Kent Ramblers: News

Home

News

Support us

Contact Us

Path Problems

Lavender

News

24 September 2018: North Downs Way Pilgrims Festival 2018

To coincide with the 40th anniversary of the opening of the North Downs Way, a week of celebrations will take place from 24-30 September 2018: "a fun week of music, drama, literature, medieval feasting, beer festival, and more walks than you could shake a pilgrim stick at".  More details here.

The picture shows the North Downs way near the Devil's Kneading Trough.

9 July 2018: Sports Minister Meets Stepping Out Team

The sports minister Tracey Crouch met carers from the Stepping Out project at Aylesford Priory in July to give her backing to the series of walks, founded by Kent Ramblers and East Kent Carer Support organisations, to improve the lives of carers and the people they care for.

“It’s a great scheme combining physical activity with respite and connectivity and much loved by participants,” she said as she joined the group for a walk round the grounds of the Priory.

As Minister for Loneliness, as well as her sport portfolio, she listened to the stories of the individual carers and the people they care for who came along to meet her. “Tracey’s just amazing. She listens. She’s genuinely interested.” said dementia campaigner, Lorraine Brown, who has the condition herself. "I said these walks are just so necessary. You have so much taken away when you have dementia and one of my greatest fears is getting lost.  But being able to join walks like these means you have fun: go to lovely places and above all you can't get lost.  You have got a bit of your life back.  This is how things were in my old life. It helps me go forward in my new life.”

The walks, supported by the National Lottery through Sport England, the Ramblers and carers support organisations, proved such a success in Kent last year, they are now being trialled in Doncaster Manchester and Hertfordshire alongside the Ramblers groups in those areas.

There is a short video of the event here:

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kmtv/video/social-care-project-gets-sports-england-backing-21219/

25 May 2018: Good Time at Goodnestone

Our 2018 programme of walks for carers and those they care for continued with a well-attended event at Goodnestone Park Gardens near Canterbury.  Read more here.  We are pleased to report that Sport England has awarded sufficient funding for the Stepping Out project to support not only the full 2018 programme of walks in Kent but also walks in Manchester, Doncaster and Hertfordshire.

22 May 2018: White Cliffs Volunteers Fit New Gate at Hoath

The photograph shows the team putting the finishing touches to a new gate in place of a rickety old stile.  Ramblers volunteers regularly give up some of their spare time to improve the paths for everyone.  Please join us to support their work – or even step forward to become one of them.

6 April 2018: Carers' Walks on the Radio

The BBC Radio Kent Breakfast Show (on Friday 6th April) featured the “Stepping Out” Carers’ Walks on a segment about carers and their immense value to society.  One of the walks organisers, Sue Mott, explained that the project evolved from the “wonderful White Cliffs Walking Festival” when it became evident that carers were the crucial link to offering outdoor activity to people with a disability.

“Carers and the people they care for are some of the most invisible and challenged people in society and it has been eye-opening to get to know them so well.  We’re not separate “carers”, “cared for”, “Ramblers” and "carer support staff” any more – we’re just a bunch of mates out for a walk in the open air together.”

Following its success in Kent, The Stepping Out project – subject to funding by Sport England – may now be piloted in other areas of the country including Manchester, Doncaster and Hertfordshire.

The photograph shows the walk at Hythe in March 2018.  For more details about the project, click here.

23 February 2018: Good News for Walkers in Faversham

Today we learned that following a public inquiry in January the appointed Inspector has confirmed changes to the public rights of way along Faversham Creek made by Kent County Council with the support of Kent Ramblers.  The result is that an unusable footpath that was built across some years ago has been removed from the definitive map and a much more useful path along the edge of the creek has been added.  The new path offers fine views along the creek and we hope that the proposed route of the England Coast Path will be modified to follow it.  Kent Ramblers' Coastal Access Officer, Ian Wild, spoke at the inquiry on behalf of the Ramblers and later said "It has been a long time coming. An unbroken path along the west bank of Faversham Creek will hugely benefit the town and all walkers.".

(Click map to view full-size version and click again to magnify)

12 February 2018: White Cliffs Walking Festival

Planning is well under way for this year's White Cliffs Walking Festival and today the organising team issued a media release anticipating the pleasures in store for those who take part.  The full release is available here.

3 February 2018: Area AGM

Around 100 members turned up for our AGM in Littlebourne, kindly hosted by our Canterbury Group.  As well as the usual formalities of receiving accounts and report and electing officers (which we kept as short as possible) we had a series of presentations that illustrated the variety of work being done for walkers by our dedicated volunteers.  We celebrated the work of our Local Footpath Officers and Parish Footpath Observers - but we also noted that we don't have Kent completely covered and we appealed for more people to step forward to help with this vital work.   We looked forward to the opening of the section of the England Coast Path from Ramsgate to Whitstable during 2018 and to the opening of the rest of the route in Kent from Whitstable to Woolwich in 2019.  We watched a video of a walk from the 2017 programme of walks for carers and those they care for and looked forward to continuing this valuable work in 2018, subject to renewed funding from Sport England.  After an open forum we enjoyed a ploughman's lunch and the more intrepid the braved the none too hospitable elements for a walk through the very fine surrounding countryside.

There are more pictures of the event here.

31 December 2017:  Annual Review Published

The Kent Ramblers 2017 Annual Review has been posted and has started landing on members' doormats.  Already half a dozen members have submitted their entries for this year's competition to win some Paramo clothing or copies of our Coast Path guide.  As usual, the Review contains news from the Groups, topical articles and descriptions of two of our favourite walks.  If you are a member and you haven't received your copy of the Annual Review please let us know at info@kentramblers.org.uk.

26 December 2017: Looking Forward to the AGM

The 2018 AGM will be hosted by the Canterbury Group on 3 February 2018 at Littlebourne.  There is more information here, where you will also find a link to the minutes of the 2017 AGM held in Kemsing (pictured).  Please note that printed copies of the draft minutes will not be available at the AGM.

 

20 December 2017: Christmas in Bromley

Bromley Ramblers held another very successful Christmas five mile walk on 20th December, with Father Christmas and one of his ‘little helpers’ providing half-way mulled wine, coffee and mince pies for 40 members.  Everyone then joined a further 30 people for a most enjoyable lunch at Farleigh Court Golf Club.  All that was missing was the snow!

21 December 2017: Volunteering Opportunities for 2018

There is increasing evidence that volunteering is beneficial to the health and well-being of those who take part – it is a great way to make friends, acquire new skills and have the satisfaction of doing something useful for the community.

One of the most important areas of work for which we need volunteers is the protection of footpaths.  Our aim is to have someone in every parish (or equivalent urban area) who walks the paths regularly (at least once a year) and reports any problems – these are our Parish Footpath Observers.

We also need volunteers – Local Footpath Officers – to help deal with occasional less straightforward issues reported by the Observers, to check all proposals submitted to Kent County Council for extinguishment or diversion of rights of way and to inspect certain planning applications to ensure the best outcome for walkers.  Local Footpath Officers normally cover several parishes but we are happy to be flexible about that.

No particular experience is required as we offer training and support to all our volunteers.  Details of the parishes for which we need cover including links to maps showing their locations can be found on our Vacancies page.  Contact information for getting in touch are on that page – we are very happy to discuss these roles without any commitment on your part.

We are also in need of a Sector Coordinator and an Area Footpath Officer but these roles are more suited to people with some experience of rights of way work.  If you are interested in either of these, please get in touch – if only to discuss what might be involved.

27 October 2017: Stepping Out: Grand Finale

The last of this season's walks for carers and those they care for was held in glorious autumn weather, starting at Aylesford Priory.  One of the walks explored the historic town including the church and the medieval arched bridge, recognised by Historic England as a good example of its type.   Read more details about the Aylesford walk here and about the Stepping Out project generally here.

26 October 2017: Report on White Cliffs Walking Festival Published

At the request of the team that delivered this year's White Cliffs Walking Festival, John Grace has produced a comprehensive report assessing the Festival's success in meeting its objectives.  The total numbers of participants on all the 43 walks was a record 1252 and the variety of interesting themes was much appreciated.  The report explains the planning, promotion and delivery of the Festival programme and analyses the data collected, particularly as to where the many participants came from.  You can read the full report here.


17 October 2017: Stepping Out Film Released

Today Sport England released a film made during the Carers' walk that took place in Kingsdown and Deal as part of the White Cliffs Walking Festival.  The walk was one of eight being organised this year as part of the Stepping Out project, a joint venture between Kent Ramblers and Carers' Support organisations, funded by Sport England.

You can read more about the 2017 Stepping Out programme here.

Visit the Sport England web site and view the film here.

Details of the next and final event of the season are here.

30 November 2017: Annual Footpath Meeting

The annual workshop for all those interested in footpath matters in Kent will be held on 30 November 2017, as usual in Lenham Community Centre.  All are welcome – you don't need to be a current volunteer although we will be delighted if the meeting inspires you to offer your time to help protect the county's paths.  Advance booking is essential: there are more details and a full agenda here.

27 September 2017: East Kent Ploughing Match

The last Wednesday in September, the date of the East Kent Ploughing Match, seems to enjoy more than its fair share of fine weather and this year was no exception.  The sun shone, the sky was a somewhat hazy blue and, most importantly from our point of view, there was no wind to blow our tent or our leaflets away.  The event is held at a different location every year and this time it was at Quex Park, not too far from Margate.  Volunteers from White Cliffs Group manned the Ramblers’ stall and chatted to visitors about the joys of walking in Kent.

Quite apart from the competitive ploughing, the event is a major agricultural show with plenty to see including demonstrations by birds of prey and the regular sheaf tossing competition.  Nevertheless, the heavy horses and vintage tractors are not to be missed, especially regular attendees Madge and Dolly (pictured).  A great day out – do join us next year.

25 August 2017: Stepping Out

Most of us take for granted the simple pleasures in life such as going for a walk.  But, for many people with caring responsibilities, going for a walk to enjoy the physical exercise, the company of fellow walkers and the delights of the Kent countryside is something they can only dream about.

This summer Kent Ramblers and carers' support organisations in East Kent are running a project funded by Sport England to enable carers and some of those they care for to take a much needed break and go for a walk in the company of members of the Ramblers.

The sixth of the series of walks took place as part of the White Cliffs Walking Festival on 25 August when around 50 people participated.  They were joined by Vanessa Griffiths, Chief Executive of the Ramblers, and a film crew from Sport England.  There is a full report on the day here.  For more information about the project generally, click here.

24 August 2017: White Cliffs Walking Festival

The opening ceremony of this year's White Cliffs Walking Festival took place today.  Brief speeches were given by Margaret Lubbock (Chairman of White Cliffs Group), Charlie Elphicke (MP for Dover), Kate Ashbrook (Vice Chair of the Ramblers' Board of Trustees) and Councillor Nick Tomaszewski (Deputy Mayor of Deal).  The Festival runs until 30 August – to peruse the programme and book a place on a walk please visit the Festival web site.  As usual there is a huge variety of walks, many of them with themes reflecting the rich history of the area.


Margaret Lubbock with Charlie Elphicke pledging his support for keeping four wheel drive vehicles off rural byways

Kate Ashbrook

Setting off from Walmer

11 August 2017: Footpath Cleared at Tilmanstone

A team from White Cliffs Group today cleared 200 metres of impenetrable undergrowth from a path at Barville Road, Tilmanstone.  We depend on our volunteers to carry out this work and on the subscriptions of our members to fund it.


Before


After

At work


Taking satisfaction in a job well done

30 July 2017: Walking with London Blind Ramblers

Today members of our West Kent Walking Group hosted a walk with London Blind Ramblers.  18 members of WKWG accompanied 15 guests from London Blind Ramblers in a circular walk from Borough Green station, taking in the delights of Ightham Mote and some of Kent's finest orchards.  Read Alan Richardson's full report ...

20 July 2017: Walkers are Welcome

Cobbler above DoverAre you aware of the Walkers are Welcome scheme?  Towns across Great Britain are awarded Walkers are Welcome status if they meet certain criteria and we have three such towns in Kent: Elham, Deal and Dover.  The Dover team has just revamped its web site and is in the process of producing a new leaflet describing the walking opportunities in the area.  Meanwhile there are a couple of inland walks near Dover on our web site:

Kearsney Abbey and Lydden Temple Ewell Nature Reserve

Kearsney and St Radigund's

For those wanting a coastal walk, all the information you could need, including detailed maps, can be found in our Guide to the Kent Coast Path available from our publications page.

21 June 2017: England Coast Path Consultation

It is now over a year since the section of the England Coast Path from Camber to Ramsgate opened in July 2016.  Since then work has been under way to extend the route in an anticlockwise direction.  The route of the next section from Ramsgate to Whitstable has been determined by the Secretary of State but the signage and the works necessary to create a new path along the edge of the North Foreland Golf Course near Kingsgate Castle have not yet begun.

ReculverToday Natural England issued a consultation document on the proposed route of the section from Whitstable to Iwade (where the path will make a detour to go around the coastline of the Isle of Sheppey).  Kent’s Coastal Access Officer, Ian Wild, anticipates that this will be one of the trickier sections with a number of issues to be addressed, especially around Faversham.  Consultation closes on 16 August 2017.

Meanwhile Kent Area Secretary, Robert Peel, has started work on the second part of the Area’s guide to the Kent Coast Path which will cover the route from Ramsgate to Gravesend.  He has got as far as Reculver (pictured), site of both a Roman fort and the remains of a 12th Century church whose twin towers have long been a landmark for shipping.  On the way he has passed delightful beaches and limestone coves as well as sea stacks at Botany Bay and the Turner Contemporary art gallery at Margate.  The first part of the guide has sold well, proceeds having covered the printing costs so that sales are now generating profits for the Ramblers.  Copies of the first part are still available from our publications page.