Monday, 11 July 2011

Think the Ramblers only does long walks? Think again! 11/7/11)

We may be famous for long walks in the countryside, but that's not all we do.  This weekend the Ramblers launched a new programme of short walks across County Durham. The programme is designed to be an easy continuation for participants who have been through the Ramblers Get Walking Keep Walking course (for walking newcomers) and who are looking to carry on walking in a group.


Eight walks, ranging from 2-5 miles, will take place through the summer.   They're being led by a mixture of new volunteers from GWKW and longer standing volunteers from local Ramblers Groups.  The programme starts with a walk in Durham itself, with magnificent views of the Cathedral and the castle.  Another walk, history themed, is being led by local lecturer and TV presenter, John Grundy.


Establishing this programme was one of the targets that was set as part of the Get Walking Keep Walking project funded by NHS County Durham which started in January.   The development of the programme has been supported from the outset by volunteers from local Groups and quickly embraced by the Northumbria Ramblers Area.  It's a great example of how funded projects and Areas/Groups are working increasingly closely together to promote walking. 


Another example of that took place in Sheffield last week, with GWKW staff training Walk Leaders for Sheffield Ramblers who have had a recent explosion of participants in their short walks programme.


We hope to create sufficient demand amongst participants in Durham to look at setting up a new Ramblers Group dedicated solely to providing short walks.  We're just piloting a new way of running a group that doesn't need a committee, a constitution or a bank account. It will help volunteers concentrate on organising walks and attracting participants – a perfect way for the Durham short walks programme to evolve.  These new types of Group are another way that we're making it easier to volunteer with the Ramblers and to increase the number of walks on offer.


See more about GWKW in County Durham   

Well done to the volunteers and staff who've worked together to pull this off. 

Tom Franklin
Sent from my iPhone


The Ramblers' Association is a registered charity (England & Wales no 1093577, Scotland no SC039799) and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales (no 4458492). Registered office: 2nd floor, Camelford House, 87-90 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TW.

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