The weather in the Essex area during the Winter months has been quite kind to us. We have not had many days where the frost has lingered all day long and there was only one shallow layer of snow on 12th January. As usual though the muddy fields and deep wet grass has at times been awkward to ramble through. But with Spring in the air now, we can look forward to cleaner boots (perhaps) and pleasant walking for our April to July Walks Programme. As well as our regular four walks per week on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, we include evening walks on Tuesdays in June and Thursdays in July (see menu at the top of our Homepage).
You may notice a small number of changes to our website e.g. the new photo at the top of the Home Page, showing our Group on holiday last August walking along the Aberglaslyn Path in N. Wales. We are building up quite a large collection of photographs taken by our members and intend to refresh our web pages with new ones more often. Also on the Footpath Matters page we have written an easy to follow guide for reporting footpath and general Public Right of Way problems to Essex County Council. We really hope more walkers will get in the habit of making complaints to ECC whenever such problems are encountered. It helps to ensure the Essex countryside stays open for our walking pleasure.
In our last Newsletter we said that the C&B Group will undertake a full survey of the Chelmsford Centenary Circle and make a comprehensive report of all problems encountered. The Circle will be divided up into linear sections of 5 or 6 miles and surveyors will work in pairs. We are currently asking for volunteers to do the first survey this Summer with a repeat to come later in the Winter period. That way we should cover most types of problem that occur throughout the year. We also have a longer term ambition to set up a Group working party to go out on a regular basis to carry out repairs to footpaths, stiles, fingerposts etc. Around six to eight volunteers for this are being sought. All equipment, materials and training will be provided.
We are very proud that two of our Members were awarded certificates at the Essex Area AGM for their work in surveying some sections of the Essex Coastal Path. The RA is assisting Natural England, whose ambition is to have this Path fully open by 2020.
All members of the C&B Group are able to enjoy a full Social Programme along with the normal weekly walking activities. Before Christmas we had our ‘Mince Pie Walk’ followed by Carol singing. There was of course the Christmas Dinner, which is always well attended and enjoyed by all. For the forthcoming Spring and Summer we plan another four Coach Rambles - to Ely, Wrest Park in Bedfordshire, Whitstable to Canterbury and Knole Park in Kent. As for the past couple of years we shall be posting video footage of these days out on this website. There will be a special evening event in mid August - a Thames Barge trip up and down the Blackwater Estuary.
During the first week of August 53 of our Members will enjoy a walking holiday based in Bath. With accommodation in the University Hall of Residence we are planning long and short walks every day within a 25 mile diameter around Bath. All transport is being provided by a local coach company.
If you are attracted by our various activities and would like to join us and perhaps become a C&B Member, do come along to one or two of our walks first. Alternatively please come and meet a small group of us on Saturday 20th May, when we shall be setting up a display stand in Remembrance Square, just outside Chelmsford main Library.There will be information posters, photographs, Membership application forms and freebies to take away. But most of all we are happy to chat with you about our Group. The stand will be on static display for the rest of that week, so do visit anytime.
We always welcome new walkers to the Chelmer and Blackwater Group.