RAMBLERS BRADFORD EVENING WALKS GROUP NEWSLETTER No 4 March 2014 Welcome to our fourth newsletter, which we hope will keep you up to date with all that’s going on and decisions taken at the last Steering Group meeting and the Committee Meeting.
Please see Important Notice on Who Are We? page.
WE NEED YOU
USE ‘EM OR LOSE ‘EM .............. CHERISH OR PERISH?
Yes! We are talking about footpaths and other rights of way on foot in these unprecedented times of service cuts and incursion into our local green space for residential and other developments in Bradford.
Bradford Group of the ramblers is seeking volunteers to commit to assisting present members and eventually to take a lead in the following area: -
Footpath network preservation and enhancement.
The job of Footpath Secretary is presently performed by Chris Moore who, when he retired, decided to find out about the footpath network locally having had a love for the outdoors since boyhood. Chris lists his principle activities as follows:-
Liaising with the Council Rights of Way Officers and Ramblers Central Office as Statutory Consultee for alterations to the network (stopping-up or diversions).
Inspecting proposed Planning Applications, which may affect Rights Of Way, submitting comments and negotiating or objecting when appropriate.
Conducting footpath surveys when and where problems are reported such as deliberate obstructions, unsafe stiles and overgrown vegetation; then pursuing remedial action through the Council.
Attending occasional liaison meetings with West Yorkshire Ramblers Footpath Committee, and with Council Officers and other RoW user groups to advise and influence on matters of mutual concern.
Modern on-line tools such as email make some of the work much more convenient than in the past, but there’s nothing like visiting site to get the full picture.
As well as ‘sitting with Nellie’ volunteers can learn, if they wish, from content on the Ramblers Central Office website and from attending courses provided for new entrants. Funds are available to help meet expenses.
Chris says that he still finds his involvement rewarding and has noticed over the years much heavier use of the path network. He would like to think some committed users will come forward to join in and eventually take over his work and even branch out into countryside matters and perhaps even initiate footpath maintenance working parties, which seem to be successful in some areas.
For more information on how you can get involved contact Chris on 01535 273991 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
YEAR ROUND EVENING WALKS PROGRAMME ............ TOO GOOD TO LOSE!
Bradford Group’s Evening Walks have gone from strength to strength over the last 10+ years, and have been acknowledged to be a resounding success. They have encouraged people to join the Ramblers and to discover what lies on their doorstep. Despite periods of inclement weather and dire walking conditions, they continue to be well supported and enjoyed by many. The average over this last winter was 22 per walk.
We are, at present, in need of volunteers who would be willing to help perpetuate the year round programme in the following areas: -
The group has a leader pool made up of a wide mix of people with varying depths of local knowledge and levels of experience. However, this vital resource has become depleted in the last few years for many reasons. Life changes have meant that a significant number of leaders have moved out of the area, or have become unable to continue due to health issues. They are all greatly and sadly missed and have, unfortunately, out numbered the new leaders we have recruited.
We, therefore, need to increase our leader pool and are looking for members who would be able to lead one or more evening walks, within the Bradford area, for us. Walks are of approx 4-5 miles / 2 hours in length and start at 7pm, or 7.15 pm in summer, on alternate Wednesdays and Thursdays. They are followed by a social get together in a nearby pub.
We are constantly looking to the future and realize that present leaders taking on a higher number of walks each is both a lot to ask and not the long term answer. It merely puts more pressure on current volunteers and delays the inevitable. If we are unable to maintain our leader pool, there may soon come a time when we can no longer run a full programme, with walks taking place less frequently. This would be terribly sad and could possibly lead to further declines in the future.
Leaders for Get Walking Week, Festival of Winter Walks and any daytime walks would be much appreciated also. So, too, would volunteers to back up, with walkie-talkie assistance, on any of our walks.
Help, support and suggestions for walks etc is readily available.
Walks Steering Group Members
It’s important that the organization and preparation of the Evening Walks Programme is a joint effort, rather than falling back onto one or two people. When the steering group was set up originally it consisted of 9 of the walkers who took on specific tasks and committed to attending two meetings a year. As with the leaders, the group has seen many changes with only one of the original group remaining. We have a more fluid group now and plenty of ideas, but are looking for people to: -
Be responsible for following up possible sponsors and funding for the programme.
Regularly sell tickets for social and fund raising events before, during and after the walks, and liaise with pubs regarding numbers.
PLEASE take time to consider if you could help in either or both of these areas. If so, please contact Muriel on 07981106470 or email email@example.com
BRADFORD GROUP COMMITTEE
If there is any other way in which you would like to get involved with the activities of the Bradford Group, for example as a Committee member, please contact Malcolm (Group Secretary) 01535 523743, Chris (Footpaths Secretary) or Muriel (Walks Secretary). Details as above.
A NOTE FOR WALKS LEADERS
A reminder - Please check routes with other walks leaders, who are listed in the programme as leading a walk in the same area as you. In this way we can avoid duplicating walks.
And a request - Please could leaders try to arrange back up prior to their walk. That way the job is shared out more fairly. We appreciate leading and backing up can sometimes be a bit lonely, but with forward planning two or three people can share jobs and keep each other company. Backing up only really involves keeping leaders informed of any problems at the rear, and following leader's instructions regarding e.g. closing gates.
A Very Big Thank You to ALL who have made the Summer 2013 and Winter 2013 -14 Walks So Successful and Enjoyable. Whether you be a walker, leader, back up, helper or anything I've missed - You Are Much Appreciated!