This page has all the news from the group.

If walk leaders (or any other members) would like to publish anything here please send it to the webmaster for inclusion.

Walk 15/1/19

posted 15 Jan 2019, 07:42 by Ralph Burtonshaw   [ updated 15 Jan 2019, 07:43 ]

Facebook Page

posted 29 Nov 2018, 06:34 by Ralph Burtonshaw   [ updated 29 Nov 2018, 06:35 ]

At long last I have worked out how to get our Facebook page viewable by people without a Facebook account (I had a wrong box ticked)
So now I will be making more use of the Facebook page and running down use of the web site to save duplication of effort.

Please take a look at the page by clicking here or on the FaceBook link in the left column.

Tuesday's walk

posted 8 Nov 2018, 09:39 by Ralph Burtonshaw

Thanks to Gordon for this walk on Tuesday. Unfortunately only 6 people were there.

New walks program

posted 2 Nov 2018, 07:40 by Ralph Burtonshaw   [ updated 2 Nov 2018, 07:48 ]

The program for December to March is now available here

Essex Area Update

posted 2 Nov 2018, 07:37 by Ralph Burtonshaw   [ updated 2 Nov 2018, 07:38 ]

Follow this link to see the latest edition

People not getting enough exercise from long walks – report

posted 29 Jul 2018, 03:15 by Ralph Burtonshaw

From The Guardian

Walking is just not enough, according to a new review of the evidence from Public Health England, which reveals a major disconnect between the exercise people need and what they actually do.

Those who thought 10,000 steps a day or a brisk daily trudge from a further bus stop meant they were doing enough to stay fit and healthy have got it wrong. People should also all be doing tai chi, weight lifting or ballroom dancing – although carrying home heavy shopping bags might do the trick.

Aerobic exercise, such as walking or gardening, is good for the heart and improves the circulation. PHE’s review said that muscle and bone strengthening and balance activities are also vital for health and future wellbeing, but they are neglected.

In older adults poor muscle strength increased the risk of a fall by 76%, PHE said. Those who have already had a fall are three times more likely to fall again. Strengthening and balance activities not only help prevent falls, but also help improve mood, sleeping patterns, increase energy levels and reduce the risk of an early death.

“People’s understanding of walking more and doing aerobic activity, keeping up the heart rate, has grown, but the need for us all to do two sessions of strength and balance exercise a week has been the Cinderella of public health advice,” said Louise Ansari from the Centre for Ageing Better, a charity set up with lottery funding a few years ago which jointly commissioned the expert review with PHE.

In 2011, the UK’s four chief medical officers issued guidance containing three pieces of exercise and activity advice, but only some of it has been well followed. Walking has become increasingly popular. But fewer people have taken on board the need to stand more and sit less and muscle strengthening and balance have been largely forgotten.

According to the Health Survey for England in 2016, 66% of men and 58% of women met the aerobic guideline – 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. But only 31% of men and 23% of women also did muscle-strengthening exercise and that dropped to 12% over the age of 65.

Muscles tend to be at their peak in our 30s, said Ansari, and the muscle tone is going by the time we reach 40 unless we actively work on it. The best forms of exercise, according to the review of evidence, are ball games, racket sports, dance, Nordic walking and resistance training – usually training with weights, but including body weight exercises which can be performed anywhere.

These exercise both arms and legs, strengthening muscles and helping us keep our balance. In Nordic walking, for instance, two poles are used.

Ansari said the type of exercise required depends on a person’s fitness.. “If you are a reasonably fit adult and you do walking, you should also do yoga or tai chi or racket sports or resistance training which could be in a structured exercise class. You can do two long sessions a week.

“I do an hour and a quarter of tai chi every week. That helps with my balance. I should also do something like badminton and circuit or resistance training.”

But exercise doesn’t have to be in a gym, she added. “You can also make sure you go up and down stairs a lot instead of taking the lift. That is resistance training. Your body is providing the resistance. You don’t have to go to the gym. As long as you are feeling the ache in your muscles.”

Dance of all sorts is good for muscles and balance, from folk to salsa to ballroom. “If you don’t feel you can go to a full-on dance class because you are a bit frail, standing on one leg for 30 seconds a day or tai chi are very good.”

Ansari said she doesn’t use a gym. “I don’t go and lift weights, but I make sure I’m carrying shopping home and carrying things around – consciously lifting weight.”

The advice is not just for the elderly. “Alongside aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, all adults should be aiming to do strengthening and balancing activities twice per week,” said Dr Alison Tedstone, head of diet, obesity and physical activity at PHE. “On average we’re all living longer and this mixture of physical activities will help us stay well in our youth and remain independent as we age.”

The evidence review now goes to the four chief medical officers, who will update the guidance next year.

New Walks Program

posted 1 Jul 2018, 10:06 by Ralph Burtonshaw   [ updated 1 Jul 2018, 10:08 ]

The program for August to November is available for download here


posted 21 May 2018, 02:12 by Ralph Burtonshaw   [ updated 21 May 2018, 02:13 ]

You will have received many e-mails recently from organizations regarding the new GPDR laws and confirming that you wish to remain on their databases.

If you are receiving the walks list by e-mail then your details will be held by us according to the form that you filled in here. The data held by us is just your first and last name plus your e-mail address. This will be used for sending you the walks program and newsletter and may also be used to send out urgent communications such as the late cancellation of a walk. It will not be used for any other purpose and will not be shared with anyone else. Access to the data is only available to Eddie and myself.

If you are happy to remain on our list then you need do nothing but if you would rather be removed then please contact Eddie or myself and we will see that it is done.

Essex Area Update

posted 5 May 2018, 03:48 by Ralph Burtonshaw

Welcome to the May Edition of the Essex Area Update

To link to this edition on the Essex Area Website click here

Festival of Walks 26th May - 3rd June

Since the last update a further walk has been added thanks to the Havering Group, on Sat. 2nd June and we thanked them for their efforts. Groups and Area came together for Ramblers CEO walk  in June and comments were made by members that this should happen again.This festival is an opportunity for that to occur.  To get message out a number of Groups are volunteering to use their Facebook page to advertise the events. For a small sum, set by the Groups we will be able to contact many, many people not normally accessed. We will be able to monitor the response and if reports from other Groups across the country is correct it will be positive. This is a trial the results of which we can discussed at the next meeting.

In the meantime I would ask all Groups to support those leading these walks. Get your friends together and enjoy a day with another Group getting to know them, pinching their ideas, chatting about the world, having a pint and taking the pleasure of meeting new colleagues.

Please support these walks, we all know how much a good crowd makes it all worthwhile.

Alan Goffee vice Chair

Saturday 26th May.
Linear Walk from Shoeburyness along coastal path via Thorpe Bay, Southend and Leigh on Sea, to Benfleet Station. Meet at 10.30 am at Shoeburyness Station Grid ref TQ 939850, Post code SS3 9AW. Distance 12 miles but options for shorter routes during first 7 miles. Lunch at Southend Cliff Gardens, Cafes available.
Lead by South East Essex.

Sunday 27th May.
Circular Walk from Kelvedon to Coggeshall.
Meet at 10.15 am at Pay and Display Car Park in High Street, Post Code CO5 9AA. Distance 10 miles. Lunch at pubs or cafe's in Coggeshall. 
Lead by Chelmer and Blackwater.

Tuesday 29th May.
Figure of 8 Walk from Eagle Pub, Kelvedon Hatch.
Meet at 10.15 am at Eagle Pub Grid ref TQ 570987 Post code CM15 0AA. Distance 10 miles, split evenly. Lunch at Eagle Pub.
Lead by Brentwood.

Wednesday 30th May.
Circular Walk around Abberton Reservoir.
Meet at 10.00 am at St Andrews Church, Rectory Lane, Abberton. ( Private car park ,min donation for all day £4.) Grid ref TL 997 193 Post code CO5 7NJ. Distance 10 miles leisurely pace. Lunch at EWT Visitor Centre Abberton..
Lead by Colchester.

Thursday 31st May.
Three Circular Walks from Chingford BR Station Post Code E4 6AL.
Long Walk via Gilwell Park, Lea Valley, Epping Forest, and High
Beech Meet at 10.30am at Chingford Station. Parking in Bury Road Grid ref CP395948 Post Code E4 7QJ.  Distance 11 miles . Lunch at The Owl Public House.
Medium Walk via Gilwell Park and Epping Forest.
Meet at 1.30 pm at Chingford Station. Parking as above. Distance 5 miles.
Short Walk amble around Gilwell Park with commentary.
Meet at TBA Distance 2 / 3 miles.
All walks to finish together for cream teas at URC Buxton Road E4.
Lead by West Essex Group.

Saturday 2nd June.
5 mile Walk from Chipping Ongar.
Meet at Car Park opposite Chef and Brewer Pub Post Code CM5 9QU 
Grid Ref TL 550 025 Start Time TBC

Report on General Council, Bangor 7-8 April 2018

The Ramblers’ General Council meets annually and consists of representatives from each area. It elects Trustees, reviews the previous year’s work and considers motions from areas about policy and governance. Think of it as the equivalent of a party political conference or the TUC’s annual congress.
This year’s GC was held at Bangor University and was attended by Area Chair Gordon Bird and Vice Chair Alan Goffee.  Both have submitted reports. 

To see more details of what happens at the Ramblers General Council click here to see video of the weekend
Gordon Bird
This report should be read in conjunction with Alan Goffee's report. I shall try to avoid duplicating Alan's comments.
As this was the first time I have attended the General Council many of the proceedings and people were new to me. I was mainly in listening mode although I did raise concerns with the Finance Controller regarding the approach to, and communications on, setting budgets and allocations.
So what were the messages?
First, the Ramblers is a democratic, volunteer led, organisation which must act as one team if it is to be relevant in today's rapidly shifting environment. References were made to government priorities, Brexit, local authority's cost constraints, demographic changes, a growing technological footprint, infrastructure programmes and local development plans. Many of these are familiar to us.  It is estimated there are about 9 million regular walkers in the UK, however over the past few years the Ramblers’ membership has been in gentle decline and now stands at 105,000. This brings into stark focus the questions - why is this happening? -  and more importantly - how should it be addressed? There was no time allocated to debate this issue, however the new management team led by Kate Ashbrook, Ramblers’ Chair, and Vanessa Griffiths, Chief Executive, are addressing it. 
Ramblers promotes the health and economic benefits of walking and will continue to undertake activities such as footpath maintenance, creating national trails, walk programmes and campaigning to protect the public rights of way. These are vital activities; however, it is clear this is not sufficient – we need to do more to stay relevant in today's society. We need to look outwards as well as inwards.
The Data and Digital Transformation Programme presentation from Laura Scarlett was warmly received. The weaknesses of our present IT platform are well known. Besides improving the internal workings of Ramblers, data will be warehoused and used to assist in growing our organisation. It is a three-year project; new releases will be rolled out over that period.
There were regular references regarding the need for improved communication across the organisation, something with which we are familiar.
Finances have now stabilised after repayment of the pension deficit (£1m+) and becoming a direct beneficiary of the People’s Postcode Lottery scheme. This enabled the Transformation programme to commence. However, the decline in membership will adversely affect future funding unless around 10,000 new recruits per year are found to replace those leaving. Legacy income has also dropped, increasing the need for further fund-raising initiatives.
The Trustees have a vital role in setting the Ramblers’ strategy. However, I was unable to discern how they went about this. Maybe I'll find out later.  The importance of the Area structure was also emphasised as many of the planned initiatives need Area resources and commitment if they are to succeed.
Overall I found it an informative and useful couple of days. The attendees were positive, knowledgeable and helpful. It is fair to say I have a better insight into Ramblers – and more to reflect on.
Gordon Bird, Chair, Essex Ramblers
Alan Goffee

By courtesy of Area Council, I have represented Essex at the last four General Councils. This report covers my observations over that period. Gordon was attending his first and reflects on this in his report.

At these meetings reports are made on progress over the last year, the objectives for the future, voting for the Board of Trustees, and the debating of motions from Areas and Groups. The quality in each every aspect of these has seen big improvements.
In one of the early years, it was highlighted how much had been saved by changing the paper used for the Walk magazine and what a great job the Footpath App would do. This year we had presentations on the Data Transformation Project, the need to increase the membership, our working arrangements with People’s Postcode Lottery, how we need to adjust to the changing walking environment, the reasons for appointing a fundraising manager and how the repayment of the pension deficit has been made.

This year, as in the recent past, the quality of members standing for election as Trustees, meant it was possible to concentrate on what experience the organisation needed, and not have any duplication. I think Rebecca and Sophie, who came to the Area AGM, clearly demonstrated that and their willingness to return for our next AGM shows their engagement with members.
The level of debate on the motions put forward, like for our own last year, was high, informed, balanced and non-destructive. During the years when Governance was being discussed, it was angry, strident in tone, unpleasant in content and very negative.

I came away uplifted by the fact the organisation was now facing, and not ignoring the future, it was listening to its members, it was heading in a forward direction and that it was in the right hands.

To many members General Council, The Board of Trustees and Central Office are not important. That in itself says much about the past. The next few years will demonstrate how their vision affects our organisation and why our involvement and voice must not be hidden.

Alan Goffee, Vice Chair

Have your say on the future of the Countryside

The government has launched a consultation on its proposals for the future of food, farming and the environment. This will shape the upcoming agriculture bill and have a significant impact on the future of access to the countryside. 

The Ramblers have teamed up with Cycling UK, The British Horse Society, the British Mountaineering Council and the Open Spaces Society to protect the future of countryside access. Sign our petition to ensure the agriculture bill includes measures which protect and enhance access to the countryside.

Defra Permissive Country Walks

The Countryside Stewardship, Environmentally Sensitive Areas and Environmental Stewardship Schemes help farmers and land managers protect and improve the English landscape and its wildlife.
These schemes also provide permissive access for you to visit these areas to enjoy the results. The access route is usually available for a number of years, but you will need to check the ‘access ends’ date on each site.
Click on Search for a Walk or Ride to find Walks & Rides listed by County, Region and facilities.

Asian Hornet

Potential health impact through stings; although painful, Asian hornets are not considered especially aggressive, although care needs to be taken to avoid close proximity to nests which may be more problematic if nests are in or around buildings. Queens are up to 3 cm in length; workers up to 25 mm (slightly smaller than the native European hornet. Click here for the latest information on the Asian Hornet

Beware of using postcodes

posted 27 Apr 2018, 23:59 by Ralph Burtonshaw   [ updated 29 Apr 2018, 00:38 ]

As you will know the walk details published give both an Ordnance Survey map reference and a postcode.
The postcode is automatically generated by the Ramblers website to be the nearest one to the start of the walk but in some cases this might be quite a distance from the actual start. To give you a clue of how accurate the postcode is you can look at the map on the main ramblers website and you will see a marker for the start of the walk and also an envelope to mark the generated postcode. If they are close together then you can use them in your satnav, but if, as in the example below, they are apart then please bear in mind that your satnav will leave you a long way from the start of the walk.

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