Newsletter > Newsletter archive > December 2010
Should we be concerned about the spending review?
We cannot expect footpaths to be exempt from government cuts but the scale of some of the changes are beginning to look worrying. The Ramblers reports that some councils are proposing to cut their Rights of Way budgets drastically; in fact some are threatening to make their entire footpaths team redundant. It is easy to see the maintenance of footpaths as a soft target, far better than cutting hospital staff or the police. But the longterm damage could be significant as expertise is lost and volunteer groups fail to pick up where the professionals leave off.
On a very practical level, it can be much more difficult for a volunteer to negotiate with a landowner than someone who has the clout of the county council behind them. Here at Walkingworld we report at least one problem a week to council teams and in almost every case they get straight onto the case. If losing your local Rights of Way team is something that concerns you, now is the time to get in touch with your council to find out what their intentions are. You can find out more about the national situation on the Ramblers website.
The goverment is also suggesting that it would like to sell off many of the forests and woodlands currently managed by the Forestry Commission. Any sale would come with a requirement for the new owner to continue to allow public access and clear-felling would certainly be prohibited. But amenities such as visitor centres, mountain biking circuits and marked trails would almost certainly prove to be unviable under private ownership. The fact is that the type of forest and woodland we like to walk in does not offer a great return on investment in purely financial terms, but it does in so many other ways. If you feel strongly about the issue you can sign a petition on campaigning website 38 Degrees
Present-buying been on hold?
We were well and truly snowed in at Walkingworld HQ for more than a week. It does tend to happen if you live at 1250ft above sea level on an exposed Cumbrian hillside but even so it seems a little early to be having the true winter experience. Fortunately we were well stocked up with food, a few cases of wine and enough wood pellets to feed into our boiler. Our electricity supply held up (it can get a bit dodgy in bad weather) and our internet connection stayed on, so we weren’t altogether cut off. And the hills around us blanketed in pure white snow were very beautiful.
If like us you’ve not quite caught up with your present-buying duties, you might find a Walkingworld gift subscription just the thing. You can buy one without going anywhere! The process is nice and simple. All you do is pay for a subscription and then print out a sheet to send to your ‘giftee’. They join the site and get in touch with us when they’re ready and we pop the subscription onto their account. Buy someone a gift subscription
If you’re after some bits of outdoor kit, either for yourself or for others, you can get 10% off at both Blacks and Millets (excluding only GPS devices and gift vouchers). The codes to quote on the websites are dhgg for Blacks and reds for Millets. Both are valid until the 20th December.
A new service allows you to register your phone so you can send a text to 999 in an emergency instead of making a call. This can be very helpful in remote regions as text messages need shorter bursts of signal strength than a voice call, so a text may be the only way to summon help. Of course you can send a text to a friend or relative asking them to call 999 for you but a direct text message is a much surer way of getting your message through. Details about the service and how to register your phone can be found on www.emergencysms.org.uk. Registering is incredibly easy to do and is better done now than when you are actually in an emergency situation.
Snow or sun? You choose...
Does the fact that the country has been blanketed with snow fill you with excitement at the thought of walking on snow amid majestic alpine scenery - or do you long for leisurely days beneath a warming sun? Whatever your preference, holiday company Inntravel has ideas to please everyone.
If you love the beauty and drama that snow and mountains bring together, head for Switzerland and the idyllic and traditional villages of Guarda and Kandersteg – where you can partake in special winter walking weeks and snowshoe/activity weeks in early 2011.
But if you've really had enough of the cold, why not fly south and spend a quiet week walking across the scented slopes of Gran Canaria, or on a relaxed walking discovery of the coast of Almeria in Andalucia, famed for its deserted beaches and year-round bathing. Alternatively, opt for a rail journey to three of southern Spain's iconic cities, where Inntravel’s detailed walking guides will lead you on moments of discovery.
To find out more about holidays in the snow or in the warmth of southern Europe, order your Inntravel brochures online, or speak to one of their experts by calling 01653 617929.
The Outdoors Show 2011
The Outdoors Show that has taken place in Birmingham for the last ten years has moved to London. For the first time the show runs alongside the Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show and the newly formed The London Bike Show. It takes place 13-16 January, at ExCeL London. Tickets are valid for entry to all three shows, so if you are into bikes and boats as well as walking it’s particularly good value.
As usual there are plenty of activities and lectures by well-known outdoors people. If you want advice on anything GPS you’ll find our friends from GPS Training there (stand OU932). They’ll be selling all the latest Garmin devices, with some good bundle prices, plus they can show you how to make the most of Garmin’s ‘Basecamp’ route planning software. It’s a good opportunity to compare the Garmins with alternatives like the SatMap, the Lowrance Endura range with Quo, and Memory-Map’s new Adventurer 3500.
We have a special offer on tickets to the show. Individual tickets are just £12 (instead of the on the door price of £18), or 2 for £22. To get the discount quote the code 'WALKING' on the show website or when calling 0870 405 0447.
Richard and Alex Johnson will pay your Walkingworld subscription if you book a holiday with them for 2011. Now in their seventh year running walking holidays from their restored farmhouse in the beautiful Lot department of France, you can find out more about them at www.jardin-segala.com. Quote “WWD” when booking to qualify.
Our quest for the provenance of a rhyme about the Wrekin in last month’s newsletter has drawn a blank. But Sam Roebuck’s mates came up with another poem called ‘Up the Wrekin’ by Robbie Kennedy Bennett and this one by Edward Lear:
There was an Old Man of the Wrekin
Whose shoes made a horrible creaking
But they said, 'Tell us whether,
Your shoes are of leather,
Or of what, you Old Man of the Wrekin?'