‘Understanding a map creates a new sort of relationship with the outdoors’

Sales of Ordnance Survey’s maps and adventure apps have soared this year, as people reconnect with the beauty and history on their doorstep

One of my strongest childhood memories is of sitting in the back of the car with a map. On long journeys it was my job to trace our route with my finger and call out directions (even though my parents knew exactly where we were going). I can remember that almost magical feeling of power and responsibility, as if somehow I was the one in control, that we would go where my finger took us. That’s where my love of maps began.

When I got older, I joined the Scouts and I remember proudly getting my navigation badge. With it came the realisation that everything you need to understand the landscape around you – mountains, forests, lakes and rivers – folds down into something you can fit into a rucksack.

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