Newsletter - December 2018

Xmas Bells

Seasons' greetings from the committee of the Wiltshire LDWA

Xmas Bells


In this month's newsletter:

  • Remembering Mark Rendall;
  • Annual General Meeting (AGM);
  • Adrian's Exmoor Extravaganza;
  • LDWA Local Groups' Weekend;
  • Pewsey Downsaround (PDA);
  • Winter Walking;
  • Sunday Parking in Wiltshire; and
  • Forthcoming Walks



Remembering Mark Rendall


Kissing gate location

The kissing gate to commemorate Mark Rendall has been installed on Giant's Grave and it will be officially opened at 1100hrs on Saturday 1st December.

The plan is to park at Clench Common (grid reference SU183644 on OS Explorer map 157) and make our way over to Giant’s Grave (grid reference SU170633) for 1050hrs.

We will have a short ceremony, raise a glass to the memory of Mark, then Dorothy Rendall will untie the ribbons and unveil the plaque and be the first person through the gate.

The ceremony will be followed by lunch in the Royal Oak at Wootton Rivers at 1230hrs. Diners will be contacted directly so they can select their meals ... by midday on Monday 26th November.



Annual General Meeting (AGM)


Details of the Wiltshire LDWA Annual General Meeting 2018 are as follows:

  • Date: Sunday 2nd December 2018 (following a walk and xmas meal)
  • Venue: The Seven Stars, Bradford Road, Winsley, Bradford-on-Avon, BA15 2LQ

As per the 3-year rule in the group's constitution, the Treasurer and Walks Secretary roles need to be re-elected at the forthcoming AGM.

  • Richard Hotchkiss has been invited to fill the role of Treasurer vacated by Carol Holmes; and
  • Andy Todd is willing to serve as Walks Secretary for a further year.



Adrian's Exmoor Extravaganza


From Lesley Bellis:

"On 26th October group members gathered in Selworthy in Somerset for our annual weekend away organised with great care and attention by Adrian.

On Friday afternoon he led us to Selworthy Beacon, braving the elements with a roaring sea on one side and spectacular hills to the other. Five minutes of hail followed by five minutes of rain saw us safely back in our hotel in time for tea, and a dilemma! We were almost in Devon, so did we put the jam onto our scones first or was it the cream? Being a difficult Geordie, I wanted butter!

We arose to bright blue sky on the Saturday morning, and after organising our packed lunches we all boarded a coach to take us to Dunster, from where Adrian marched us up the steepest - almost vertical - incline any of us had attempted, We were immediately rewarded with spectacular views over to Wales, and the views continued as we got higher and higher to our destination at Dunkery Beacon.

On Sunday we drove in convoy to Withypool and another lovely walk along the Rive Exe to Tarr Steps, where we just happened to stumble upon a cafe selling coffee and cake. Once fortified with our favourite food we set off again through woods and meadows back to the start where Adrian had alerted a cafe to expect a horde or hungry walkers. We were asked to sit outside the cafe (can’t think why) and were brought platters piled with cake.

Very many thanks go to Adrian for organising another superb walking weekend and also to Carol, without whose canny handling of our accounts these weekends away would not happen. See you all in Shropshire next year!"


Exmoor Extravaganza

From Adrian Crocker:

"21 members enjoyed a wonderful weekend away based at HF's Holnicote House in Selworthy. A walk was arranged on each of the days exploring different parts of Exmoor. The weather was dry and sunny. The northerly wind kept the sea mist away giving us far reaching views of the Exmoor landscape. The food and the house staff was exceptional, coupled with evening entertainment added up to an excellent weekend.

Following the success of last month's Exmoor weekend, I am proposing that we go to Shropshire next year. The details are as follows:


Date: 18th - 21st October 2019
Location: HF, Church Stretton, Shropshire
Full Board: 3 x dinners, 3 x breakfasts and 2 x packed lunches
Accommodation: Licenced bar. Ensuite rooms with tea/coffee-making facilities
Walks: 3 days walking plus evening activities
Cost: £240 per person (may be less depending on numbers of attendees)
Deposit: £75 per person to be paid by 7th February 2019


My proposal will be discussed at our forthcoming AGM."



LDWA Local Groups' Weekend


I spent last weekend representing the group at the LDWA Local Groups' Weekend just outside Chatham in Kent. The weekend was thoroughly enjoyable throughout. There were workshops on both evenings to discuss matters such as the grading of walks, using social media, sharing places where groups shop, Strider content and rewarding members. There was a choice of walks on Saturday. I chose the excellent 20-mile route through Capstone Country Park, Chatham, Rochester, alongside the River Medway and along part of the North Downs Way. Our leader, Stephanie, got us back just as darkness fell. Sunday morning was spent in a meeting, where the following were discussed:

  • Date protection - Groups will need to appoint a data protection officer. This can be one of the existing committee members;
  • Group chairs will assume the additional role of Safeguarding Officer;
  • Cost saving measures, including groups being expected to raise funds for important/essential projects that the LDWA has planned;
  • Groups will be required to complete a register of those taking part in their walks, which will need to be kept for 3 years;
  • Groups will be invited to help carry out footpath repairs on long distance paths that are not national trails;
  • How the LDWA can help protect the environment;
  • The one-stop shop for organising 100s, which will be published shortly; and
  • The new LDWA logo - You are invited to vote for one of the options shown in the latest edition of Strider magazine.

Regarding the proposed new logos, I suggest you watch the following video in which David Morgan explains the rationale behind the choices:!AioTqui0w-dLgTqhJW-34b7i6RT4.

A lot of hard work is going into the running of the LDWA at a national level, with a lot of hard decisions being made to ensure the LDWA is ready for the next 50 years. I was impressed by what I heard, particularly the rationale for the choice of logos, and I look forward to attending next year. Special thanks must go to the event organiser, Julie Cribb and her daughter, Hannah, not least for the delicious food they prepared.

Finally, throughout the weekend I was asked whether the Wiltshire 50 would become a regular event, and a qualifying event for the Hundred. There was strong support from the NEC members and the other group representatives, with neighbouring groups offering to run checkpoints.



Pewsey Downsaround (PDA)


Registration for this popular event opens on 1st December 2018. For further information, please visit our Pewsey Downsaround 2019 - Information page.




Winter Walking


From the South Wales LDWA Facebook page:

Is your rucksack ready for winter? The weather is changing, so now is the time to check your rucksack to ensure you carry the right items for the season ahead. You will need:

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers;
  • A fleece (or other warm layer);
  • A working torch or head torch with spare batteries;
  • An emergency survival bag;
  • A whistle;
  • Hat and gloves;
  • An emergency food item. Something high in calories e.g. chocolate, flapjack or nuts. It can be a good idea to have something you don’t like that much to ensure you don’t snack on it;
  • A waterproof bag or waterproof rucksack cover to ensure all the above stays dry; and
  • Essential item: ICE card with your next of kin and medical details. You must carry one of these on group walks.



Sunday Parking in Wiltshire


Parking will remain free on Sundays across the county, after Wiltshire Council made a last minute U turn and announced it would not introduce the unpopular parking fees. The move comes after criticism of the plans, including a petition against the weekend charges that gained popularity over the weekend. Thousands of residents and local businesses signed the petition to express their concerns that the charges would drive visitors away from high streets.

Also worthy of a mention is the fact that parking is free again at car park next to The George PH, alongside the Kennet & Avon canal at Bathampton. The machines and signage have all been removed.



Forthcoming Walks


Finally, here's the usual look ahead to all the group walks and challenge events that are taking place this month within a 50-mile radius of the geographical centre of Wiltshire.


Date Name Type Mileage Organiser
Sun 2nd Dec 2018 Get Weaving Group 9ml. Wiltshire
Sun 2nd Dec 2018 Group AGM (after morning walk) Group 10ml. Dorset
Sun 2nd Dec 2018 Moulsford and Compton tour Group c20ml. Thames Valley
Sun 2nd Dec 2018 Of Silk & Cloth Group c20ml. Wessex
Wed 5th Dec 2018 Parklands & Palaces Group 9ml. Bristol & West
Sat 8th Dec 2018 Christmas Lunch at the Old Duke and Walk - Event Details Updated Group 11ml. Bristol & West
Sat 8th Dec 2018 Christmas Walk & meal Group 12ml. South Wales
Sat 8th Dec 2018 Meon and Butser Group 17ml. London
Sun 9th Dec 2018 Pre Christmas Walk Group c15ml. Wessex
Sun 16th Dec 2018 A Royal Ring Group 17ml. Wiltshire
Sun 16th Dec 2018 St Nicholas is coming! - Event Details Updated Group 16ml. Dorset
Thu 20th Dec 2018 in Richard Jefferies steps Group 17ml. Wiltshire
Sat 22nd Dec 2018 Dursley Lantern Walk (and a bit) Group 18.5ml. Bristol & West
Sun 23rd Dec 2018 East of Greenham Group c17ml. Thames Valley
Wed 26th Dec 2018 Round One Group 14ml. Dorset
Sun 30th Dec 2018 Avon Gorge and Failand Group 13ml. Bristol & West
Sun 30th Dec 2018 Post Christmas Workout Group 18ml. Wessex



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That's it for another newsletter. All our newsletters are available via the Wiltshire LDWA website. If you have anything to contribute to future editions, please can you get it to me by the 20th of each month. I look forward to seeing you out on our group walks this month.

Warmest regards


Secretary of the Wiltshire LDWA