The Chelmer and Blackwater Group fully supports the nationwide Ramblers Association www.ramblers.org.uk in its objectives to promote walking and respect for the countryside. We are one of 19 Groups in Essex, coming under the local care of the Essex Area Ramblers www.essexarearamblers.co.uk
Our Group started in 1986 to serve RA members living in the central region of Essex, roughly defined by the Chelmer and Blackwater river valleys. The 20 founder members came from the West Essex and Brentwood Groups, with Kevin Ascott, our first Chairman sent out on a 'mission' to organise a new group. Since those early days, the C&B membership has grown considerably.
We organise 4 walks a week on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, which makes us one of the most active groups in the Ramblers' Association (RA).
We walk mainly in the Essex area, but frequently go into neighbouring counties to extend our range of walking interests. Usually we travel to walking venues by car, sharing when we can. Coach trips are organised every month from Spring to Autumn as well as week-end and week-long holidays as part of our social activities. We also meet up with other local RA groups for Essex area joint events.
The Wednesday, Friday and Sunday walks are for a full day, of length 10 to 12 miles starting at 10.15am. Saturdays are half-day walks of 5 to 6 miles starting at 1.30pm. On full day walks we nearly always stop at a pub at lunchtime! Walks are usually circular but sometimes are figures of eight.
The turnout on walks varies quite a bit. Some days there may be 5 or 6 people out on a walk, other days it can be as many as 30. Whatever the numbers, you can guarantee a very enjoyable walk led by experienced leaders. We are a mixed bunch of characters from all 'walks' of life who enjoy each others company and very much welcome new walkers to our Group. You can always try out two or three walks freely with us first, to see if it suits you, before becoming a member.
RA walk leaders will always guide you safely and responsibly, but individuals must behave sensibly and walk at their own risk
HOW TO JOIN OUR GROUP
If you enjoy walking in the countryside and would join us on walks, perhaps becoming new RA members, then why not click on this www.ramblers.org.uk/join link which describes various joining options.
Go to the "Other ways to join" paragraph and click on "Complete a joining form" to view the RA Membership Form. You can then print off this form and post your application. On the line which asks you to which group you wish to join, please write the ‘Chelmer and Blackwater’, although you are of course free to join any group of your choice.
Full C&B members receive a comprehensive Walks Programme and Newsletters covering all aspects of walking and our social activities. It is efficient for us to send these by e-mail, but you can have it posted if you prefer. Once a month we also e-mail out the Essex Area Update, which gives you more news about rambling activities in Essex. From the RA you also receive two publications the ‘Walk’ magazine and ‘The South East Walker’ by post.
WHAT TO BRING ON A WALK You will need boots, enough warm clothing and waterproofs. A suitably sized rucksack is the best way to carry things. It is advisable to bring food and drink for lunch and snack breaks during the day. Many of us choose to have lunch at the pub, but it is usually not possible to eat your own food on the pub premises unless special permission is given by the walk leader or publican. The main rule is that if you use pub facilities then at least buy a drink. Please note our policy is not to allow dogs, other than Registered Assistance Dogs, on our walks.
A QUICK GUIDE TO FEATURES ON THIS WEBSITE'S MENU
Walks Programme This is also planned and laid out for a four month duration and can be found by clicking on Find-a-Walk in the menu. Six figure Grid References and Post codes are given to help you find the start venues. Another click shows a map with various display options.
You can get further ideas and hints for locating the start of a walk by clicking on "Locating the Start of a Walk". On this page there is also a link to a page describing various free mapping programs.
The Walks Programme is always kept up to date should there be any amendments to the details, eg change of venue or cancellation due to bad weather. The latest are indicated under ‘Stop Press....’
Walks Reports Most of our Group holidays and special walks are written up in reports and kept in this archive.
Photo Gallery We invite people to send walking pictures to this site by e-mailing them as jpeg attachments, to this address firstname.lastname@example.org (it may be necessary to split them between 3 or 4 e-mails). Alternatively, copy them to a CD, DVD or Pen-Drive as jpeg images and contact the website editor at the above address to arrange for the disk to be sent or delivered. Please limit the number of pictures per album to 25 in order to keep the site a manageable size. With many keen photographers sending in their pictures, we like to keep a selection for display, including the slide show on the Home page. Photos are also included in Walks Reports.
Footpath Matters For reports of Rights of Way issues in our Area and a link to the ECC for making complaints about footpath and access problems experienced when out on walks.
Useful Information Membership of the RA allows us discounts from certain retail outlets. There are links to other rambling related websites.
C&B Members Only This is for the exclusive use by Members to find details for booking on social events, Committee contact details, a walks diary for leaders, a very large archive of photographs (contributed by Members) and other useful information.