11 October 2020
37th AGM of the South Devon Ramblers Group is coming up. If any members of South Devon Ramblers havent received the initial notification please contact the Secretary or Chair. Please check your junk mail filters before calling.
10 September 2020
Coronavirus update 2
Applicable to England & Scotland: As an organised ‘outdoor physical activity events’, Ramblers and Walking for Health group walks are exempt from the restrictions on social gatherings, known as the ‘rule of six’ in England (from 14 September).
More details on the Rambler national website.
10 September 2020
Coronavirus update 1
Currently awaiting advice from the Ramblers national office regarding the governments reimposition of restrictions on gatherings.
Watch this space!
5 September 2020
Dartmoor Way Virtual Launch
Subject: Fw: Dartmoor Way plans for Virtual Launch - message to Devon Ramblers Groups
Dear Devon area Ramblers and walking groups,
I am sending this email to update you on the status of the Dartmoor Way. I hope you will share this information with your walking group.
As you know, as a result of lock down, we had to cancel the planned opening event and walks festival in May 2020. Much of our work preparing walking maps, route descriptions and updates to web pages was also put on hold. However, as restrictions were relaxed we were able to complete the development of our our plans to maintain the route. We have provided maintenance packs to the 8 walking groups who are each looking after a section of the route. In recent weeks these groups have been sending out teams to check on the condition of the route and in general things are looking good. We hope to have completed a full survey of the route later this month – in time for our planned ‘virtual launch’ on 26/27 September.
I imagine you are wondering what is a ‘virtual launch’. Well you may have heard that there have been some problems in and around Dartmoor caused by inconsiderate members of the public not following the countryside code when out walking. As a result of this we have agreed with the National Park that our launch will be low key – so no TV or radio coverage. Instead you may have seen the ‘big walk’ article in the latest issue of the Ramblers Walk magazine, which features the route. We are also planning to launch a new website, which will include a downloadable brochure, route descriptions, maps and GPX files (some drafts are attached to this email for you to see what is planned). There will be a video entitled ‘A day on Dartmoor’ and further videos over following days. Web pages released as part of the virtual launch to cover such subjects as: about us, history, countryside code and transport info.
We expect a future release of web pages to cover such subjects as: accommodation providers, where to go for food and drink, other useful business links, information on disabled access and links to volunteer’s videos. You will appreciate that we deferred including information on business providers since many of them are presently looking at an uncertain future.
We are also still hoping to hold the previously planned launch event and walking festival and have pencilled in the first bank holiday weekend in May. However, this is of course subject to Covid developments and we will take decisions and keep you informed nearer the time.
If you have any question please revert to Michael Owen or myself.
Best wishes, Trevor Walker
18 August 2020
The Planning of Walks
Members will be aware that a new programme of walks is under construction for Winter 20/21 and this will run from November through to the end of April 2021. Our Walks Coordinator, Nicky Ward, has already put out an appeal for offers to lead walks. In the interim, there is a programme of walks listed on the website. The list can be printed off but we have not done a print run of these though Eric does have a few that Nicky printed off to pass around.
Members may not be aware that for many years the Oh So Easy (OSE) walks, targeting those who prefer to take a more gentle approach to rambling, usually involving a three mile route without steep hills, have been compiled by Verity Vass. In her lovely gentle manner, she has coaxed walks out of leaders and taken this segment off the Walks Coordinator making life a little easier. It was very appropriate that Verity take this on as it was her husband Stans idea to offer this type of walk and we all feel the OSEs constitute a hugely successful strand of our operations.
Verity would now like to hand over this role and before you all switch off thinking we are asking for a volunteer, I can announce that Janet Evans has offered to do the job!
Eric: " Soon after joining South Devon Ramblers I heard of Verity and her late husband, Stan, who was a former Chairman of the group and instrumental in the creation of the John Musgrave Heritage Trail. I quickly understood the high esteem in which Verity is held and why she is much loved by all of us in our group and Devon Area in general.
Having organised the OSE walks for more years than she cares to remember, Verity has understandably decided to pass on the baton. I am sure you will join me in thanking Verity for her major contribution to SDR and wish her many more years of walking with us.
I would also like to thank my wife Janet for taking on this role and wish her well."
And now an appeal for support from Janet:
"I will do my best to carry on Veritys successful format of offering a varied programe of OSE walks on the first Tuesday of every month. These will continue to be easy-paced 3 milers, over level terrain ( no Jaw Bones Hills) and once COVID restrictions permit, finishing with the opportunity for refreshments.
I am now looking for leaders old and new to carry on the tradition of this much loved element of the SDR walks programme. Please get in touch with me if you can help."
4 August 2020
This summer The Ramblers are running the #FeelMore challenge, celebrating the freedom to enjoy walking properly for the first time in months!
Join in the #FeelMore summer challenge for a chance to win prizes from Cotswold Outdoor!
See national Ramblers website for full information.
30 July 2020
Very welcome news - Group Walks
England & Wales: All activities can resume – including group walks up to a maximum of 30 people. Always follow the latest advice, and practise physical distancing.
See national Ramblers website for full information.
25 July 2020
Restarting SDR group walks
Your committee have spent some time discussing the restarting of group walks and in this we have heeded the detailed guidance from Ramblers Central Office. Their advice is evolving and of course we will continue to consult with them.
While we realise many members have already enjoyed their own walks, either with family or increasingly, in ‘bubbles’ of six, some people may feel ‘left out’ so we are keen to restart cautiously with a limited programme of walks before the summer ends.
There are firm rules under which we will be able to walk again officially under the Rambler umbrella. It is worth noting that there is an enhanced insurance covering leaders and volunteers, provided of course we abide by these rules! Eric has ensured that all our current walk leaders are correctly recorded as required by Central Office in order for them to benefit from the insurance.
The summary here needs to be considered alongside the official guidelines and the main documents are posted as downloads on the INFO section. These are:
· A brief guide to restarting walks
· Booking systems*
· Leading Group Walks
· Risk Assessment
If anyone wants to see these and is unable to download or print off as they wish, contact Tessa on firstname.lastname@example.org
At first glance they appear onerous but we have trialled some walks under these conditions and feel confident enough to go ahead tentatively.
*Re Booking systems: by all means read the guidelines from Central Office but in order to reduce the burden for walk leaders, committee have agreed to set up a centralised booking system which will help enormously.
Our Walks Co-ordinator, Nicky, did have a programme ready to roll out but of course we can make no assumptions about leaders being prepared to accept these conditions, the extra work it involves or indeed, feel confident enough if they are shielding or have a vulnerable family member.
If when you have read this summary of what it entails, plus the documents posted on the website, you feel you would be willing to lead a walk, please get in touch with Nicky who will coordinate the offers. Nicky’s contact details, so you have it to hand: email@example.com
*Nicky will be work to control the booking in for walks, though clearly needing to liaise closely with leaders. She will also centralise Risk Assessment forms.
Janet: firstname.lastname@example.org has kindly offered to liaise similarly with OSE leaders volunteering to lead walks.
We envisage rolling out gently, a month at a time and depending on how people feel about leading, it may not be a full programme in August. Any walks organised for August will be posted on the SDR website and a paper copy will NOT be printed as we anticipate more changes to the rules for walking in groups to emerge.
So, basically, what leaders now need to do additionally to their usual preparation is:
· Complete a risk assessment (see website) This is a simple tick-sheet and amplifies what you would normally do as a recce beforehand. The form does draw attention to factors such as strategies to distance walkers etc
· Remind participants at the start of the walk about the Health and Safety guidelines, eg the need for distancing, point out places along the route where care needs to be taken not to crowd, advise to use sanitiser appropriately etc
· Dissuade people from sharing food, equipment such as poles, and remind them of physical distancing. Stiles and gates: take sanitiser to use. If your route has a place where a helping hand would be required, best to re-think your route.
· Car sharing is also to be avoided.
· Ensure a note is kept of who is walking, their contact details (yes, we are allowed for this purpose, see guidelines) so that in the event of a Track and Trace requirement we can assist without a problem. This may well be covered by the central booking system mentioned above but leaders will need to be sure they record participants in case of any sudden changes!
· Contact Nicky, or Janet for OSE walks in the first instance to discuss procedure, proposed route, limitation on numbers as a leader may share leadership and offer two groups of 6.
I do know Nicky has a couple of offers already so we are off to a good start. Do please consider offering to lead so we can get together again, albeit under these restrictions!
1 July 2020
David Hinchliffe, after almost 10 years as secretary of the Devon Area Ramblers is standing down. David has given a significant amount of his time to promote the cause of Ramblers, serving with exemplary professionalism on Area Council and staying on long after he had expressed the wish to direct his talents elsewhere.
David is a speaker on many subjects and is a published author. He has a Poirot like drive for detail and an incisive mind. Details of his latest book can be found here.
30 June 2020
Restarting Rambler Activities
If you have not already checked with the official position on www.ramblers.org.uk or in the June newsletter, you may like a summary of how things stand at the moment regarding rambling:
Path monitoring and waymarking activities were given the green light from 10 June, though the recommendation is to do these individually or in pairs. Car sharing is presumed to infringe the social advice distancing so best avoided.
Group walks, social activities and team work remain suspended though under certain conditions, small groups of 6 may resume. However, following discussions with Area Council, leaders of other Rambler groups in the Area and our own committee, it has been decided NOT to restart a formal programme of walks for South Devon Ramblers at this time.
Disappointing as this is, it is clear that many of our members are organising bubbles for walking in groups of 6 or fewer and this seems to be meeting the need to get out and enjoy our wonderful environment with some fellow walkers. It is heartening, too, to hear how inclusive people are trying to be and if anyone feels left out, I urge them to pick up the phone and either organise something or see if they can join a few friends on their walk.
These informal arrangements are not an official Ramblers activity and you should always exercise good walking and health and safety practice. Just to be clear, when walking as a group of friends like this, each is responsible for their own conduct and safety.
Once we feel restrictions have eased sufficiently, we will put together a programme and this will be announced on the website in the first instance.
11 June 2020
Coronavirus - Latest from Ramblers national office. Note that this advice is updated frequently.
20 April 2020
The South West Coast Path Association will miss out on funding from the London Marathon this year but have come up with a way to help us support them. It is within the permitted guidelines, a local walk of 2.6 miles, or thereabouts, along your local part of the coast path. If you are not close by the SWCP they suggest you can walk a similar stretch in another way, even around your garden!
For full details check out the SWCP website and look for the 2.6 challenge. A few of us are supporting in an individual way, obviously we are not allowed to walk en groupe. They are looking for donations of £2.60 or even £26 and hope some sponsorship will swell the fundraising.
11 April 2020
Devon Ramblers Photo Competition - See Info then Downloads
We are invited to enter our photos with all the other Devon Groups
8 April 2020
Coronavirus - Updated advice from The Ramblers.
24 March 2020
Coronavirus - the latest Ramblers advice
21 March 2020
Independent walking – how to find a route that suits you
It’s important we act responsibly at the moment and follow government advice on social distancing – while this sadly means no group walks, we’re still being encouraged to stay active and spend time in nature.
You can find over 3,000 brilliant walking routes on our app and website.
Independent walks are a distinct experience to walking in a group – they’re a chance to connect with the outdoors in a different way and you’ll probably see more wildlife along the way too! We hope you enjoy them until we can get back to led group walking.
Please check the FAQS for our current advice about independent walks. We would love to hear about your experience of independent walks and see pictures you’ve taken while you’re out there – send them to email@example.com.
17 March 2020
Ramblers GB is suspending all volunteer activities from Wednesday 18 March 2020. This includes group led walks, Walking for Health schemes, all training including walk leadership training, path maintenance working groups, coach trips and holidays, meetings, group and social events. All Ramblers activities must stop until further notice. This applies from Wednesday 18 March, to at least until 31 May, subject to further developments.
16 March 2020
With the spread of coronavirus the Ramblers are following government updates and latest NHS advice closely. For now, our group walks and events are continuing as planned. Please visit the coronavirus page on the Ramblers website for the latest updates.
4 March 2020
Fish Supper at Rockfish NOW CANCELLED.
16 February 2020
Ramblers - Devon Area Council Vacancies
Devon Area needs volunteers who can offer the skills and energy to carry out the following rewarding roles. We will provide all the training and support that may be needed.
Area Secretary/Assistant Area Secretary
Area Footpath Secretary
Full details of all vacancies are available on the Devon Ramblers website at:- Devon Area Vacancies
South West Coast Path - April 2020
Dates for your diary: Jenny B and Tessa S will lead the sections from Combe Martin to Woolacombe om two dates: Mon 20 and Wed 22 April. On the Tuesday 21 April the proposal is to enjoy a day trip to Lundy island.
A group rate allows us a slight reduction in the price of £42pp (£39 per person seniors) but names are needed in advance. As I have already 10 names I can make a group booking and will do this before the end of February. Please let Tessa know if you wish to join us on the trip to Lundy, a full day from 10.00 to 18.00, subject to availability. More information from Tessa on 07961 355059
The price will depend on numbers but will be less than the standard £42pp if on the group booking. The ticket is non refundable unless the captain cancels due to bad weather. Individuals wishing to book independently - £39 pp for seniors.
The two sections of the coast path are a mangeable 5.5.and 7.5 miles respectively but the route is yet to be recced!
7 February 2020
Ramblers Campaign - Dont Lose Your Way.
We have until January 2026 to save our historic rights of way.
Well over 140,000 miles of public paths criss-cross England and Wales. This network has evolved over centuries with many paths dating back to medieval times - or earlier! These paths link villages, hamlets, roads and towns – they describe how generations before us travelled to the pub, field or shops and reflect the changing patterns of human interaction with the landscape.
To this day, millions of people across our towns, cities and countryside, use this fantastic network. However, miles and miles of our public paths are unrecorded and if they are not put on the map by 1 January 2026, they will be lost for ever.
20 January 2020
Walk Leadership Training
I have been contacted by James Austin, who is really looking forward to travelling down to Devon from Central Office this week to deliver walk leader training sessions in Barnstaple and Exeter . Unfortunately, there have been a number of late drop-outs, which means that there are a few places free on the Exeter roadshow which haven’t been filled by the waiting list.
If you know anyone who would like to attend but may not have got a place when the sessions sold out originally, they can sign up here: https://ramblers.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=047a740bc05a3ab9ab3ac3ac5&id=61e0401217&e=827b35dfc4
8 January 2020
Devon Highlights 2019
3 December 2019
21 November 2019
South Devon Ramblers make headlines on the Ramblers national website.
We have been advised by the North Devon group for dog owners to avoid the Eggesford Forest area due to a possible outbreak of Alabama Rot. If you and yor dog have been in the area please consult your vet for advice.
Christmas Dinner Dance Friday December 13th 2019
Venue:- Churston Golf Club, Dartmouth Road, Brixham. Contact Jackie or Janet. See Info/Downloads for Flyer and Menu.
31 October 2019
Todays walk around Broadhembury has been cancelled due to weather conditions.
Walk 31 October
If you are thinking of joining us for this walk, a few directions here: best route is to go as far as Cullompton junction, J28 off the M5. Take the A373 towards Honiton but only for a couple of miles. Drive past Horn Cross and Post Cross but take next left as road bends right. Keep stright on this minor road for 2.5 km (approx). Look for sign saying Forest Glade. The car park is actually called Rhodedendron car park (depsite the lack thereof) and if it is full there are a couple more close by on the same road.
The walk takes us to a lovely village -Broadhembury - but it is basically only 6 miles. The ascent after lunch stop is steady, nothing too arduous. 5 or 6 stiles. If you have had enough after 6 miles we arrive back at the carpark but have extended the walk for a further 2 miles for those who want their full quota.
21 October 2019
Agenda for the 36th Annual General Meeting is now available here. All members are invited to attend.
Congratulations to Tessa and Bev on the birth of their gorgeous granddaughter Violet Rose Love and best wishes from us all at South Devon Ramblers.
Wednesday 6 November 2019
The 36th Annual General Meeting of South Devon Ramblers will be held again this year in the Isadora Duncan Suite at The Redcliffe Hotel, Paignton commencing at 7pm. There is good parking and a bar.
The minutes of the previous meeting, held in November 2018, are availbale to read under About Us/Committee Minutes
Chairman Eric will review his very full first year in post as well as opening the booking for the 2020 holiday in the Lake District.
Any nominations to work on the committee please in advance to the Chairman or the Secretary.
Please support if you can - it means a lot to the hard working committee!
South West Coast Path 2 - See Events tab/Social & day trips for details.
Contacts Arthur:- firstname.lastname@example.org Tel:- 01392 876376 Mob:- 07779 286707 or
Tessa:- email@example.com Tel:- 01803 203564 Mob:- 07772 068689
Devon Countryside Access Forum
We are advised by Area that there is an interesting opportunity for members to become involved in representating the interests of walkers by taking a role in the Devon Countryside Access Forum. In the past we have had Ramblers members on the Forum but not at present and we would certainly like to have a voice there in future. Applications are invited for the next cycle.
If you are interested please look at the Devon Area Countryside Access Forum website and get in touch with either Eric or Tessa. We have the role description and the person specification details but would like to know of any interest, ideally before the Area Council meeting in November 2019 so that we can flag and take the necessary actions.
South West Coast Path
Thirteen members set off on Wednesday 21 August from Minehead to walk the very first leg of the South West Coast Path. We had a glorious day, perfect weather and reasonably easy going along the 10 miles to Porlock Weir. The scenery is truly spectacular, the terrain quite varied but we all agreed it had been a fantastic start to an awesome challenge. Only 620 miles to go.
If you are interested in joining us for parts or even the whole, or if you would like to offer to lead a section (no recce required!), do get in touch as dates in October are being set for the next sections.
Please note: for logistical reasons members are asked to book in rather than simply turn up on the day.
More information from Arthur Cole who has jumpstarted the project. Tessa can also advise. There is a mailing list circulating to those who have either participated already or who have expressed interest in joining in at some point and if you wish to be included let us know. You do not need to be an Amazonian walker but the sections are of the longer walk type, often hilly of course, but truly exhilarating!
We have been asked to share this news with members in the hope there may be interested parties there who want to have a say in the shaping of the future strtagey for the Dartmoor National Park. Please click on the link to read more about this.
SDR have been asked for volunteers to help with a guided walk for a group of partially sighted people and their guide dogs during a walking week beginning September 16th 2019.
If you would like to help out please contact Eric.
The following link will give you access to the new Ramblers app where you can see Walksfinder, latest members offers,
features and articles amongst other features.
26 April 2019
Advance notice of holiday to the Lake District 2020
We have booked via Grey Cars a six night stay at the Riverside Hotel in Kendal.
We travel on Sunday 6th September 2020 and return on Saturday 12th September.
It is planned to offer long and short walks on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with a day off to do something different on Wednesday.
19 April 2019
I attended an excellent General Council in Manchester last weekend.
A moving and rousing rendition of the Manchester Rambler, based on the mass trespass on Kinder Scout in 1932, opened the conference.
The future is in safe hands with our CEO Vanessa Griffiths and her senior management team.
There were encouraging and inspiring closing remarks by the CEO and the Chair of the Trustees Kate Ashbrook who confirmed the theme of the conference which is to transform the Ramblers to be more relevant in the modern world.
4 February 2019
The Greenway to Dittisham ferry is temporarily suspended due to essential maintenance work of the slipway at Greenway.
See www.greenwayferry.co.uk for updates.
19 December 2018
We are advised that the Dartmoor Way project which is nearing competion is in need of volunteers. More information of the roles can be found on the website http://www.dartmoorway.co.uk
13 December 2018
Dartmoor National Parks Authority news item on the new clapper bridge.
7 December 2018
The long awaited clapper bridge over the Western Wella Brook has now been installed.
It is funded by Totnes and South Devon Ramblers in collaboration with Dartmoor National Park Authority.
A brass plaque has been made and it is planned to fix it in place on Monday December 10th at 11.00 am.
If you can make it then you are welcome to join us. We plan to meet at Shipley Bridge at 10.00 am.
If either the date or time change then an update will be posted on the website and Facebook!
12 November 2018
13 October 2018
Dartmoor National Parks Authority public consultation period for the draft Local Plan.
30 June 2018
Bobs Viewranger starter guide now available to download.
4 June 2018
Charges for parking at four of Dartmoor National Parks car parks starts today. More information here.
30 April 2018
13 April 2018
Representatives from Brixham Bay Walks (part of Walking for Health which helps people to lead more active lifestyles), addressed this weeks committee meeting. Their flyer can be downloaded here
11 March 2018
Devon Area leaflet available to download here..
11 February 2018
Link to national Ramblers Walk Leader Checklist added to our How to lead a walk page.
25 January 2018
New detailed route descriptions added to our John Musgrave Heritage Trail page.
5 January 2018
Problems getting to the start of a walk? Using a postcode? Beware of its limitations. See our advice on our Guidance for Walkers page (point 10).
20 December 2017
2017 Impact Report now available
30 November 2017
Seventeen years ago today an Act was passed that revolutionised access to the countryside in England and Wales – the Countryside and Rights of Way Act. Now we can walk on much of our mountains, moors, down, heath and common land. But few people know about their access rights and knowing where they can and can’t walk. The Ramblers have produced a guide to open access land.
15 November 2017
The Future of Access - take the Rambers survey
11 July 2017 - Two Moors Way
There is now a website for the Two Moors Way www.twomoorsway.org
The link appears on our LINKS page
HEALTH and SAFETY ISSUE
The committee have responded to suggestions that it is deemed advisable for members to carry essential information when walking. Fortunately instances of a rambler having an accident or falling ill are very rare and we are well versed in how to contact emergency services. However, essential medical information would also be helpful in these cases and it would also be good to know who to call and have this information readily to hand.
A simple information sheet is now available and being given out by Val. We have also sourced an A6 size clear plastic pocket to hold the sheet and keep it dry. The information you provide is seen only in an emergency by those who are at the scene.
There is no cost to members, nor is it in any way compulsory but we all feel this is a very sensible precaution to take.
Any further info from any member of the committee.
Walks Partnership: www.thewalkingpartnership.org.uk.
South Devon Ramblers has recently joined The Walking Partnership. This new partnership, supported by Ramblers Walking Holidays, provides direct financial contributions to our group to help with organising group walks, encouraging people to get out walking, helping to clear and improve footpaths, providing equipment to help walkers etc. Over the past 65 years, Ramblers Walking Holidays has given many millions of pounds to assist walking charities and conservation projects in Britain and the countries they visit on their worldwide holidays. Now our group can benefit directly.
Ramblers Walking Holidays operate group walking holidays in the UK and all around the world. Each holiday is accompanied by a qualified walks leader, so you can leave all the organising to them and just enjoy meeting like minded people and of course, some fantastic walking. Holidays are graded in terms of difficulty, and there is a full range from sightseeing right up to hut-to-hut mountain treks. Take a look at their website on www.ramblersholidays.co.uk or give them a call on 01707 33113
Remember when you book to quote the name of our group, and we will then receive a contribution of £10 per person on UK holidays, £20 per person on short haul holidays, and £30 per person on long haul holidays. This extra funding could really make a difference to us!