Baildon Walkers are Welcome “Sixer Walkers”

Since July, Baildon Walkers are Welcome has been offering several guided walks per month for a maximum number of 6 people. These have proved increasingly popular for people who are on their own and don’t feel comfortable walking alone and for people who do not know the footpaths around Baildon very well. A monthly e-news has been sent out at the end of each month to all those on their contacts list, with details of the guided walks on offer for the coming month. Booking is required, and when people book they are asked for the details of someone that should be contacted in the event of an emergency and to advise, in confidence, if they have any health issues which the walks’ leaders should be aware of.

The four guided “Sixer” walks in October are all fully booked. Most of the walks on offer are half a day, and between 4 and 6 miles, sometimes with an outdoor café stop in the middle. However, we have also found a demand for occasional longer walks, when packed lunches are needed.

The October walk titles have been: “A Meander on the Moor with a Café stop”; “Burley Moor Explorer” (9 miles); “Autumn Woodland Walk”; and “The Walking the Walls of Baildon”. It has been particularly pleasing to find that word about these “Sixer Guided Walks” has been spreading via Facebook and that we are able to welcome people from neighbouring towns and villages.

Chris Flecknoe, Baildon Walkers are Welcome
The photo shows some “Sixers” on a topical wood.

Walkers are Welcome Loftus – Fungi Foray 2020

Eighteen walkers set off from Loftus Town Hall on Thursday 15th October under a persistent drizzle to join the North East Fungi Recorder to carry out an examination of fungi species present in woodland known as “The  Warren” , a historic plantation dating  back at least  200 years. Over a 3 hour period the group identified over 20 species including Velvet Shank, Bloody Brittlegill , Russula Emetica , Aniseed Funnel, Birch Knight , Amethyst Deceiver and grey spotted Amanita.  Loftus say “These decomposers are fascinating organisms , many displaying exceptional colours and providing clues of tree species occupying the land through centuries. We compiled our list of species to add to the record.”

Dark skies in Upper Eden

WaW member, Kirkby Stephen, has been promoting their local dark skies experience for a number of years, including helping with children’s evening walks and creating an open space at Jubilee Park to the southern end of the town. This year they have produced a booklet giving information about where to view skies locally, what to look for and some easy night-time adventure walks for all the family. These are now available at the Upper Eden Visitor Centre and local outlets in time for the North Pennines AONB Stargazing Week 2020 at the end of the month and in time for the children’s half-term holidays.

Successful Walking Weekend for Llandysul & Pont-Tyweli

Llandysul & Pont-Tyweli say  “Our walking weekend, which we held on the 26th and 27th of September, was a lot smaller this year as we decided only to hold 4 walks and of course we were not allowed to have our usual Saturday evening entertainment or our Sunday afternoon tea.
As we are in Wales, we are allowed to walk in groups of up to 30, and all places had to be booked and contact details recorded and kept for 21 days. We were really pleased with the turnout over the weekend, there were just over 60 walkers, many of whom had not walked with us before. We also enjoyed wonderful sunny weather.
The walk leaders did sterling work to do their usual risk assessments, as well as a Covid risk assessment. Plus we are grateful to the footpath rangers from both Ceredigion County Council and Carmarthenshire County Council for clearing a couple of sections of paths, and even fixing style prior to the weekend.
We are looking forward to organising a bigger walking weekend next year.”

Elham Group Grab Plinth Publicity

The Folkestone Creative Quarter group has installed a number of plinths in town for community use so Elham Valley Walkers created this exquisite artwork which was briefly displayed today (30 Sept). Never miss an opportunity to spread the words “Walkers are Welcome”. Banksy would be proud.

Wiveliscombe Walkers Complete New Long Distance Path

Over the last year WaW members in Wiveliscombe have been busy developing a new long distance circular walk linking the 8 churches in the Benefice.
They named the walk The Brendon Towers Way in recognition of the distinctive towers that are a feature of the churches nestled amongst the Brendon hills surrounding Wiveliscombe.
Once the the route had been checked and re-checked, way marked in both directions and a leaflet with directions, map and a brief history of each church completed, it was time for the launch. This was planned for 23rd May and was to be led by the Bishop of Bath and Wells. Obviously, due to the Covid crisis, this couldn’t happen but an alternative inaugural walk was planned once restrictions were eased.
So, at 10.30am on Saturday 20th June, 38 local walkers set off in small groups of 4 or 5 from each of the 8 churches. The plan was for each small group to walk to the next church on the route and then back again. Half of each group walked in a clockwise direction , the other half walked anti-clockwise. Every church was visited and the walkers had a very jolly time passing friends along the way who were walking in the opposite direction. Everyone remembered social distancing and picnic lunches were enjoyed in the peaceful churchyards or surrounding countryside. Some walkers, feeling energetic, walked on, visiting more churches along the route. One walker complete the whole 20 mile route, visiting all 8 churches in 8 hours.
Over the last few months the new route has proved very popular and has received some great feedback. More walkers have completed the whole route in one day including Ella and Susie, both aged 11 years old. A wonderful achievement!
Brendon Towers Way leaflets are available for £1 in Wiveliscombe Post Office, Community Office and local churches.

WaW Chair at Wellington Walking Festival 2020

This year’s 9th Wellington Walking Festival took place despite Covid 19. Wellington Walkers are Welcome (WWaW), who organised the event, were delighted with the turnout for the walks. Only 3 events had to be cancelled due to Covid restrictions.

Places were limited, so all participants had booked to attend the walks and the enthusiasm for being out enjoying the diverse Ways which intersect Wellington was infectious. The weather throughout the week was perfect for walking, which added to the atmosphere. The organisers estimate that a total of over 1160 person miles were walked during the week.
WWaW were particularly happy to welcome Baz, the national chair of Walkers of Welcome, to the final walk, and also a visitor from Cambridge who stayed and walked all week as her original walking holiday in Italy had been cancelled. The image shows Baz, with camera, admiring the view from the Ercall. There are many more images on the WWaW Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WellingtonWalkersAreWelcome.

in 2021, WWaW hope the 10th Festival will return to its normal format with more varied events, and will take place, as usual, during the 2nd week of September.

Successful Stowey Clean Up Week – 12th – 19th September 2020

Local groups Stowey Walking and Stowey Green Spaces joined forces to participate in the Keep Britain Tidy Great British September Clean. This event was postponed from earlier in the year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Local residents were invited to litter pick a designated street or footpath in Nether Stowey or Over Stowey during the week or to come along, in small groups of no more than 6 people, on Saturday 19th September to the Nether Stowey Recreation Ground where they were given an area of their village to clean up.

Litter picking equipment was provided by the Clean Surroundings Team at Sedgemoor District Council, who also arranged collection of the rubbish at the end of the week.

The total haul for the week was 21 bags of assorted litter and also included an old bike frame, some broken concrete and parts of an old storage heater!

Lynne Abbott from Stowey Walking was dismayed that so much rubbish was collected from around the villages and asked everyone to dispose of their rubbish responsibly and to keep the villages clean and respectable for both local residents and visitors.

Judith Greig from Stowey Green Spaces thanked all those residents who participated and also thanked the Clean Surroundings Team for their continued support. Stowey Green Spaces carries out regular litter picks in Nether Stowey and Over Stowey throughout the year. She asks that you contact her at mrsjudithgreig@gmail.com if you would like to get involved.

Burley in Wharfedale Walkers are Welcome joins the iWharfe campaign for a cleaner river

The recent joining of Burley Walkers are Welcome in West Yorkshire to the iWharfe campaign, which aims to improve water quality along the whole of the length of the River Wharfe, links the group full circle back to its formation in 2014. The original proposal for Burley to become a Walkers are Welcome village came from the Burley Bridge Association, initiated by Ramblers UK and local walkers in 1996 to campaign for a safe crossing of the river. A public right of way across stepping stones and a nearby bridleway ford have enabled people to cross the river, said to be one of the fastest rising in the country, for decades and probably hundreds of years. On the other bank to the village lies the enticing Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with many miles of footpaths through gorgeous moorland and valley scenery. So near, but more often than not, so far! Although Walkers are Welcome have encouraged awareness of the area by leading guided walks, publishing routes in three walks leaflets and the development of a long distance path, the Welcome Way, in conjunction with neighbouring WaW groups, the stepping stones remain impassable and unsafe for many months of the year. Nevertheless in the summer the north bank, when accessible, provides an attractive spot for walkers, village residents, and others to stop off to admire the views, or paddle or take a swim. However, sewage outflows from the nearby sewage works upstream in Ilkley are now known to pose a significant risk to health for people entering the water in Burley. Thanks to the investigative work by the Ilkley Clean River Campaign, they have found in Burley that the level of faecal coliform bacteria (E.Coli) is 40 times the recommended Environment Agency (EA) levels during dry weather, and 50 times following heavy rainfall. Having received widespread media coverage for their attempts to get the EA and Yorkshire Water to take responsibility for improving water quality, they have now turned their attention to improving the whole 65 miles of the river by forming the iWharfe Campaign.
On Monday 24 August, water quality sampling took place at 60 locations from its source above Oughtershaw to the confluence with the River Ouse at Cawood by volunteer citizen scientists drawn from 80 or so community organisations such as Burley. There was great media coverage on local television that evening, and an item on BBC’s Countryfile will follow shortly. Burley Walkers are Welcome are pleased to be partners in the project and look forward to the time when walkers can take a safe well-earned paddle or dip in the river at the end of a walk without risk of taking home more than just a pleasant memory! We are also exploring the possibility of devising a walking route between Cawood and Ilkley to complement the iWharfe project, linking the Yorkshire Ouse walk and the Dales Way. Now if only there was a bridge in Burley…………!
David Asher, Chair of Burley in Wharfedale Walkers are Welcome and Secretary of the Burley Bridge Association.
For more information visit http://www.yorkshiredalesriverstrust.com/projects/iwharfe/

Talgarth’s festival had to be cancelled, so they produced a walking guide

Talgarth is a Walkers are Welcome town at the foot of the Black Mountains in the eastern part of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. The name Talgarth means ‘front of the hill’. Talgarth is believed to have been centre of the kingdom of Brycheiniog founded in the mid 5th Century. The kingdom was ruled by Brychan. It is now a friendly riverside market town, with a recently restored corn mill and bakery. It is a lively hub for outdoor activities. The area offers superb walking country, with diverse terrain ranging from the historic townscape in and around Talgarth to the northern escarpment and plateaux of the Black Mountains.  Having been unable to hold their 2020 Talgarth Walking Festival, they have produced a booklet that describes seven circular walks, which are designed to help walkers  discover some of the history, myths, and wildlife of the area and experience a wide range of landscapes.  The guide can be downloaded here.

 

 

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