North Wales Ramblers Walking Festival
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 be from Saturday July 28th to Sunday August 5th and aims to offer a wide range of walks across the whole North Wales area. The Meirionnydd Group hope to put on at least three walks of different lengths and grades during the Festival and are looking for ideas and volunteer leaders/helpers. We would especially like to offer walks with a special theme or visiting places of interest – we have lots to offer in the area, with ancient sites, old tracks, historical buildings and churches, mines and quarries, not to mention wildlife and amazing scenery.
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 need to start from places with plenty of car parking and, ideally, public transport links.
More information and a request for help will be sent out to members by email. Meanwhile, please put on your thinking caps and see if you can come up with any ideas.
Forthcoming Meirionnydd Ramblers meeting dates
Committee Meetings 2018
- Friday April 27th
- Friday July 20th
- Friday October 19th
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 (provisional), Saturday October 27th at 10 am in the Dragon Theatre, Barmouth.
For draft minutes of the last AGM, click here.
Bring and share social evening
After the success of our "bring and share" evening last spring, when Jean Napier gave an interesting talk and film show about the old drovers' routes in the Rhinogs, we are hoping to hold a similar event with another speaker later on this year. Watch this space for further details.
The committee is considering ideas for one or two other events during 2018. 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. The next course will be this spring. Information will be sent out once we have more details. Meanwhile, please contact the group secretary to register an interest. Priority will be given to those who trained in May 2015 and who wish to renew their qualification but if the course is oversubscribed, another will be organised at a later date.
Members' News Update from the Meirionnydd Group Chairman – February 2018
It is customary in Britain to complain about the weather and especially about the rain. A quick Google search elicits the information that the winter of 2015-16 was the wettest on record in Wales, beating the previous record set just two years earlier. Am I the only one who thinks, or at least feels, that this winter is turning out to be even wetter? There have been many occasions over the last couple of months when I have looked out of the window and been reminded of one of my favourite stories from childhood, a Winnie the Pooh story entitled “In which Piglet is entirely surrounded by water”. The opening paragraph is “It rained and it rained and it rained. Piglet told himself that never in all his life, and he was goodness knows how old – three, was it, or four? – never had he seen so much rain. Days and days and days.” I have to admit to a great deal more than Piglet’s three or four years, but I do share his sentiments. (For any of you not familiar with the original Winnie the Pooh stories, or who met them only in childhood, I would thoroughly recommend reading them – the humour is ageless!)
But what, I hear you say, has this got to with rambling? Well, for a start, the rain, together with strong winds, has led to an unprecedented number of walk cancellations, three in the last six month programme and one already this year - and all of these cancellations were justified, not least on grounds of safety. Secondly, any of you who have been out walking will know just how wet the conditions have been underfoot; paths and tracks waterlogged, streams and fords swollen, grassy fields slippery with mud and gateways deep in muck. Last, but not least, an “iffy” forecast can encourage us to stay at home rather than get out with the group.
It’s easy to get downhearted, but I prefer to look on the bright side. The point I am leading up to is that we shouldn’t let all this rain stop us, any more than it stopped Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin from rescuing the stranded Piglet. So it’s really great to see that we’re still getting out on group walks in plentiful numbers. Sometimes we’ve been lucky and had good days, even sunny days; sometimes we’ve had to put up with showers or a bit of wind or low temperatures. Some walks have been on good tracks and lanes; on other occasions we have had to contend with all that mud. But we always enjoy ourselves and each other’s company.
Another bit of good news is that despite the weather the weekly short walks, organised by Alan, have got off to an excellent start. As well as plenty of regular walkers, they have attracted occasional newcomers together with old members whom we haven‘t seen out with us for a while. So I’d like to make a suggestion to all our members. Why don’t you come along on a Wednesday short walk and bring a friend or family member to try out walking with us? The walks are listed in the walks booklet and on this website and you can always phone Alan for more details.
I think that’s all I’ve got time or space for. I hope to see plenty of you out and about over the coming weeks.
Looking forward to brighter, longer and hopefully drier days of Spring!
Jacky Cross, Chairman Meirionnydd Ramblers February 2018
Members update from the CEO of Ramblers
Ramblers CEO, Vanessa Griffiths, regularly issues a newsletter to members, 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.