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Worcester Ramblers Logo Worcester Show - Sunday 16th August
Volunteers Required

The Worcester Show is now a well recognised and large event in the City of Worcester calendar with the tenth event to be held at Gheluvelt Riverside Park on Sunday August 16th.

With over 120 classes ranging from flowers and floral decorations to handicrafts and photography, there is something for everyone. It is a fantastic fun day out for the whole family.  As well as showcasing the amazing creativity of Worcester residents, there is music, dancing, cookery demonstrations, children's rides, crafts stalls and delicious food for all to enjoy.

For the second year running, Worcester Ramblers is jointly hosting a recruitment stand at the show with the ‘Walking for Health’ organisation in support of our efforts to attract new members.

Last year’s show was as popular as ever with attendance in excess of 6,000 visitors.

The show runs from 10.00 until 17.00 and volunteering involves talking to visitors who might be interested in joining a walking group. Basically judging their capabilities between us and the 'Walking for Health' programme and if relevant to us, explaining what our Group does and trying to persuade them to test us out by joining one of our walks. 

We will have a stall with various leaflets and promotional materials to hand out plus our own near term walks programme schedule.

Cliff D. and Jane V. have kindly agreed to set up and manage the stand and would greatly appreciate volunteers who would be prepared to spend an hour or two helping them out and giving them a bit of a break.

Are you willing to contribute an hour or two of your time to support this important activity on Sunday August 16th? 

If so, please contact Cliff D. (Chairman) via the ‘Contact Us’ page on our website.


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Worcester Ramblers Logo Footpath Problem Reporting

Footpath / Bridleway Problem Reporting

Some of you may have noticed during the redesign of our website Home page that an additional heading appeared within the footer section at the bottom entitled ‘Footpath Problems’. Underneath this heading are two sub-headings, namely ‘Worcestershire’ and ‘Herefordshire’.

Clicking on either of these sub-headings takes the viewer to the official county council problem reporting websites where issues can be registered.

If walk leaders or indeed any member of our Group encounters a problem during a recce or walk, we ask that they log this issue on the relevant website. Click on the ‘Report a defect’ tab and complete the information requested.

The system will come up with a map and ask you to pinpoint the exact location on it so please bear this in mind at the time that the problem is encountered. For example, noting an O/S grid reference identifying the precise location of the defect could be really useful for reference purposes.

A clear and concise description of the problem(s) is also of course important.

As well as filling in the website information required, it would also be helpful to email Pete Murphy (our Footpath Officer) via the ‘Contact Us’ page on our website to inform him that a new issue has been registered. Pete can then monitor progress and in some cases, especially if it affects a future planned Group walk, consider scheduling a fix of the problem as a working party assignment.

If you encounter any problems when using the county website problem reporting websites, please contact Pete who should be able to help you ’troubleshoot’ the difficulty.

Thank you in advance for your ongoing support of this request.

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Worcester Ramblers Logo  55+ & Retirement Roadshow
  Event Report


 
  Worcester Ramblers hosted a joint stand with the ‘Walking for Health’ organisation at the 55+ & Retirement road show held at the Guildhall in Worcester on Saturday March 28th.

The objective of the show was to provide an information portal, packed full of exhibitors offering information on things that people at, near or in retirement would find of interest. 

As part of the health, wellbeing and activity theme of the show, we provided brochures, promotional materials and advice to visitors who expressed interest in joining a walking group.

People who were interested in short health walks were referred to Lynn Yendell (Worcestershire Health Walks Officer) and people who wanted longer or more challenging walks were helped by our own volunteers.

Thanks are due to Jenny G., Martyn & Helen M., Jane V. and Cliff D. for their contribution towards managing the stand.

From left to right: Lynn Y., Martyn M., Cliff D. and Jane V. We think Jenny G. is hiding behind the banner!
Helen M. is taking the photograph.
 
Dignitaries visiting us included the mayor of Worcester, Councillor Alan Amos and Robin Walker, MP for Worcester. 
Lynn Y., mayor Alan Amos and Martyn M.

Cliff D. nattering with the mayor
 
Robin Walker, Lynn Y. and Jane V.
Our next recruitment stand will hopefully be at the
Worcester Show on Sunday 16th August in Gheluvelt Riverside Park
although this has yet to be confirmed.

 

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Himalayan Balsam Bash Report
Tuesday 12th May 2015
Himalayan Balsam Bash Report - 12th May 2015
The Worcester Ramblers under the guidance of the
Countryside Service and in partnership with Hallow Parish Path
Wardens and villagers recently carried out a cull of this monster
invasive plant in order further to control its spread.
20
volunteers met outside the Old Churchyard in Church Lane, Hallow to
clear the public rights of way leading down to the river Severn.
Last
year’s Balsam Bash successfully cleared footpaths in the area so
that walking has remained a pleasure throughout the year but the
balsam does not give up easily so the process has needed to be
repeated.
Thanks go to everyone involved. A good day's work.
Thanks to all who helped
20 volunteers turned out to help
Using slashers to cut down the himalayan balsam
They used slashers
Fil using a strimmerFil used a strimmer Doug clearing an area with a slasher
Doug with a slasher
Interested in joining the Working Party
Contact Pete Murphy via the Contact Us page
     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
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Ten More NNAS Bronze Certificates Awarded

Map Reading Opportunity with Worcester Ramblers Ten More NNAS Bronze Certificates Awarded

All of the ten Worcester members who were recently assessed at the second NNAS bronze navigation course organised by our Group successfully completed their training.

Congratulations are due to Jane V, Sue R, Richard R, Michele M, Mandy H, Xiaoling, Sally M, Jenny T, Cliff S and Cliff D for maintaining the 100% pass rate to date.

Enormous thanks are owed to Derek Jones who ran the course and to Liz from the Wyre Forest Group plus our very own Doug F who gave their time as ‘glamorous’ assistants to support Derek.

The course is intended for walkers who wish to increase their map reading skills so as to be able to navigate more confidently. It was run over three consecutive Sundays and involved a combination of classroom teaching and outdoor coaching, ending with a detailed field assessment.

Content focused on the DDT mantra – distance, direction and tick off points and included basic navigation and compass techniques.

Although there was a good deal of information to absorb and apply, the combination of theoretical and practical elements kept participants engaged, motivated and entertained.

Word continues to spread within the Group supporting the achievability and usefulness of the course and a number of additional members have expressed interest in attending a third event if one is organised.

Although there are no current plans to do this, please contact Cliff Dimond (chairman) via the ‘Contact Us’ page on our website if you would also be interested and we will use this input to assess demand.
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Worcester Ramblers Logo  Bronze Awards for Twelve Navigators
NNAS Bronze Award NNAS Bronze Award Training for Worcester Ramblers
 Congratulations
100% pass for the twelve participants on the Map Reading Course. Thanks Derek
     
 

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Worcester Ramblers Logo  Walk Grading Guidance
  Easy? Leisurely? Moderate? Strenuous?

The committee has been asked to offer some guidance to help walk leaders grade their walks consistently and to assist potential participants in deciding whether a particular walk is suitable for their abilities.
This is extremely helpful for new members.


Clicking on the image will bring up this guidance which has now also been added to the 'Submit a Walk' section within the 'Useful Guides' sub-section.

Walk leaders are encouraged to adopt this guidance in future when posting their walk descriptions on our walks programme.
 
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Worcester Ramblers Logo Walks Registration Forms
 

Walk Registration Forms

Those of our members who walk with us regularly will know that at the beginning of each walk, the leader asks each participant to complete an entry line on one of the walk registration forms. These come as two variants - the first for Worcester Group members and the second for visitors.

 

It may sometimes seem tedious to provide this information and recently it has become apparent that the level of legibility and extent of completion has deteriorated somewhat.

 

It seems appropriate therefore to remind members why our Group collects this information:

 

1. The leader and back marker need to know how many and who are on the walk in the event of people

    getting separated from the main group.

2. The recent incident involving Mavis has reinforced the need to be able to provide clear witness and 

    victim contact number details for emergency service and insurance company purposes.

    The contact number should be a personal mobile or land line number although a mobile number if also 

    carried on the walk could be especially useful in the event of separation.

3. In the event of a third party insurance claim, it is important to have advance evidence that an  individual was an official participant on a walk.

4. The membership number is used to cross reference the name and to identify if any individuals are 

    abusing our ‘three walks for free’ policy e.g. by continuing to walk with us when their membership has

    lapsed or by pretending to be a member in the first place. These have happened in the past!

5. The overall data is collected and used to monitor the ‘health’ of our Group over time and this in turn

    informs our focus and decision making.

 

Could we all please take care to complete the entry line clearly and fully and remind walk leaders to take the registration forms with them on the walk rather than leaving them in their car.

 

Incident Forms

 

Fortunately incidents serious enough to be reported are uncommon, but - see 2. above - if such an incident should occur it is pertinent that walk leaders have an understanding of the required information and preferably have a copy of the incident form to which they can refer. This form can be found via the useful links on Submit a Walk/Walk Leaders Checklist on the Volunteer pages of the Ramblers Association website in Volunteer Zone user guide.

 
     
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 Worcester Ramblers

Focus for 2015

Worcester Ramblers Chairman Cliff Dimond


2015 Group Focus Areas

 

At our recent committee meeting we discussed our focus areas for 2015 and took the following decisions:

 

1. Our original major categories of:

        > Increase the number of walk leaders

        > Footpath / bridleway improvement

        > Improve engagement of the wider membership

 

    would remain the key areas to concentrate on.

 

2. We should continue to do 'more of the same' in 2015 as we did in 2014 i.e. attempt to

    recruit around 50 new members over the year, most of whom should become 'active' 

    walkers. 

    A further step change in recruitment ambition was considered unrealistic with the

    Group likely to struggle to successfully absorb any such even higher increase.

 

Full details of items under consideration are contained within the three PDF files accessible by clicking on the individual icons shown. 

 

Please take this opportunity to scrutinise the thinking to date and to let us have any thoughts, comments or suggestions for improvement you might have. We will not have the resources to address all the suggestions so your input on prioritisation would be welcomed.

 

If you are interested in leading or supporting any of the individual initiatives, we would love to hear from you.

 
   Increase the number of walks leaders Improve engagement of wider membership Footpath & Bridleway Improvement 
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Worcester Ramblers Logo  Wishing Mavis a Speedy Recovery
  Mavis F was injured in a road traffic collision on Monday 29th December and is presently in Birmingham Hospital having sustained multiple fractures. She has a long recovery ahead and will be sincerely missed on group walks.
Joy K will endeavour to keep everyone posted with her progress as the opportunity arises. 
Saturday 18th April
Mavis has been readmitted to Worcestershire Royal Hospital but hopes to return to Timberdine shortly. It is advisable to check with Joy before visiting.
Saturday 25th April
Mavis has been moved from hospital to Timberdine Rehabilitation Unit again. It is advisable to check with Joy before visiting.

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Worcester Ramblers Logo Books and Maps for Loan
by Worcester Ramblers Members
Books and maps for Worcester Ramblers to loan

Going on holiday and need a map?
Looking for a walk route?

Mandy has a selection of maps which she is happy to loan to members, to view the list click here.

Mo Blinkhorn has donated lots of walking books too, to view the titles click here. Contact Sandra to borrow these.

Mandy and Sandra are contactable via the Contact Us page

 
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Worcester Ramblers Logo  New contract with
Ramblers Worldwide Holidays

The Ramblers is pleased to announce that from October 2014 it entered into a three-year agreement with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays. The agreement is focused on online opportunities to promote each other and we hope that it will bring in more members who want to support our work.

The Ramblers thanks HF Holidays for its support over the last three years.

Like to read more, click here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
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 26th Annual General Meeting Minutes
Worcester Ramblers Chairman Cliff Dimond  The 26th Annual General Meeting of our Group was held on Friday evening, November 7th, with 31 members attending. The minutes of the meeting can be accessed by clicking here.

Any comments or feedback on these minutes can be communicated to our Chairman (Cliff Dimond) via the 'Contact Us' page of our website.
       

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 Worcester Group Health Check
November 2014
 Click on the image to see some of the detailed underlying data

At its first meeting in November 2013 your new committee decided to start recording a selection of data that effectively monitors the health of our Group over time.

Sandra Chapman has been capturing the data base in a spreadsheet since then and Cliff D. has been analysing it. A first summary analysis was published on our website in May 2014.

It remains too early to be drawing any firm conclusions from the data but observations that could be made from the past twelve months include:

  1. The number of registered members has declined significantly from a peak of 490 in February 2011 but now shows consistent modest growth to 441 in October of this year
  2. Excluding the effect of the 12 members transferred to our Group in August 2014 from the now disbanded 20-40 Group, there has been a steady stream of new recruits (+50) that has more than offset those existing members not renewing (-20)
  3. Membership within the remainder of the Worcestershire Area (comprising Bromsgrove, Wyre Forest, Redditch and Evesham) continues to decline at a combined total of 601 in September 2014 compared with 654 in October 2013
  4. The number of registered members who are 'active' walkers has risen to around 105 from 90 last April but still only represents about 24% of overall membership (105 out of 441)
  5. The number of different members walking in any given month has increased steadily from an average of 60.5 in the first six months of the period to 74 in the second six months of the period although seasonal factors may have had an impact here.
  6. Over the twelve months, the Group has put on 156 walks lead by 44 different individuals
  7. 36% of walks were 6 miles or under and 64% were over 6 miles
  8. Over the twelve months there has been an average of 17 participants per walk although recently there have been some spectacular peaks e.g. 43 on November 6th
  9. 42% of current active members have lead walks, averaging just over 3.5 walks each although the most prolific leaders achieved 19 and 18 respectively
  10. The number of working party assignments completed increased from 3 in the first six months of the period to 9 in the second six months

Another detailed analysis will be published in and around May 2015 but if you have any observations or questions about this information please feel free to bring them up with Cliff.

       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
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