ECR Dolgellau Weekend Away 14 – 16 June 2024

A group of 28 East Cheshire Ramblers spent the weekend in Dolgellau.  Everyone found their own accommodation and evening meals were organised for Friday and Saturday. On Friday, 19 ramblers enjoyed a meal at the Royal Ship Inn with very attentive service and substantial plates of food. We had a private area of the pub, enjoyed catching up with old friends and making new ones. A good start to the weekend.  On Saturday, a group of 21 enjoyed a varied menu at Y Sospan, where we had our own little area on the raised dais of what used to be the Dolgellau Courtroom.

As for the walking, despite absolutely dire weather predictions, we had perfect walking weather on the walks.  A big thank you to all the walk leaders: Steve Rawlings, Ann Thompson (doubly for leading 2 walks), Jane and Frank Gay, Sue Munslow and Jane Rawlings.

Saturday 15th June Long Walk (Steve Rawlings)
13 miles / 2330ft ascent (OS)

With the heavy rain miraculously ceasing around 9am, we started off at 9.30 on the steady, gentle ascent to Precipice Walk (PW). As we were a small group (of six) and paths were quiet, we chose to include PW – a fine decision, it transpired. Elevenses just after PW, then on around the base of Foel Offrwm. Photo-shoot under the massive arch known as Y Garreg Fawr. Partial success through the tricky bit around Ty-hir; the mire avoided but some impromptu stile-building required.

Lunch near Tyn-Twll, then a beautiful stretch through Planfa Fawr woodland. Steady ascent up Torrent Walk in dappled sunlight, and a refreshment break at the top. Mainly downhill after that, on quiet paths through Tabor and Trefeilia. Super day.

Minffordd Path Ridge from Penygadair
Penygadair from the Pony Path
Towards Cadair from Llyn Gwernan
Y Garreg

Saturday 15th June Medium Walk (Ann Thompson) – 10.3 miles, moderate, 1500 ft ascent


18 ECR members met at the bus stop in Dolgellau and caught the bus to the edge of Barmouth. We started by feeding the troll with £1 coins as an honesty payment to cross the rail bridge. We made it across just before the 10km Barmouth race started and only came across them once when we needed to cross their path. Our coffee stop was at the delightful Arthog church. The route then took us steeply up the nearby waterfall with splendid views of tumbling water. Crossing open land, the lunch spot was reached providing picnic tables and a toilet adjacent to Llynnau Cregannen.  The afternoon saw us walking adjacent to open moorland via Kings Youth hostel, up over Craig Castell moorlands on a narrow stony drove lane and descending into Dolgellau. A varied route enjoyed by all and mostly good weather – just of couple of short showers.

Saturday 15th June Short Walk (Jane & Frank Gay)

7 miles, 910 ft Ascent (OS Maps)

Six walkers met at Penmaenpool Car Park (near George III pub) and followed the Maddach trail in an easterly direction to the bridge where the A493 crosses Afon Wnion.  We climbed up to Bryn Farm, through the woodland and over the hillside around Dolgledr to Cae n y-coed.  After crossing the A493 we followed the streamside path through Abergwynant to join the Maddach trail again back to the starting point, finishing with a well-deserved drink in the pub.

Sunday 16th June Long Walk (Ann Thompson)

9 miles, 3100 ft Ascent, Cader Idris using the Minffordd path.

Leaving the bus

Twelve of us met for the 9.02 bus to Minffordd which was a scenic run over and down Afon Fawnog valley. After a short warm up through woodland we were soon climbing steeply on steps and rocks beside a splendid waterfall. Passing a slate bridge, the gradient lessened and eventually Lyn Cau came into view. It sits in the hollow of a splendid cwm with some vertical walls. More tough ascent took us to the top of Craig Cau, followed by an even steeper descent and final ascent on some loose rocky material to reach the Trig Point on the summit of Cadair Idris. The views were magnificent for most of the day with some brief spells of low cloud. After lunch on the top, we followed the ridge to Myndd Moel and Grau Graig then descended quite steeply to Bwlch-Coch. The return to Dolgellau was down minor roads and lanes with some attractive woodland sections in between. A really good mountain walk in excellent weather.

On the way up
The top of Cadair Idris
View of Lyn Cadair at the top

Sunday 16th June Medium Walk (Sue Munslow)
10 miles, 2136 ft Ascent

Four ramblers met at Fiddlers Elbow, just outside Bontddu. The route took us steadily up to the tops of the moorland where we found a flat, smooth old mining track along the side of the upper moorland, which is now referred to as the New Precipice.  As it was a lovely sunny day we had spectacular views in every direction.  We looked across the valley southwards at Cadair Idris  Mountain and surrounding ridges.  

Below was the meandering river and estuary of the Afon  Mawddach as it flowed towards the sea  at Barmouth.  To the east we could see the other Precipice Walk as it wound its way around the hillside.   

We continued to walk through an area of wild upper moorland with occasional cottages before walking down by a beautiful river valley of spectacular waterfalls and a gold mine.  Finally, we walked along the edge of the Afon Mawddach again with a lovely view of the river back to the CP.  We completed our walk with tea and cakes at Y Sospan back in Dolgellau.

Sunday 16th June Short Walk (Jane Rawlings)
6 miles, 1050 ft Ascent

A group of ten ramblers enjoyed the sunshine and company on the Sunday short walk. We followed an undulating route through the wooded areas south of Dolgellau. Using footpaths, tracks and quiet lanes we passed through Pandy, Tabor, Pandy Gadar and Esgeiriau. We were fortunate to have good views of the surrounding hills. We ended up in Dolgellau where we sampled cake, ice cream, soft drinks and beers.

June Mabon

Dear Members

I’m writing to you all to share the sad news that June Mabon, a very long standing and active member of Cheshire East Ramblers, sadly passed away on Tuesday 7th May, just short of her 80th birthday.

As an active member of East Cheshire Ramblers, June was Chair of the group in the 1990s.  In addition, June was very involved with the Peak & Northern Footpath Society and she co-founded Trafford Ramblers at the request of the Manchester Area. In 2015 June applied to have a 500 metre footpath in Timperley added to the Definitive Map. She secured a successful application and ensured an attractive, off-road path in a busy area was preserved forever. In 2014, at the Ramblers’ General Council AGM in Liverpool, June was presented with the ‘Protecting Where We Walk Award’ and gave a short acceptance speech. 

June led walks across all distances and levels of difficulty and I’m sure many of us had the privilege of walking with her appreciating the fact that she took her responsibilities as a walk leader very seriously. Walkers always felt extremely safe under her excellent leadership. June was very clear that we all had to walk according to the Ramblers’ rules and if a walker decided to walk in front of the leader then they were “deemed to have left the walk”!  Fellow walkers have spoken about her kindness and how she helped and encouraged walkers who were new to the pace and demands of long walks, ensuring they returned to enjoy many more.

June appears in the Ramblers ‘Volunteer Welcome’ training video where she describes her role as a footpath inspector, a job she took very seriously and which led to others taking up the role. If you wish to access the piece please follow the steps below.

Kind regards

Maggie Swindells

Volunteer Welcome

  1. Sign into Ramblers – using user name and password
  2. Click ‘Support Us’
  3. Click ‘Volunteer’
  4. Click ‘Online Training’
  5. Click ‘Training Library’
  6. Sign in again – using username and password
  7. Click ‘Volunteer Welcome’  and start the sequence
  8. On the menu choose ‘Volunteer Stories’ June’s contribution is the second one

Ramblers General Council April 2024

Please see below the papers for this year’s General Council on the 20th April. If members have any questions/issues they wish to raise please contact Steve Butterfield or Trevor Park as they will represent Cheshire East Area at the General Council in April.
There are other documents available (mainly about procedures etc) at

Stroller Walks Programme 2024

Wednesday 13th March to 6th November 2024

The Stroller Walk Programme will start on Wednesday 13th March 2024 and will run until the 6th November . The walks will take place every fortnight on Wednesday mornings and will start at 10.30 unless stated on the walk information on the East Cheshire Website (

Stroller walks are intended for members who prefer a short, easy, flat walk with minimum stiles and ascents. Walkers may also be recovering from an injury or health issues and may want to take gentle walks to build up their stamina.

Stroller walks may be a good introduction for new walkers, who may wish to walk in a group for the first time? ECR are a friendly group and you’ll receive a very warm welcome.

Please contact the Stroller Walk Coordinator for further information 07729326940


In addition to East Cheshire Ramblers Stroller Walks, which are usually about 3-4 miles in length and aim to be relatively flat with few stiles, walkers can access two other options. The Ramblers offer Wellbeing walks in our area. Please visit the website Ramblers Wellbeing Walks for further information.

Everybody Health & Leisure works with trained volunteers to provide weekly short walks in the town centres and rural areas of Cheshire East. The aim is to help local residents get out, increase activity levels and socialise in a safe environment. 

These FREE short walks are accessible to all, particularly people who are looking to increase their activity. Pre-booking using Eventbrite is essential and must be completed prior to attendance. For any questions, please contact

Reporting a Problem on a Public Right of Way in Cheshire East

Dear Members

Thanks to ECRs’ Webmaster we now have a direct link, on our home page, to report a problem on any CHESHIRE EAST Public Right of Way. You’ll find the link, an orange arrow in a black circle, next to the icon to East Cheshire Ramblers’ Facebook page. Clicking the link will take you to the form you need to complete to identify where the problem is. Uploading photographs to the form also helps inform what’s required to solve the issue.

Your reporting helps to ensure that any footpath issues are dealt with as soon as possible.

If you need advice or assistance in completing the form or you want to contact us about a footpath matter please use the ‘Contact’ tab on the ECR Website to contact our Footpaths Secretary.

Thank you

Harrop Brook Bridge

Historic Footbridge Saved

An iconic stone arch footbridge across Harrop Brook near Bollington has been saved from collapse thanks, in part, to a donation by East Cheshire Ramblers. The bridge was probably built in Victorian times. It is in the Peak District National Park and is on the Gritstone trail, a popular long distance trail stretching from Disley all the way south to Kidsgrove.

Over the years the bridge supports have been eroded by the force of the Harrop Brook and the bridge is in danger of collapse. However, the cost of restoration far exceeded the cost of replacing it with a ‘standard’ timber footbridge. East Cheshire Ramblers considered that it would be tragic to lose this unique little structure and have pledged £500 towards the cost of restoration. CEC obtained similar donations from Pott Shigley, Bollington and Rainow Parish Councils and also from the Peak and Northern Footpaths Society. The repairs are in hand and due for completion by summer 2019.

This is an example of the work of the Footpaths Committee of East Cheshire Ramblers whose members regularly liaise with the Public Rights of Way Unit of Cheshire East Council. The Footpaths Committee monitor an area stretching from Disley and Poynton in the north to Wincle in the south. The Committee strives to ensure that all the public footpaths in this area of East Cheshire are in good order.

Harrop Brook Bridge showing a gap in the stonework at the right hand side of the photograph.

General Council, Manchester 2019

Reflections on General Council, Manchester 2019

A highly organised and slick event. The staff, Trustees and the volunteers for the event were all wearing the same T shirts emphasising the One -Team-Approach. All the staff and Trustees sat along the front row of the auditorium. Senior staff members were called upon in turn to give their part of the presentation supported by the Trustee who had been involved with that topic.

‘Van’ (Vanessa) Griffiths the new Chief Executive appointed 2 years ago, emphasised we are all One Team, no more divisions, but embracing change and moving forward together. We were reminded that we didn’t belong to a walking club but to a movement. The Ramblers organisation is aspiring to become the ‘Go-To’ place for walking. Central office is listening and new methods would be modified in light of feedback. Local successes need to be shared with the Trustees and Central Office (CO).

First priority was to address the slow decline in membership over the last 15 years and there was a promise to achieve membership growth ‘within 3 years’. We needed to be a welcoming organisation reaching out to new members, and recognising that the majority of members do not go on organised walks.

The new IT Director spoke lucidly about the ‘Digital and Data Transformation’ going on and spoke about her priority to make it easier for everyone, The vision included new phone apps that would enhance your walking experience. The ambition was to build a system as good as Trip Adviser that would advise you about the local area –even tell you which path to take to avoid a muddy section? 5 databases have been combined into one and the new digital dashboard is there to be used. Walk leaders would zapp members cards at the start of walks so that CO could collect all sorts of lovely data about what we were doing. This data is useful to justify support from funders. In answer to a question, the director said that if ‘someone really didn’t want to be zapped it would not be compulsory’. More on the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) later…

The finances are in good order. £3.9 million surplus this year. But legacies contributed £1.6m and are notoriously unreliable. £250,000 is earmarked annually for legal fees opposing footpath changes – is this sufficient?

I didn’t stay for the dinner, apparently there was a quiz all about Manchester…. and guess which table won…… Greater Manchester & High Peak Area!

On the second day, there was the election of three new Trustees. All the candidates were passionate about walking….all embraced change and most were experienced in change management and knew it was difficult……

Next was the consideration of the motions that had been put forward. Only seven this year including one to rename the Agenda Committee to be the Motions Review Committee. Did it need to be debated?……. Yes it did!

Next up was GDPR and a motion asking the Trustees to acknowledge that locally held databases were OK. Apparently not, and a Trustee threatened us with a one million euro (or was it ten million euro?) fine. CO have it in hand with a dashboard app where areas and groups will be able to access the information they need? No doubt our membership secretary has all this in hand.

Third was a motion asking for an increase in publicity for the work ‘we do in improving the quality of the Public Rights of Way and in campaigning for increased access’ We were told that two new posts have been created for two years: Local Advocacy Advisors, one in the south and one in the north, who would help with this.

Fourth motion was asking for school packs to help recruit young people (and their parents) ‘who then stay with us for all their lives’.

Fifth motion was bemoaning the change of Policy by the Environment Agency (EA) towards maintenance of river banks where they impinge on rights of way. Apparently CO had been re-assured by the EA chief exec there was no change in policy with respect to river banks ‘on their land’. But most problems occurr not on EA land …….?

Sixth motion was on national planning guidance on green spaces and rights of way. Laudable stuff to press for strengthened guidance….

Seventh motion was an entertaining speaker on a motion to create a diverse and representative General Council (GC). She argued very persuasively that diverse organisations make better decisions and asked that Areas examine how they select there representatives to GC. Were there actual or perceived barriers that made participation by women more difficult? The Trustees to report back to 2020 GC which is to be held in Avon.

I can’t remember which motions were carried or defeated (except the first which, thankfully, was passed unanimously) but all the details of the motions and much more is on the Ramblers website.

Overall impression? For me it was exhausting (even without the evening dinner) but there is no doubt we are on the move and led by an impressive team – none of whom seemed to have been in post for more than one or possibly two years. Will the same team be there in five years time when it will be possible to assess the effectiveness of the changes which we are being asked to embrace? It was inspiring, almost evangelical at times. It is more than about led walks……. we are all One Team working together, and don’t forget the main message…. more members, more members, more members.

One final thought, are we missing out on conversations and consultations with CO as we have no area representatives? Are other areas better informed than we are? Maybe, just maybe, it is time to consider having an Area Chair – even if a ‘virtual’ one?

NSC 16.04.19


East Cheshire Ramblers ensure their footpaths are in good orderThe East Cheshire Group of the Ramblers is active in checking and inspecting the network of Public Rights of Way which exist across the splendid countryside in East Cheshire. There is a legal duty on the highway authority and on landowners to ensure that public footpaths are maintained in a walkable condition.

If you find a path in East Cheshire that is obstructed or want to report a fault to the Council go to the public rights of way page of the Cheshire East council web site –,_culture_and_tourism/public_rights_of_way/public_rights_of_way.aspx – where you will find a link to an online problem report form.

If, after submitting this form, you do not get a satisfactory response, please report the problem to us using the link at the end of this article and we will follow it up.

East Cheshire Ramblers cover an area of 33 parishes from Poynton in the north to Wincle in the south and, east to west, from Chelford to Rainow.  There are over 1270 paths which criss-cross the area and every path is surveyed annually by our volunteer inspectors. By far the majority of paths  are in good order, thanks to the co-operation of the landowners and the tireless work of Cheshire East Council Public Rights of Way (PROW) Unit.  Sometimes a path can be obstructed by a fallen tree, a newly erected fence or sometimes a stile or gate is damaged. Our inspectors report these faults to the PROW Unit who ensure the fault is rectified promptly.  Some inspectors also fix yellow waymarking signs to ensure walkers can keep to the correct line of the path. To cover such a large area, over 40 of our members are inspectors and we are always on the lookout for more volunteers.

In addition, we have a group of volunteers who undertake more practical tasks such as cutting back vegetation, repairing stiles and improving the path surfaces.

How is all this co-ordinated? Well, since 1986 East Cheshire Ramblers have organised a Footpaths Committee who meet regularly to discuss the latest problems and the progress with the annual path inspections. At this forum proposals for the legal diversion of the rights of way are debated and comments made to Cheshire East Council. We look after the interests of all walkers and we will not agree to any proposal that significantly reduces the enjoyment of the path.  If necessary, but rarely, we will make a formal objection and argue our case at a Public Inquiry. In such cases we are able to draw on the legal expertise of the Ramblers Central Office in London. If you enjoy walking, please join the Ramblers organisation and help to support this vital work.

Here are some photographs to illustrate the group’s work

The footpath goes under the bridge. This obstruction was reported by our footpaths inspector and Cheshire East Council ensured it was removed.

The footpath goes under the bridge. This obstruction was reported by our footpaths inspector and Cheshire East Council ensured it was removed.
A memorial bench was installed some years ago by the East Cheshire Ramblers Group on the Ladybrook Valley Interest Trail in Poynton. Rest a While!

A memorial bench was installed some years ago by the East Cheshire Ramblers Group on the Ladybrook Valley Interest Trail in Poynton. Rest a While!
The path has been eroded by the stream over a number of years. A temporary diversion of the footpath has been implemented.

The path has been eroded by the stream over a number of years. A temporary diversion of the footpath has been implemented.
A fallen tree is blocking the footpath beyond the kissing gate. It is the responsibility of the landowner to remove the obstruction, but if they do not act then Cheshire East Council can remove the obstruction and charge the cost to the landowner.

A fallen tree is blocking the footpath beyond the kissing gate. It is the responsibility of the landowner to remove the obstruction, but if they do not act then Cheshire East Council can remove the obstruction and charge the cost to the landowner.
This has now been replaced by a kissing gate.

This has now been replaced by a kissing gate.
Our footpaths inspector reported this problem and it was dealt with promptly by Cheshire East Council.

Our footpaths inspector reported this problem and it was dealt with promptly by Cheshire East Council.

Here are some links which will be useful to obtain further information on footpaths and rambling in our area

Neil Collie