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Blaze Trails are all about getting Mums outdoors and walking with their babies. It can be a great opportunity to meet new mums, get some exercise or just enjoy a walk.
This interview was written by:
Klara McDonagh – Organiser, Blaze Trails Northamptonshire
Katy O’Neill Gutierrez – Founder, Blaze Trails
What are Blaze Trails all about?
Katy: Blaze Trails supports parents to get out walking with their babies. We have a growing national network of parent and baby walking groups – helping parents connect with each other and explore their local areas with their babies in tow. Whether you loved the outdoors before you had a baby, or whether you’re new to walking, we want to show you that getting out walking with your baby is totally possible and feels downright awesome.
What inspired you to start Blaze Trails?
Klara: For me, it was an easy decision as I enjoy going for walks in local parks/forest. I’m Mum to two small girls and finding opportunities to meet other mums in similar situations was becoming increasingly difficult. I noticed that there wasn’t really any walking groups in the areas so I started to do some research and found Blaze Trails. I requested more information and went from there.
Katy: I’ve always loved walking and wanted to get outdoors during my mat leave, but was surprised when I couldn’t find any parent and baby walking groups near me. So I started my own local group with friends in North West London. Before long, friends of friends and then strangers were turning up, and I realised there was a big demand for a community of parents who wanted to get outdoors together. We now have over 20 parent-led walking groups around the country!
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Where are your favourite places to go for a walk?
Klara: A lovely 8km walk around Draycote Water. It has majestic views, fab spots for a picnic and hard surfaces which means no mud. This is followed closely by Irchester Country Park which is a beautiful forest with lots of entertaining areas for kids of all ages. We are also very familiar with our local Daventry Country Park, great for exploring and feeding ducks.
All of these walks have excellent pushchair access and can be rounded off nicely with some quality time with the kids in the playground.
What areas of Northamptonshire do you cover?
Klara: I live in Daventry and we are on the border with Warwickshire, our walks cover everywhere in Central Northamptonshire between Daventry and Rushden.
You can join our local Northamptonshire walking group on Facebook to connect with other parents who like to get out walking with their babies. You can join a group walk, meet up in a paired walk with a Blaze Buddy, or find local inspiration for walks near you.
Katy: If you live further away in Northamptonshire or another county and you’d like to set up your own local group then get in touch here and we can support you.
What does the future look like for Blaze trails?
Katy: Our priority is to empower even more parents to get outdoors with their babies. New local groups are popping up every week – I think after this hard year people are so keen to reconnect, and as new parents, it’s important to have local friends who can support each other. We’re also developing our website to be the go-to resource hub for parents wanting inspiration and information on how to get outdoors with their baby. Stay tuned!
How can I get involved with Blaze Trails?
- Join your local group, or start your own group. We provide training and you’ll join a lovely community of Organisers.
- Share your walking photos with us on social media and we’ll feature you to inspire other parents: Instagram @blaze.trails
- Visit our website for resources and information on getting outdoors with your baby.