Wiltshire Ramblers

at the heart of walking in Wiltshire

Printable Programme Oct 17 to Jan 18

For those who like to download the leaflet version click here.

Notes from the Chair

As the notice for our Annual General Meeting says, the AGM has become much more than just a business meeting, over recent years. It’s now another welcome social gathering, when members from all of our activities can get-together – Sunday and weekday walkers, heavy and light gangs, the committee and especially all who just support Ramblers’ work and aims.

Primarily, of course, the AGM gives all members an opportunity to hear what your committee has been up to (!?), ask questions, make suggestions, elect new committee officers and members, and indeed show support and appreciation to the committee for the work each member voluntarily contributes.

As in recent years, we hope the ‘business of the day’ can be dealt with expeditiously, following which this year we again look forward to a talk by New Forest Ranger Craig Daters on life in the Forest. (Craig was unavoidably detained and could not get to last year’s meeting). After any questions, all present will be able to meet and chat over light bites and with drinks available from the bar.

So please do come along on 21st November (see Diary Dates) for an enjoyable and informative meeting. This year there will be a few committee posts to fill, or confirm, but all Group members are invited and welcome to offer to take over from current holders, some of whom may welcome a break. I, for one, will be standing down this year; after four years as Chairman, it’s time to allow somebody else the opportunity to steer the future of our very active Group. Do you have any likely nominations, offers or suggestions?

It is a bit premature for a valedictory, but I would like to thank all committee members for the contributions they have made, during my own tenure of office. Also all walk leaders and heavy gang members for ensuring that we have had both full Walks’ Programmes over recent years, and again this winter, and so many clear and safe footpaths and ‘furniture’ to walk on.

Talking of which, the problem of ticks and Lyme disease has come to attention again recently, especially in the New Forest. So do bear the risk in mind and walk leaders – do warn walkers when there is a particular risk due to damp and overgrown paths.

Remember the 4 Cs – Cover-up arms and legs, Care through undergrowth, Check for ticks after a walk, Consult a doctor promptly if you feel unwell, even if sometime after a walk. (Well, there had to be an acronym didn’t there!)

We have useful aide-memoire cards to keep walkers informed. But please don’t let all that spoil some excellent and bracing walking this coming winter. I look forward to seeing you at a full house on November 21st in the S.& S.W.S.C. Best regard to all members,

John Foskett

Notes from the Chair

This time just a few reminders. But first, on your behalf, our thanks go again to Pat and Leslie for their sterling efforts organising our regular social activities - the successful Christmas lunch and the Quiz night in April. Also to Ruth Croxall and Keith for again organising their long Weekend walking in Cornwall in March and to Richard Manchee for bravely laying on his third walking ‘holiday’ in the Alps.

First may I draw the attention of all current and future walk leaders about  keeping the ‘pack’ together and pausing regularly to allow the tail end to catch up and rest.Take time to enjoy the surroundings and the wonderful views available. Also placing ‘markers’, left and right, when crossing busy roads. 

Secondly, there are always ongoing threats to our footpath network. We are lucky to benefit from the sterling work undertaken by our Footpath Secretaries - Graham, Norman and also Patricia Dashwood and their work gangs – always in need of extra pairs of hands. Fly-tipping has very much come to our attention recently, as well as path maintenance.

 With that in mind, Patricia has let me have a reminder on how to report such incidents, and indeed all footpath maintenance requirements, direct to Wiltshire Council – rather than having to involve committee members. In brief – ‘Google’ Wiltshire Council and select ‘REPORT’. From the drop-down menu select ‘REPORT LITTER OR FLYTIPPING’ etc. as applicable, and then ‘REPORT ANOMYMOUSLY’, the following steps then revealing, eventually, a report form to fill in.

Alternately, one can register more formally on ‘My Wiltshire’ and report through that channel, getting feedback on the actions taken in due course . . . . . if you have the time!!

What next? Don’t forget Richard Manchee has also offered to organise a shorter, 4 mile, walk on the first Wednesday each month through the summer, on a trial basis. Check the programme if you would like something less strenuous, or need to get back up to full fitness after a break.

The First Aid workshop last January was very successful, with 20 members spending a Saturday morning learning more about essential first aid, and enjoying a pub lunch afterwards.

I am now intending to organise a Walk Leaders’ workshop later in the year, to complement Cathie Burnett’s map reading workshops, as mentioned in Anne’s recent e-mail/newsletter to members. Do let me know if you or any of your walking friends are interested, whether with good intentions to offer to lead walks or in need of a bit of re-training!!

 AND FINALLY, the AGM is on the horizon, in November, and as also mentioned by Anne we are looking for new people with fresh ideas on the committee to take over from any committee members who may feel they have ‘done their bit’, including me! Have a chat with any committee member if you are able to help run your Group and ensure it continues to be as active and successful as it has been for very many years.

That’s it for now. The weather’s improving, so again I wish you all an enjoyable summer’s walking.

                                                                                                                      John Foskett