Newsletter > Newsletter archive > August 2014

August 2014


Historic win for Norfolk coastal path
RSPB ReserveThere has been a notable victory for campaigners at Snettisham in Norfolk to regain access to a footpath running along the beach in front of a caravan park. With the path not marked on the map as a public right of way, some park home owners had claimed that the land was private and put up signs and gates to prevent walkers from using it. After a lot of research and the collation of historical evidence, the parish council were able to demonstrate that the path had been used for generations by the public and even by royalty.

An 84 year old told the public inquiry that his relatives had been excited to meet Princess Margaret one day on that very stretch of coastline. In fact some of the residents of the caravan park gave evidence in support of the path being re-opened, citing its long use by local walkers. We were able to help in our own small way by providing the number of downloads of Joy and Charles Boldero’s Walkingworld walk in the area, which was routed along the beach-side path to an RSPB reserve before signs excluding entry went up a few years ago.

The re-opening of the path completes the Norfolk coastal path and we’ll be able to amend our walk route details back to the original once all the obstructions have been removed by the council. It’s a timely reminder that just over ten years remains for the inclusion of paths on the definitive map of rights of way. The cut off date is 2026 and after that no more public rights of way can be registered, ever. The Ramblers Association is running a ‘Don’t lose your way’ campaign to make sure that historically used footpaths do get added to the map. It’s also a good time to check that your own local footpaths are not going to be lost forever. As the Snettisham example demonstrates, the legal process should be started sooner rather than later, partly because it’s time-consuming but also because the evidence of older generations can be crucial.

Memory-Map launch waterproof smartphone GPS
TX3For many people being able to carry just one electronic device on a day out walking would be the ideal. For several years it’s been possible to use a smartphone as a GPS, thanks to apps from the likes of ViewRanger, Anquet, Quo and Memory-Map which all show proper OS maps and your current position on them. Although these work fine on a standard Android or iPhone mobile in fine weather, it gets a little more worrying when the heavens open. And of course most posh smartphones don’t take too kindly to being dropped.

Memory-Map have just released a rugged and waterproof Android phone which will run their digital mapping app, along with any others you may have. As always the significant questions are whether the phone and GPS functions are easy to use and do what you want, how well the batteries last and how much the whole lot will set you back. We’ve been trying out Memory-Map’s new TX3 device – read our review to find out whether it’s actually any good.

Autumn walking in the Alps
AlpsAlthough we’re ever-hopeful of a warm ‘Indian summer’ here in the UK, September and October are usually seen as the very best months for walking in the Alps. Locals say that the mountains return to the walkers, and besides the tranquillity, the weather is relatively settled and the views are wonderfully clear (it can often be hazy at the height of summer). Fresh mountain air, warm sunshine, authentic mountain restaurants with tasty game on the menu, well-waymarked paths… autumn in the Alps is a joy.

Inntravel’s walking holidays in Austria give you the chance to enjoy all this and more, and the quieter trails also provide a better opportunity of seeing wildlife such as marmots, chamois, wild boar and deer. If you’re lucky, your visit may even coincide with the Almatrieb (transhumance or ‘cow train’), which gives rise to colourful celebrations in many of the villages: cows are decorated with wreaths of flowers as everyone takes to the streets to see them return from the high pastures – these are uniquely Alpine festivities!

For a wide choice of walking holidays across Europe this autumn, visit inntravel.co.uk or speak to Inntravel’s expert team on 01653 617034.

Austria’s Lakes & Mountains
- Hotel-to-hotel, self-guided walking holiday
- Prices from £595pp, inc 7 nights’ bed-and-breakfast accommodation, 5 dinners, detailed route guides & maps
- Flights extra (direct to Salzburg from several UK regional airports)
- Available from now to 26 October 2014

Walking a long way to school
Himalaya pathAt Easter six primary school students from Bristol walked to school for the experience of a lifetime. The 9 and 10 year olds from Westbury-on-Trym Primary Academy took part in the school’s fourth visit to their link school in the village of Singdi, 1700 metres up in the Lamjung District of Nepal. After a full year of preparation they and their parents joined Pahar Trust Nepal trustee Tim Mitchell and his wife Leigh on the trip, setting out from Pokhara by jeep before trekking to Singdi over 3 days. Each night they slept in different schools, all built by the Trust. With 4-5 hours of trekking between each one they arrived at Singdi where they stayed for three nights so they could meet and learn with the Nepalese children and take part in sports and dances. A trek down to the village itself on one morning reinforced how different life is for these children, many of whom walk for 2-3 hours to school and back.

The trek back was shorter and steeper with an 850 metre descent to a river valley before a local bus negotiated a very twisty mountain road back to Pokhara. Tim reports that all the children and their parents coped very well with the trekking at a very hot time of the year. The group have already enthused younger pupils at the school with tales of the very different life they experienced; walking to school has taken on an entirely new meaning for them.

The Trust has over 100 schools in Nepal and would welcome enquiries from other schools who would like to set up a link with children from the Himalaya. www.pahar-trust.org

September Events
The Kirkby Stephen Beer’n’Bangers Festival, complete with Walkingworld sponsored ceilidh, takes place on the first weekend of September. If you can make it to our part of the world you can combine some good food and drink with excellent music (including top London folk band Skinny Lister and Cumbrian ceilidh band Long Meg) and a bit of wandering amongst our superb Upper Eden scenery. More information about the festival can be found at www.ksbab.org.uk, while accommodation and walking ideas are on the Kirkby Stephen Walkers are Welcome Walkeden website: www.walkeden.org

The fourth Soho Literary Festival, returning to take up residency in the Soho Theatre from 24-28th September brings together an eclectic line-up of journalists, novelists and literati. A highlight of the festival will be a discussion between Simon Jenkins, Chairman of the National Trust, and Loyd Grossman, Chairman of the Heritage Alliance. Using a series of stunning photographs the two will discuss the variety and beauty of the English countryside, from Hadrian's Wall to the Yorkshire Moors and the coastal landscape of Cornwall.

On Saturday 13th September The Dame Vera Lynn Trust for Children with Cerebral Palsy invites you to ‘Take a Walk on the Child Side’ by walking from Arundel to Brighton to raise funds for the babies, children and families that benefit from the charity. The event will be started by Sophia Warner, Paralympic athlete. With two distances of 35km or 12km starting from the spectacular Arundel Castle, the walk will span the magnificent landscape of the South Downs before finishing at Devil’s Dyke on the outskirts of Brighton. 

Member news
David Coleman is High Sheriff of Derbyshire this year and is undertaking a fundraising walk around the Derbyshire County Boundary, the aim being to create a long distance footpath known as The High Sheriff's Way. He started on 1st August and will take 16 days over 6 weeks, finishing in early September. Anyone is welcome to join in on the latter stages of walk and help support the Peak District Mountain Rescue Teams. His website www.derbyshirehighsheriff.co.uk has further details.

Chris Peebles-Brown will be walking 275 miles from Cardiff to Conwy Castle, following an unmarked route called The Cambrian Way. The route passes through the highest and wildest parts of Wales with a total ascent of 60,500 feet (18,440 metres).  During the three weeks he will be wild camping as much as possible and to make it even more of a challenge he aims to be completely booze free. Chris is raising money for the mental health charity Mind and also aims to promote the benefits of walking and the great outdoors as a natural remedy for anxiety and depression.