WALKING is the key to a healthy, wealthy nation says Huddersfield's MP.
Barry Sheerman is now calling for extra investment to open up Britain's countryside.
The Ramblers' Association says about 527m walking trips are made to the British countryside every year - generating £6bn.
Mr Sheerman said: "Walking is not only good for the health of individuals, but also to the economic health of local communities."
He added: "We must ensure that enough resources are made available, so that as many people can benefit from the new right of access."
Mr Sheerman is demanding that money be spent to open land for access under new rules introduced by the 2000 Countryside and Rights of Way Act.
But he added: "We must ensure that access to the countryside is properly opened, managed and maintained."