Gloucestershire Area Ramblers - News & Events

News & Events

Cotswold Wardens 'Cotswold Way Walk' - May 2014

The 102 miles of the Cotswold Way is to be divided into 10 sections of between 8 miles and 12.5 miles and will be walked on the first Saturday of each month. The walk will start in Chipping Campden on the 4th May 2014 and end in Bath on the 7th February 2015.

To download more details on walking the Cotswold Way with the Cotswold Wardens, please click here.

The Gloucestershire Rambler, issue no. 9

The latest issue of the Gloucestershire Rambler (issue no. 9) is now available to download by clicking here.

Tony Drake Memorial Event - Wednesday 22 May 2013

Members and friends came together to commemorate the life and work of Tony Drake, MBE (1923-2012) who for 60 years worked for the Ramblers’ Association in the furtherance of opening up the footpath network in Gloucestershire and elsewhere in Great Britain.

A fitting memorial was unveiled in Painswick adjacent to the Cotswold Way and a very interesting speech was delivered by Janet Davis, RA Senior Policy Officer (Footpaths), which you can read in full here.

To see photos of the event, please click here.

Monthly Newsletter - February 2013

Every year we pay our subscriptions to Ramblers. Some of us walk, some are involved with footpath activities but how many are fully aware of the many areas in which our organisation is involved and the work which is carried on by the many volunteers in our own Area. This newsletter is intended to go some way towards keeping people informed of what is happening and perhaps encourage them to play a greater part in our work. The February edition of the newsletter can be downloaded here.

Mapping for every UK Hill and Mountain on Accommodation Maps

A new website has been created for the UK Ramblers, UK Walkers and Hill Baggers, which enables you to search by place name or grid reference, for accommodation that is located nearby. Please click here for more information.

Share our Passion for Walking

The Annual General meeting of the Ramblers' Association, Gloucestershire Area, was held on Saturday 8th December 2012 at Swindon Village Hall in Cheltenham. Many thanks go to the Gloucestershire Walking Group for hosting the event.

A report publicising the event and the work of the Ramblers can be downloaded here.

Area Council

A meeting of Area Council took place on the 11th July. In addition to the usual officers
and Group representatives we were able to welcome Ray Chaney, prospective candidate for Area Secretary, and Paul Butler, RA Director of Finance and Operations.

As well as normal routine matters the meeting was asked by the Treasurer to
give further consideration to maximising the benefits of the Lillian Wise Legacy.
The Footpath Secretary reported on a project being piloted by Richard Holmes of
Cirencester Group with a representative from Ordnance Survey to enable Ramblers to
have direct input to OS mapping.

It was confirmed that Benedict Southworth, Ramblers new Chief Executive, would be our guest speaker at the Area AGM being hosted by GWG at Swindon Village Hall on the 8th December.

The meeting discussed a number of matters relating to the late Tony Drake. His footpath records were now on deposit at the County Archives, while remaining the property of Gloucestershire Area, and would be available for inspection free of charge once indexed. It was proposed that a memorial event would be organised, probably in March 2013. A number of indignant messages had been received about the reporting of Tony’s death in Walk Magazine and it was agreed that an appropriate letter should be sent to the Editor and the Chief Executive expressing Councils concern.

Paul Butler addressed the meeting giving a brief update on developments at Central Office, the key change being the appointment of the new chief executive Benedict Southworth who came to us with the reputation of being a campaigner. Greater emphasis was now to be placed upon rights of way protection and increased resources would be devoted to bringing in more members to keep the books balanced and to build strength of numbers.

Campaign for National Trails

Ramblers have responded to Government plans to pass responsibility for the 13 National Trails into the hands of local partnerships with the suggestion that a
National Trails Association should be formed, acting as a national champion and offering practical and strategic support for the Local trail Partnerships. Ramblers have offered to step in and work with Government to achieve these aims. A national body would also allow quality standards to be monitored and upheld meaning a better experience for all users of National Trails.

Ramblers campaign has so far included:
• Responding to proposals with the Ramblers solution;
• Meeting with local trail groups to gather their thoughts;
• Writing to ministers and MP’s with National Trails in their constituencies;
• Securing the support of businesses with a vested interest in National trails;
• An open letter to the Daily Telegraph signed by celebrities and other users.

On the 23rd August Ramblers launched an appeal for funds to help their campaign
details of which can be found on the website.

Isle of Wight coast path

The prospect has now been raised for the entire coastline of the Isle of Wight to be
opened up to walkers. Although currently excluded from the Government’s plans for an
English Coastal Path, thanks to a campaign for a ‘Wight Coast Trail’ led by the Isle of
Wight Ramblers, DEFRA has launched a consultation inviting the public to have their
say about its inclusion. This would mean that a stretch of coastline along 10 miles
of the northern coastline, for which there is currently no access, could be opened up.
If you want to add your name to the petition calling on the Secretary of State to agree to the inclusion of the IOW coast path you can do so by visiting the Ramblers Volunteer Website.

Ramblers Routes

An outline of proposals for Ramblers Routes was given in the last newsletter. Some of
you may now have received notification that our area together with Worcestershire,
Herefordshire and Shropshire has been selected for a launch of Ramblers Routes.

Volunteers are needed to contribute their favourite walks or to act as checkers. Workshops are being run to help independent walkers to learn the skills needed to develop walking routes. Details can be found on the Ramblers website but all workshops are being run at HF Holidays country houses with one at Bourton on the
Water on the 17th November.

Britain’s best loved pastime

Something perhaps Ramblers already know. A survey of 2,000 people revealed that Britain’s best loved pastime is walking in the countryside. It was voted ahead of reading a book in the garden and eating out. Watching football came way down at number 9 and watching TV was 10th. The survey was carried out by WWF-UK.

Cleeve group on Nottingham Hill Gloucester group in Bisley Cleeve group at Naunton