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14 September 2019: Opening of the High Weald Walking Festival

The Festival, organised by Sussex Ramblers, runs from 14 to 22 September, offering a choice of 46 walks over nine days.  Every walk has a theme.  There are easy walks, leisurely walks and moderate walks.  All offer lovely scenery and most are in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Outstanding it certainly is.

There are more details here:

https://www.highwealdwalks.org/

Kent Ramblers will be at the launch at the Hub at Quarry Farm in Bodiam – we hope to see you there.

22 August 2019: Opening of White Cliffs Walking Festival

Ramblers' Chair Kate Ashbrook today opened the sixth annual White Cliffs Walking Festival.  Immediately after the brief ceremony at the bandstand on the sea front at Deal the walkers departed on one of the three walks scheduled to start from Deal that morning.  The festival runs until 28 August and more details can be found at www.whitecliffswalkingfestival.org.uk.

2 July 2019: Grand Opening of the Kearsney Loop

Ramblers's volunteers,  Dover District Council staff and military personnel gathered at Bushy Ruff Country Park today for the opening of a new walking route whose creation has been made possible by new access arrangements across land owned by the Ministry of Defence.  The permissive path provides the missing link in a 2.6 mile circular walk that previously involved walking along a very busy road with no verge or footway.  To encourage more people to enjoy the walk, volunteers from Ramblers' White Cliffs Group have, with the support of the MOD's Defence Infrastructure Organisation and Dover District Council, installed gates, steps, posts and waymarks throughout the route except for a short section within Bush Ruff and adjoining Russell Gardens.

Starting close to Kearsney Abbey Gardens, the new route offers an excellent opportunity for those amongst the many visitors for whom a walk in the park is just a little too tame to enjoy a health boosting extension offering fine views up the Alkham Valley.  With good train and bus links and with an enlarged car park currently under construction, the walk is readily available to a large number of people in the Dover and Folkestone area.

Kent Ramblers has produced a leaflet to promote the walk and describe the route and its points of interest.  You can dowload it here:

Kearsney Loop Leaflet (7 MB download)

As well as being a part of the Kearsney Loop, the new access arrangements create opportunities for longer walks in this delightful part of Kent where the North Downs approach the sea at the White Cliffs.

The pictures show today's opening ceremony and one of the new posts bearing a waymark with the specially designed Kearsney Loop logo.

22 May 2019: Carers Walk at Bedgebury

See pictures of the latest walk at Bedgebury.

Find out more about our programme of walks here.

The Canterbury Pilgrims Festival 12-15th June: 

Celebrate Canterbury's Pilgrimage history and traditions; there will be guided walks, talks and a delicious feast. 

Booking required per activity - don't miss out!

Find out more and book http://www.bit.ly/CanterburyPilgrimsFestival

The programme can be downloaded here.

26 April 2019: Carers Walk at Doddington Place

The 2019 season of walks for carers and those they care for is well under way in Kent.  Today we went to Doddington Place Garden on the North Downs near Faversham.

Find out more about our programme of walks here.

31 March 2019: White Cliffs Walking Festival

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

3 May 2019: Annual Footpath Meeting

The annual workshop for all those interested in footpath matters in Kent will be held on 3 May 2019, 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 here.

BOOKING ESSENTIAL  BOOKING ESSENTIAL

1 January 2019: 2018 Annual Review Published

The 2018 Kent Ramblers Annual Review has been published and posted to all our members.  If you are a member and have not received your copy then please get in touch at info@kentramblers.org.uk.

You can also view our Annual Review on this site.  The high resolution version is a huge download (over 180 MB) so we have provided a low resolution version too (around 18 MB).  You can view the versions using the links below:

Annual Review 2018 High Resolution

Annual Review 2018 Low Resolution

29 December 2018: Stepping Out Walk: Margate

The project's first winter walk for carers and those they care for took place in Margate.  Les Preston from White Cliffs Group was there to help and sent these photographs.  For more information on Carers' Walks, click here.

19 December 2018: Stepping Out Video

The Stepping Out project which offers carers and those they care for the opportunity to walk, socialise and lunch with volunteers from the Ramblers has marked the completion of a second successful year with the released of a new video.  Pioneered in Kent by Sue Mott with the vital support of Ramblers in Kent, especially those from our White Cliffs Group, Stepping Out widened its geographical coverage this year with events in Manchester, Doncaster and Hertfordshire.  Stepping Out is supported financially by Sport England.  View the video here.

17 October 2018: Evaluation Report on White Cliffs Walking Festival 2018

For the sixth consecutive year volunteers from White Cliffs Ramblers organised a very successful walking festival during the week of the August Bank Holiday.  They have now evaluated the event and produced a comprehensive report showing that despite rain on two days the total number of walkers was 1201, only a slight fall compared with the record 1252 of the preceding year.  The full report can be read here.

9 October 2018: Kent Ramblers publishes New Walking Guide

Kent Ramblers has published a new walking guide, the Kent Ramblers Guide to Three River Valley Walks in West Kent.  The guide describes the routes, attractions, history and landscape of three fine walks:

  • Darent Valley Path
  • Eden Valley Walk
  • Medway Valley Walk

The book follows the style of our successful Guide to the Kent Coast Path: Part 1 with specially created 1:25,000 maps, photographs and diagrams in full colour throughout.

The previous guides to these walks produced by Kent County Council have been out of print for many years.  Now all three walks are covered in one book, available from our publications page or from good bookshops online or in the high street.

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 photograph 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)

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.