Helpful hints

                      

Rambling or Walking, call it what you will, in a group may be summed up by the three F's, Fun, Fellowship and Footpaths.

It's Fun because walking in the company of others is good for your mind, soul and body. Preparation though is essential to ensure you don't spoil that fun.

Before you set out, check the weather and ensure you are dressed accordingly and also have available those other essential items of clothing tucked away in your rucksack to cope with the vagaries of our English weather. Too, always have with you:-

  • A whistle
  • A torch
  • Your mobile 'phone (charged!)
  • 1st Aid bits and bobs
  • Essential medication for your personal use
  • ID including any information regarding relevant medical conditions and details of an emergency contact (see the Ramblers Website for an "In Case of Emergency Card")
  • Water, or whatever is your favourite drink to keep you hydrated

This is by no means a definitive list.

If you are attending an organised walk do ensure you know where the start point is. On the web site each walk has the start point shown on a map. Too, there will be a Grid Reference, accurate to within 100 metres of where the start point is.  The nearest Post Code will be shown. But remember, Post Codes give the location of the nearest building or facility to the start location, potentially some way away from the actual start. So again give yourself enough time to get there and get ready.

Walk Leaders will like to leave on time, it assists with planning and organising comfort breaks, coffee and lunch breaks and just getting to where the group needs to be at the time it needs to be there. Get the Walk Leaders mobile number keyed in to your Contacts as a fall back position.

There may be the opportunity to use Public Transport and Walk Leaders will provide details of the local Bus Service whenever appropriate, providing start times to accomodate. This is particularly relevant for linear walks!!

Once you have arrived, as well as getting your boots and gear on, consider doing a few stretches before you start, to loosen yourself up. Too, a few at the end of the walk would not go amiss to mitigate those all too familiar aches and pains the next day and often the day after that!

Fellowship. Being with like minded people doing something they all enjoy is, more often than not, very rewarding. Sharing experiences, pleasures and problems, holidays, medical, spiritual, family, whatever, provides ideas, perspective and often solutions to what goes on in our lives.

Footpaths. We choose our environment but need to be mindful of the fact that our choice brings with it responsibility. The network of footpaths and bridleways we tread safely on a regular basis does not just happen. We do have a responsibility to respect and follow the Countryside Code. We should all be familiar with it but here is a link

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-countryside-code/the-countryside-code

Report problems with Footpaths and Bridleways (PROW's). This can be done via the Ramblers site, Pathwatch, or in our area, direct to West Sussex County Council. This is by way of an online form, link

https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/land-waste-and-housing/public-paths-and-the-countryside/public-rights-of-way/report-a-problem-with-a-right-of-way/

The form is quick and easy to fill in and submit. Too, photos in support are very useful to the Rights of Way Officer and the Access Ranger.

Experience is the system works well with prompt and proportionate response to what is being reported. Our group recently had a walk near Rogate, Petersfield. On undertaking a recce in advance of the walk date, the Walk Leader encountered a fallen tree, obstructing the footpath through trees.He duly reported it, got an immediate automated acknowledgement with a reference number and within two days an email from the Ranger advising the matter had been rectified. Top notch service.

                               Now you see it ..                                             Now you don't ..