North Wales Ramblers Walking Festival - update
The Ramblers groups in North Wales have got together and agreed to hold a Walks Festival this summer. You may have seen the notice about this in the latest North Wales Rambler newsletter.
The Festival will take place from Saturday July 28th to Sunday August 5th and aims to offer a wide range of walks across the whole of North Wales area. All in all over 50 walks are being run by the ten North Wales groups. The Festival is being launched on Saturday July 28th with a number of different walks from Llanfairfechan. Although this is a long way from our patch, it is hoped that some members will decide to go along to support the launch. In the following eight days, the Meirionnydd Group is hosting four walks of very different lengths, grades and themes during the festival; a leisurely 3 mile walk with a Roman theme; 5 miles near Harlech with a focus on the castle and the area's history; a moderate 7 mile walk near Dolgellau visiting some old Quaker sites; and a strenuous 10 mile mountain walk in the Moelwyns. This will provide opportunities for all our members to take part in the Festival if they wish to. You'll be able to see details of these walks in the N Wales Area walks booklet and, of course, on the programme page on this website.
There will be extra publicity for the Festival walks as we hope to attract new walkers, including families with older children on one or more of the routes. To make it easier for people to come along, our Festival walks will start from places with plenty of car parking and, ideally, public transport links.
Forthcoming Meirionnydd Ramblers meeting dates
Committee Meetings 2018
- Friday July 20th
- Thursday October 18th (note change of date)
Please note that committee meeting dates are provisional and may be subject to change. For further information about forthcoming meetings or minutes of previous meetings, please contact the group secretary.
- AGM 2018, Saturday October 27th at 10 am in the Village Hall, Llanelltyd. NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE.
For draft minutes of the last AGM, click here.
Bring and share social evening
Tuesday October 2nd is the date for our next group social event. We are grateful to Rita Thornbery for offering to take on the organisation of a ‘bring and share’ evening that will follow the format that we used last year when Jean Napier gave us an interesting illustrated talk on the drovers’ roads. Provisional arrangements for 2 October are for people to gather at Llanelltyd Hall from 6.30 pm, bringing with them a variety of tasty food for all to share following an illustrated talk that Sheila Cole has kindly offered to give starting at 7 pm. The talk will be entitled 'Thomas Pennant's tour of Merioneth, 1781, Cear Drewyn to Barmouth' and will give an interesting historical perspective on an area we know and walk in today.
The event will be open to friends and family and whilst there will be no charge to attend, we shall invite donations (and possibly hold a raffle) to cover the small cost of hiring the hall so if you have any items that would be suitable for a raffle please let Rita or one of the Committee have them. Should we collect funds in excess of those needed for the room hire we shall, as last year, donate them to a local charity. We do hope you will come along and support this event which is a relaxing way to meet up with walkers and non-walkers alike. Further details will come out by e-mail (or by post for those who prefer to be contacted this way) nearer to the date. Thanks to both Rita and Sheila.
The committee is considering ideas for future events. If you have any suggestions for things to do or places to go which you think would interest members, please let us know.
From time to time we organise leader training, for both new and experienced walk leaders, and first aid courses for leaders and walkers. You can read about our current training plans here. We will also alert you to training and development opportunities in and around the area organised by Ramblers GB or Ramblers Cymru.
Walk Leader Training
We are planning to hold a repeat of our “Workshop for Walk Leaders and Prospective Walk Leaders” which last took place in April 2016. This will be a friendly and informal discussion, for Meirionnydd Ramblers members, when we can share ideas about best practice and offer support to new and prospective leaders. Details will be circulated nearer the time. You can read the guidance notes drawn up after the last discussion here.
In addition, regular Volunteer Development Days are held by Ramblers GB, which often include sessions on walk leading. These range from basic guidance sessions to more advanced workshops on how to deal with difficulties and challenges. There is also plenty of guidance available in the Walk Leader Toolkit on the main Ramblers website.
First Aid Training
We occasionally run first aid courses for walk leaders, potential leaders and other interested members of the group. A number of members have recently attended such a course which they unanimously agreed was excellent, as well as enjoyable. We expect to run a similar course in 2019; please contact the group secretary to register an interest. Priority will be given to those who trained in 2016 and who wish to renew their qualification but if the course is oversubscribed, another will be organised at a later date.
Ramblers Cymru Training Events
Ramblers Cymru are hosting a number of training events across Wales. Topics include Short Walk Leader training, Public Rights of Way training, Navigation Skills and a Practical Maintenance Workshop. Click here for details.
Members' News Update from the Meirionnydd Group Chairman – June 2018
I must admit, when I first came to write this month’s newsletter I was a bit stumped as to what to write about. Of course, there’s always the weather which has been so much better in the last few weeks! And there’s the plentiful walks I’ve enjoyed recently - solo, with friends or with the group; in the countryside or up in the mountains; nearer to home or farther afield. But this all led me on to thinking about why I love walking so much and what we all, as individuals, get out of walking with the Ramblers. So I looked back to some answers members gave me when I asked this question a while ago.
Our group includes people who have lived in the area for years and have been members since the late 1980s. Others have moved here and joined the group quite recently, so it was interesting to see the common themes running through the answers. For a start, it’s no surprise that the benefits of the exercise were highlighted, along with “the pleasure of being outdoors in all weathers”. There’s nothing to beat the feeling of satisfaction you get when you relax after a good ramble in the hills. As for walking with a group, on a purely practical front you have the reassurance that there is safety in numbers “both to help avoid accidents and to help if there is an accident”. Then there’s the pleasure of visiting a wide range of different places - it’s “a great way to see the area we live in”, and walking with the group means that “you walk in areas you might not otherwise see”.
Friendship and shared knowledge are also strong themes in people’s reasons for walking with the group. There is usually someone around who can tell you about the wildlife, history, geology or even the mythology of the places we visit. For a recent member, group walking brings “new friendships, laughter, inspiration and adventure”. To sum it all up, “we have a great friendly crowd and I enjoy group walks as a social event and an exchange of ideas”.
And, of course, the views are wonderful. Meirionnydd is a beautiful part of Wales, with its mountains and valleys, woodland, moorland and coast and I for one never fail to be overawed by the scenery around us. Even if the mist obscures the more distant views, there’s plenty to look at closer to hand - in the flora and fauna, the streams, rivers and lakes, the farms and buildings and historical remains.
And don’t forget to support the North Wales Ramblers Walking Festival and the four group walk leaders participating in the event between July 28th and August 5th. The walks will all be listed in the walks booklet and published online along with nearly 50 other Festival walks hosted by the other North Wales Groups.
Perhaps even if you don’t usually come out with the group this will all inspire you to give it a try!
With best wishes and in anticipation of a summer full of walks.
Jacky Cross, Chairman Meirionnydd Ramblers, June 2018
Members update from the CEO of Ramblers
Ramblers CEO, Vanessa Griffiths, regularly issues a newsletter to volunteers, with lots of information about Ramblers activites, priorities and campaigns. If you are registered with Ramblers as a volunteer and have chosen to accept email updates, you should already have received a copy. If not, click here to read the latest edition.
Photos from some recent walks
As usual, hover the pointer on the top picture for information and click on it for an expanded view.