your 'home trail' route and to begin take note of the things that you find particularly striking or interesting. 

INTENTION - Paying attention to points of interest, identification of flora, fauna and 'non-natural' occurrences

considering where, why and how things are there.

WORD TRAIL  - Natural / flora / fauna / plants / foliage / animals / weather / climate / seasons / effort / non-natural / what? / litter / plastic pollution / types / materials / brands / sources / amounts / locations / how? / why? / who?

ACTIVITY IDEA - Download Cornell University's incredible 'BirdNet' app  for Android or the Smart Bird ID app for iPhone and identify the birds on your home trails by their singing alone :)  

WORDS FOR THE DAY - "Gobhan gaoithe"- Literal translation. "wind-fork"; Gaelic name for the swallow (Hirundo rustica). Arriving in UK in April and May after migrating from South Africa, across desert, mountain & sea. Have you seen them yet? 

 3. KNOW. 

Is there a cooler feeling than spreading a map out on a table and planning an adventure? Well actually yes and it comes from knowing your home trails so well that you can make your own map of them! 

This is our favourite part of the process! It's time to put everything that you've noticed and observed on your very own 'Selfless Isolation Trail Map' and to begin documenting the actions that you take to protect them.

INTENTION - Knowing and understanding your local geography and the human impacts upon it.


WORD TRAIL - Map making / creativity / distances / gradient / position / directions /  terrain / land use / plant growth / litter locations / hot-spots / beautiful moments / funny moments / favourite trails / plastic pollution

ACTIVITY IDEA - Map your home trails! Get some tips from the experts at the Ordnance Survey, Royal Geographical Society and National Geographic map skills education resources. Also download our amazing friend Rosie's (aka @rosemaryposemary) illustrations, like the one opposite, HERE and HERE .




"Contouring" - When traversing steep or unsure ground, picking a path that holds its height. On the hill, as in life, a means of staying steady, of keeping level even when the going is rough, the world falling away to one side or the other.


"Geography" means 'the writing of lands'.


It's almost time to take action to protect your home trails! But before setting out on this vital mission you'll need to make a plan. 

Begin by identifying the litter hotspots and your favourite spots on your freshly drawn map and decide on the most effective way to clean up your trails and/or document your expedition to help inspire others. 


IMPORTANT NOTE: You don't have to pick up litter to make a massive difference. So, if you're more comfortable recording  and reporting the things that you see or even making a documentary about your #selfLESSisolation experiences, make an expedition plan for those instead :)

INTENTION - To have fun planning your very own purposeful adventure.


WORD TRAIL  - Expedition planning /objective /destination / plan / team / kit list / route / time / distance / route card / navigation / safety / supplies / maximise effort / effective / biggest impact / field station / laboratory / UPDATE YOUR MAP :)


ACTIVITY IDEA - The Royal Geographical Society's - Shackleton Antarctic Expedition and National Geographic's expedition planning 

pages are awesome. You could even make some plastic free energy bars to fuel your team!

 a photo

WORDS FOR THE DAY -“People Wanted: For hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.” ― Ernest Shackleton, Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage.


When it comes to our natural world, the old saying that; "a picture speaks a thousand words" has never been more true. From Blue Planet II to the National Geographic's Wildlife Photographer of the year competition these incredibly talented and passionate people capture our imaginations with images.


In recent times they have also broken our hearts by showing us the damage that climate change and plastic pollution is doing. But, as sad as the images of a mother pilot whale grieving over her dead baby were, they also brought people face to face with the issue. 

The Monday after David Attenborough told us that terrible tale, the voicemail and email inboxes of conservation charities across the world were overflowing with offers of support. That 1 minute of footage had changed the world....

INTENTION - To document and present your #selfLESSisolation experiences to inform and inspire others.


WORD TRAIL - Photography / videography / journal / your why / feel / style / light / timing / story / litter / flora / fauna / thoughts / entertain / funny / ideas

ACTIVITY IDEAS - Check out the awesome #rabathome home-made adventure stop motion films. Apple's 'How to Shoot' is cool too. UPDATE YOUR MAP :) 


WORDS FOR THE DAY "Don't shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like" - David Alan Harvey


Be it litter, data, samples, stories, experiences, opinions, physical, non physical, hard work, toil, images, footage (the list goes on and on!), it is totally up to you what you gather. It's all hugely valuable EVIDENCE and the most important thing is to compile as much we can.


Of course if you're litter picking you'll be making a visible, measurable difference to the health of your home trail. But, as we've seen with Blue Planet II and scientific reports such as; 'Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean'* you don't always have to physically pick plastic pollution up to make a massive difference!

INTENTIONReduce litter pollution, gather evidence.


WORD TRAIL - Physical / hands on / litter / hotspots first / recyclable items / 72 hr rule / clean plastic and cans only / no rush / no sharps / no hazardous materials / natural stuff too 


ACTIVITY IDEA - Use an activity mapping tool like Komoot to track your progress and upload later. UPDATE YOUR MAP :)

WORDS FOR THE DAY -"It always seems impossible until it's done" - Nelson Mandela

*That told us that 5 - 12 million tonnes of plastic are flowing into our oceans each year. 


Now it's time to set up your 'expedition field station' to calculate and compile your findings. This will enable you to create an impactful, scientifically robust 'Selfless Isolation Project Report'. 

INTENTION - To calculate and compile scientifically robust data.


WORD TRAIL - Sort litter collected / in forest / at home / garden / inside / laboratory / create / graphs / charts /  pie charts / lists / artwork / time spent / distance travelled / numbers / amounts / natural / non natural / things / seen / collected / identified / types / materials / brands / sources / condition / UPDATE YOUR MAP :)

ACTIVITY IDEA - Create your own 3D graphs and pie-charts and Venn diagrams using the litter (and maybe some natural stuff too) to statistically present your data. BBC Bitesize has some great info on these :)


WORDS FOR THE DAY - "Science" is; knowledge attained through study or practice.


So, we're going to sugar coat it, this is where the hard work really begins! But WAIT! Before you skip straight to the 'Reward' section, please consider why you have taken part in our project'? If one of those reasons is that you want to help us protect our trails and wild places for everyone, forever then this is SUPER important!


This is where we present irrefutable evidence of the state of our trails. Evidence that, when combined with that of 1000s of other trail lovers like you, will help us create Trash Free Trails.

INTENTION - Presenting your findings with the intention of raising awareness and affecting positive change.


WORD TRAIL -  Map / mini-report  / photos / illustrations / diagrams / stories / evidence / calculations / stats / methods / findings / positive / recommendations / ideas / solutions / polluters / Govt / industry / outputs / publish / website / social media / press release / trail signage / infographic / documentary / screencast / Ted talks / presentation / FINISH YOUR MAP :)

ACTIVITY IDEAS -  Create an infographic sign for your trails! Challenge the brands SAS's Return To Offender campaign - AND UPLOAD IT / POST IT / TAG US / SEND IT TO US PLEEEEASE :)


WORDS FOR THE DAY - "Evolution" is the way that living things change over time. 

 9. REWARD. 

This is the most important part by far! We won't try to put it into words because Edward Abbey says it perfectly below*.

All we'll say is thank you, you are one of our biggest 'whys' . Now, turn off your computer, put down your phone and head out to ride, run or roam on the very home trails that you have just helped to protect! 

INTENTION - Recognising and celebrating good work.


WORD TRAIL  - Remember / pausing to reflect / proud / you made a difference / you are awesome / tell someone else they are awesome / community / reset / reward / switch off / ride / run / roam / PLAY :)


ACTIVITY IDEA - Do you have a family member, friend that (or maybe a local care home) that can't make it outside for adventures at the moment?  Write a short story of your favourite #selfLESSisolation experience and share it with them over Zoom, Skype or similar. BBC Radio 2's '500 words' competition has some amazing tips!

WORDS FOR THE DAY* - One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here…”Edward Abbey



Is there a cooler feeling than spreading a map out on a table and planning an adventure? Sure, there are defined tracks, trails and boundaries but you get to decide your route. You get to start from anywhere, go as far as you like as fast as you like. 

We aim to make all of our projects feel like this. Yes, there’s a map and some big old mountains that we’d like people to help us conquer but there’s so much more to explore along the way and so many uncharted ways to get there…


We also really wanted to get communicate that you can take part in way you like, so we haven't just labelled each element of as; 'Day 1' or 'Step 2' or something equally prescriptive.  We have also deliberately steered clear of using words like; aim, objective, achieve, stage, phase (you get the gist) as we believe that we all too often lose sight of 'WHY' it is we feel compelled to protect our trails and wild places.


Instead we have really just tried to describe the way that we felt ourselves gently connecting with our small home patches and provide 9 simple prompts to nudge you on a purposeful adventure of your own and help you find your 'WHY' too :)


Before you get started, please try your best to REMEMBER the TFT ‘no guilt rule’! Whatever you are able to do, whenever you are able to do it is ENOUGH! In fact, it’s wayyyyyyyy more than enough, it’s incredible and you will have helped us make a MASSIVE difference to the health of our trails and wild places and the people who use them.



Please share your #selfLESSisoltaion stories with us. We promise we'll make good use of them to inspire others to protect our trails and wild places too! / @trashfreetrails / #selfLESSisolation / #DIYspringtrailclean / #trashfreetrails 



  1. Before doing anything check the latest Government advice HERE

  2. For outdoor sports specific guidance check Government advice HERE and British Cycling guidance HERE

  3. Only go outside your home boundaries once a day for exercise #1aday

  4. Does your planned activity fit with the simple; 'NO CAR, NO GNAR, NOT FAR' rule?

If what you would like to do doesn’t contravene these the here are some of the ways that we are staying safe during our own #selfLESSisolation DIY Spring Trail Cleans.


  1. DO NOT touch any litter that you have not walked past on at least 4 consecutive days. Coronaviurs COVID 19 remains active and infectious on surfaces/things for up to 72 hrs.

  2. It is NOT necessary to collect the litter to make a difference. Simply documenting, recording and reporting your Selfless Isolation experience (and maybe making a plan to collect it after this crisis has passed) is an amazing and impactful thing to do!

  3. If you do feel comfortable collecting the litter ONLY gather clean plastic and cans (recyclable stuff is the most impactful!).

  4. There is NO NEED to collect huge amounts in one go, if there’s one thing we’ve got loads of it’s TIME! 

  5. DO NOT collect any sharp, heavy and/or hazardous items/materials. Once again, documenting and reporting these is a much more effective and sustainable solution.

  6. Just like any litter pick, keep everyone safe, be sensible and look after each other at all times.

  7. THANK YOU :) 


Thanks to our partners

Thanks to our Spring Trail Clean Tour partners who stuck with us through Covid 19 and have made it possible to create this project;


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