The London Borough of Bromley asked us to comment in short order on their strategy for the future use of open space in the Borough. There wasn't time to involve everybody but here are the considered comments of your committee. The Strategy document can be found on the Council website and this is our response.
Sorry Folks but with London and Kent in Tier 4 and Lockdown all of our group walks for the time being have had to be cancelled, in line with Ramblers guidance. Please check on these web pages for future updates. We will get going again just as soon as we can.
If you have WhatsApp on your smartphone (it is easy to download from your App Store) then you too can join the Walk Sunday Afternoon group. You’ll receive reminders about the next walk, together with any changes to times or meeting places. If you want to know more about a particular walk, you can ask your question in WhatsApp and we will then try and answer your query. If you would like to join, just send your name and mobile number to me, via email@example.com so that I can add you to the group. By sending me your details, you are giving me permission to add you to my contacts list for the purpose of administering this WhatsApp group. You do not have to be a Sunday afternoon walker to join and this is a new initiative that we are trialling, so all feedback is welcome. Looking forward to welcoming you to the group.
Kent Area Council have decided to enable members to opt out of receiving a paper copy of the annual review.
They will be sending out the Annual Review as usual just after Christmas and producing printed copies and posting an electronic version on the web site. If any member would rather not receive a printed copy then they can opt out by emailing their membership number and postcode to firstname.lastname@example.org. To be effective for the 2019 edition, your opt-out should be made by 30 November 2019. They will continue to apply the opt-out in future years unless you tell them otherwise. If you are happy receiving a printed copy of the Annual Review then you don’t need to take any action.
This entails walking all the footpaths in a designated Area over the course of each year and reporting any problems to our Footpaths Officer and/or Bromley Council. Each Area equates roughly to a Ward in the Borough except Darwin which is split into three. If you would like to become a Footpath Observer for one of the Areas listed below or would like to know more about what is involved please contact us at enquiries
We currently have vacancies for the following Areas:
Orpington (13 paths, 2.4km);
Biggin Hill (17 paths, 9.4km);
Leaves Green (Darwin W) (8 paths, 15.3km).
You can reporrt problems with footpaths stiles etc via the Ramblers app or directly to the relevant local authority in whose area the footpath is in. Below are links to our nearest ones. On some websites, Kent for example, you zoom in on a map and click on where the problem is. This generates an exact location for the Rights of Way team. On others it is helpful to know the footpath number and grid reference. Photographs can also be useful. If you have problems with using the links you can contact us at enquiries and we will pass the information on.
London Borough of Bromley https://fix.bromley.gov.uk/
East Sussex http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/leisureandtourism/countryside/rightsofway/default.htm
Please also let me know so I can keep an eye on the matter.
Footpaths Secretary, Bromley Group
We are looking for one or more volunteers to replace Philip Wall in this important role. None of our walking, whether group walks or solo, would be possible without the maintenance and enhancement of the rights of way network. There are three aspects to the role and it is possible that different people could deal with different aspects, if nobody is able to cover all three.
Dealing with rights of way matters such as proposed developments that affect the footpath network, proposals to re-route paths, etc. This aspect of the role is supporting, and supported by, Kent Area and Ramblers nationally, in dealing with issues within the London Borough of Bromley. It includes interacting with the relevant local authorities and working with the Ramblers to pursue any local issue through the legal process, should that prove necessary.
Coordinating our network of about a dozen footpath monitors, ensuring that all paths in the borough are walked out periodically and reporting any problems found. This aspect of the role can be desk-based and could be done by someone who is not a regular walker.
Convening and leading working parties to do path clearance or improvement. We already have a good number of volunteers to be part of working parties; the role is therefore largely one of planning and supervision.
It is difficult to estimate the time needed for each of these. The regulatory aspect depends on what developments are proposed, although in recent years the time needed for this in our area has been modest. The monitoring aspect requires communicating with the monitors twice a year and making sure that all paths are covered. The timing is flexible, so could be done at a time to suit you. The maintenance aspect is also variable, depending on problems identified. Because Bromley is less rural than other areas in Kent, many paths are suburban and tend not to get so overgrown or obstructed.
If you think you could help with all or any part of the above, please speak to Tony Upson in the first instance. He and Philip can give further details and insight into the role. We are conscious that many of you are not regular participants in led walks but prefer solo walking or do not walk at all. We would be very interested in hearing from you as well as from regular volunteers.
A big thank you to Barbara Phelps who has kindly volunteered to co-ordinate mid-week walks on days other than a Wednesday. As a result, you will see from the walks programme that we have about a dozen walks (mainly on Tuesdays) of varying lengths and times of day to enjoy this summer.
Do you have a favourite walk that you could share with fellow ramblers ? Could you commit – perhaps just once a year – to leading a short local walk, perhaps with a friend or with another leader ? Volunteers are urgently sought to help with short Sunday walks; no previous experience necessary, just a desire to “give back a little” and of course, to walk. Any assistance that you require will be gladly given. Jean P can be contacted on enquiries – and is looking forward to your email.
After many years of providing us with interesting and popular short Sunday walks, often accessible by public transport Jean P is retiring and we are looking for someone else to volunteer to coordinate these walks. If you feel you could spare the time (there are only 3 programme booklets a year) the Tony U would be pleased to hear from you.
There has recently been comment in the media about dogs and the problems they may cause to ground nesting birds during the breeding season. The advice from the Ramblers is that dogs can be prohibited from areas where birds are ground nesting, and that walk leaders should explain this in advance in the walks programme by stating that a particular walk is “Not suitable for dogs” or “Dogs on leads please”. In fact, the Ramblers recommends that dogs are kept under close control at all times, and kept on a lead on roads, near livestock or sensitive wildlife, where the terrain requires careful footwork and wherever the law or other official regulations require it. If walk leaders discover that ground nesting birds may be an issue after the programme has been printed, please ensure that dog owners are aware at the start of the walk and that they take the necessary action. And, please clean up after your dog.
We do urge you to look at the website before you set off for a walk in case there have been any last minute changes due to weather, ill health, roadworks etc.
We do also ocassionally send emails to Bromley Ramblers who have given us their email address. Note this is quite seperate from the email address the Ramblers hold for you. If you wish to receive these emails please you would go to the Mailing List Page and follow the simple instructions to add yourself to the list. You can also remove yourself there at any time as well if you wish.
Members of Bromley Ramblers can now get an exclusive discount of 15% at the Páramo Brand Store in Wadhurst or 20% if you buy two or more Analogy jackets. This discount can only be used on Páramo and Nikwax items. There are also various short-term offers on specific products, available in-store or by mail-order. As well as Páramo, the store stocks various other brands.
You will need to show your membership card and mention that you are from Bromley Group.
Store details are:
Páramo Wadhurst Store
1 Central Parade
Tel: 01892 785634