WINCLE HISTORY WALK Friday 17th September 2021

WINCLE HISTORY WALK

Friday 17th September 2021

Rodney Hughes, a member of the East Cheshire Ramblers Association, has kindly offered to lead a History Walk for members on Friday 17th September 2021.

The walk is about 5 miles and will take about 4.5 hours. We will start at Dane Bridge Wincle at 10.00am. There is parking alongside the road leading down from the Ship Inn. SK11 0QE SJ 9584 6603

THE WALK

There will be a lot of stops and historical explanations on this walk so a dry day will be necessary. If the weather is bad we will have to re-arrange if possible.

Brief outline:

  • Dane Bridge and previous industries.
  • Over the old Battle field and conclusions.
  • Past roman Tomb.
  • Roman Road and original Ford. [Slideford] Double circle Druid stones.
  • On to Lane Head past Hammerton Farm Roman Road over Hammerton Moss to Wild Boar PH.
  • Over to Barlow hill- salt trail and Bennits Hill and Roman check point.
  • Woodcottage Farm across to Broomhill to Nettlebeds drive and to Wincle Grange. [History]
  • Salt trail across to Whitelee [local hanging] River Dane on to Wincle Brewery.

There is no charge and up to fifteen/twenty walkers would be ideal so that everyone present can hear what Rodney has to say. Please feel free to bring a drink and a snack as there will be a stop to take some refreshments.  We will return back to the start for about 2.30pm and walkers may wish to take a refreshing drink at the brewery before we head off home?

If you would like to join Rodney on his walk please would you email or text me so that we can have an idea of numbers? maggieswindells@gmail.com 07729327940   Many thanks Maggie Swindells

Ambleside Weekend Away 18th – 20th September 2021

Second Briefing Note

East Cheshire Ramblers

Weekend Away 17-19 September 2021
Ambleside 

Organiser

The weekend at Ambleside is being organised by Andy Davies (sliponmeslipper@hotmail.com). 

Melanie Davy will look after the administrative side: forms, payment etc.  (m.davy2906@gmail.com)

No accommodation is being organised for attendees, but there are group meals for both Friday and Saturday evenings at 6.00 pm at the Waterhead Inn, Lake Road, Ambleside LA22 0ER for those who wish to join the group for one, or both, meals.

 

Walks

We will be offering short, medium and long walks on Saturday and Sunday. Many thanks to Monica Brinkman, John Galligan, Sue Munslow, Kathryn Carty, Les Hall and Jane Gay for offering to lead.  


Accommodation

No accommodation is organised, but there is a wealth of accommodation in Ambleside to suit everyone. 

Friday and Saturday night meals. 6.00 – 8.00 pm
Due to the size of the group and the pandemic, it has proved exceedingly difficult to find a venue either large enough or willing to take non-residents.  Fortunately, the Waterhead Inn, Lake Road, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 0ER can accommodate up to 30 on Friday and up to 40 on Saturday night for an early meal.  Meals will be served at 6.00 pm and we have to vacate the dining room by 8.00 pm.

Venue: Waterhead Inn, Lake Road, Ambleside LA22 0ER (situated on the Southern approach to Ambleside in the fork of A591 (Lake Road) and A5075 (Borrans Road). Take left fork towards the lake.  (NB: Note different venue from earlier notification).

Time: 6.00 – 8.00 pm

Menu: The menu will consist of 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 desserts with different options per evening.  We will get the menu 2 weeks before and will need to submit our choices by 10th September.

Cost: £25 per person.  Deposit: £5 per person per meal

Parking

There is very limited parking at the hotel. Best option is to park in the pay and display car park (Lakeside Car Park), which is only chargeable between 9.00 am and 6.00 pm.  This is just beyond the Waterhead Inn on A5075 (road next to the Lake).

 

Payment, Recce Fees, deposits & Registration Form

  • £5 recce fee payable per person (excluding walk leaders) to cover the walk leaders’ petrol expenses.
  • £5 deposit payable per person, per meal at the Waterhead Inn.

Online Payment details: sort code 60-83-01, account 20129929, reference AMB

OR Cheques made payable to RA East Cheshire Group

Please complete the attached registration form once you have booked your accommodation and have paid your recce fees and email it to m.davy2906@gmail.com.

Alternatively, post your form and cheque to:

Melanie Davy, Brooke Cottage, Church Road, Handforth SK9 3LT

Tel: 01625 536511 Mobile: 07854 093785

ECR Meeting Minutes Tuesday 23rd June 2021

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MINUTES OF ECR MEETING TUESDAY 23 JUNE 2021     

Location – chair’s garden and Kathryn via Zoom                

Start time 1.30 pm

Meeting closed approx 4.45pm

ATTENDANCE

Jane Gay – chair

Dave Barraclough – footpath committee chair

Kathryn Carty – secretary

Sue Munslow – membership secretary

Maggie Swindells – social secretary

Colin Finlayson – treasurer

Melanie Davy

  1. Apologies and attendance

Keith Anderson (lost ways)

  • Minutes of the last meeting

Previous minutes approved.

  • Matters arising from last meeting
  • Projects and maintenance coordinator job description (separate from FP committee).  Dave had drawn this up previously but still needed a discussion with Brian Richardson in order to agree it.  There will then be two job descriptions, this one complementing Brian’s role.  Dave understands that it is accepted that there will be two separate roles.  No-one has been identified for the maintenance coordinator role.
  • Wincle Path.  The permissive path had been agreed with the landowner by Alan Catherall but the signed document had not been returned by the farmer.  Colin will speak to the landowner.  Dave explained that permissive paths don’t appear on footpath inspection lists but are checked unofficially.  Such paths remain open due to goodwill on the part of the landowner. Cheshire East do not maintain permissive paths.  The path is in the inspection area of a FP inspector and he can be asked to check it as part of his Wincle inspections and to report back on its state.
  • Archiving function on website.  Roger has put the tab on (access via members / docs / archives.
  • Read only access to footpath database.  This has been done and has been found easy to use.
  • Awards for members.  The criteria for such one off awards had been looked at and the recipients of such awards had been exceptionally

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outstanding in terms of time contributed to the cause, knowledge and expertise but were no longer active (Alan Catherall, Peter Cummings and Norman Ridley). Collating the background of such individuals is very dependant on members knowing their history.

  • Don’t Lose Your Way Current thought is that this will fall flat.  The amount of required record keeping is very onerous. It will be kept as a regular agenda item. Dave says 80% of paths have been identified by non-members.  One of those who spoke against Dave’s motion is the author of a book on lost ways and who is very involved with Open Spaces which indicates a conflict of interest.  The other two Cheshire groups have no interest in lost ways.  Jane’s impression is that there is little enthusiasm.  Even the interactive map is still not done.  This will be kept as a permanent agenda item and feedback will be given by Keith who will be asked to circulate regular lost ways updates to the committee.
  • Restarting group walks is addressed in Jane’s report but the salient points are detailed here.  Everyone is struggling to get walks on the programme.  People want to get away on holiday and so do not wish to commit to leading.   We need to encourage new walk leaders by reintroducing a buddy system so that the novice leader is helped from start to finish.  Planning a route should not be a problem as there are many listed on our website (walk planner) in map form divided into walk categories.  The map form may be a problem for some people.

It was suggested that  a brief survey could be done asking potential walk leaders about walk leading to see why they don’t currently lead and what help they think would give them the confidence to lead.  Maggie and Jane will put together a survey.  People will be asked if there are any issues on walks they go on.  This will elicit any concerns about walk numbers.

The numbers on walks are increasing and the number of leaders limiting walk numbers using a booking system is reducing.  The latter is to be encouraged but it remains up to the walk leader.  Ideally we will reach the position where there is no maximum number and no mandatory booking. Jane to ask Roger to remove the red strap line which says advanced booking required.

Andy has filled lots of the Thursday medium slots so it is good that the Thursday walk is being revived.

Dave still believes another slot should be given to short walks as walk numbers on short walks are too high.  A new coordinator would have to be found to run this.

  • Reports from officers

The Chair’s report includes the following

Alan Catherall’s memorial – Jane wanted to convey a huge thank you to all those who have supported this initiative and she will mention them at the AGM. Progress has been made and Jane provided up to date information about this at the meeting.
Lynda, Alan’s widow, is in agreement with a kissing gate being

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installed Poynton with Worth FP27. There will be a footpath post with 2 plaques, one saying how the work is funded and carried out, the other a

memorial to Alan. There will also be, along footpath 27, an additional waymarker post. Broken blades on a post where Lyme Handley 13 meets 22  will be replaced.  An additional permissive path may also be added in this area. The landowner is happy with this idea but needs to speak to the tenant.

£525 has been collected but because Brian Richardson is fitting the items this reduces the cost to £286.43.  Dave suggested that the balance is held in reserve should there be any expenses relating to the Wincle path, before any is donated to a charity of Linda’s choosing.

            Long weekend walk coordinator

Jane has spoken to someone who may take over Sue Thersby’s job when she finishes at Christmas after a lengthy time in the role.

Walk programmes

The short mid week programme is complete for 3 months and the weekend one just short of two of three walks.  All coordinators are struggling and if walk leaders don’t come forward then there will be gaps in the programme.  Coordinators must be thanked for their perseverance.

Slow ways

Jane has attended a zoom presentations on Slow Ways but doesn’t think this has much to offer ECR at the moment.  It was about linking all villages and towns to each other.  The idea is that anybody could walk from anywhere to anywhere using slow ways and be provided with details of local accommodation and attractions.  Maggie also attended the presentation.

Don’t Lose Your Way

Jane also attended a zoom presentation on this with Richard Sharpe, Dominic Tooze and Nicky Wilson being the presenters with input from Jack Cornish.
Apparently it is completely externally funded and came about from a motion at conference.
The goal is “recording more rights-of-way for a better network”
Within the structure they are looking for coordinators, researchers, archive volunteers. So far they have recruited 25 coordinators to cover 35 authorities with approximately 160 needed.
The researcher role will be introduced later in the summer.

Keith will be able to say much more but one interesting fact was that 80% of the people who have put Lost Ways onto the interactive map are not Ramblers members.
It was also said that the British Horse Society need collaboration and we are doing just that.
It seemed to say  “That footpath secretaries or coordinators can override decisions made”
The next steps are to develop the digital map, to organise training and resources which need more support, and to recruit coordinators and archive volunteers.

Jack Cornish wrapped up the meeting and said that Ramblers didn’t want to be in this position. The government said they wouldn’t do it. He said that Ramblers were stepping up and we need more volunteers. Any concerns

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should be fed back to both Jack and Dom.

Jane didn’t believe either of the other two groups which make up Cheshire East were playing any sort of active role.

Keith says the bottom line is that we have no one in Cheshire East interested in doing the work. He did say that the meeting notes that Richard Sharpe et al  send out are always useful and perhaps we should ask him to circulate these to us.

Membership secretary’s report (Sue Munslow) included the following

Numbers remain stable at about 570.

Sue attended a recent membership dashboard webinar with Iain Johnston from Central Office.

The dashboard has a separate list of members who wish to receive emails from us, currently over 300.  This list can be downloaded into Excel to be used to issue emails.  Information on the dashboard is updated daily.

ECR’s practice has been to encourage members to be contacted by email.  It seems that other groups are still sending out programmes in the post.

The use of the Ramblers walk app is being encouraged so that walk leaders take a register.  From such data 10% of those attending walks are non-members and they should be encouraged to join and be limited to walking 3 times before joining.

Central office hopes to use the data it collates from the app to lobby government re support and the value of walking.

Only the membership secretary has access to membership data unless there is a request for access from the chair or secretary.

Footpath Committee report (Dave Barraclough)

FOOTPATH COMMITTEE REPORT TO THE ECR COMMITTEE MEETING 23rd JUNE 2021

The action to organise access (read only) to the Footpath Database for all ECR Committee was completed – e mail 13/4/21 to all ECR Committee). Have members successfully logged on and have they found it of any benefit?

There has been one Footpath Committee Meeting on 13th April since the last ECR Committee Meeting. The business discussed was largely routine and some summary points are:

  1. The annual inspection of all footpaths in the ECR area is currently in progress. We have a full complement of inspectors and we are hopeful of another year with 100% coverage by the time of the AGM.
  2. There were a small number of Diversion Orders recorded and some routine queries. We plan to request a separate meeting with PROW over their procedure and publicity concerning Temporary Closures.
  3. A significant request from PROW was that they wished to use the data from the ECR Footpath Database in their annual report to the Rights of Way Committee. This is because of their staff limitations in carrying out their normal sample survey. We have willingly agreed to this request, subject to an acknowledgement to ECR. We hope that PROW will continue to use the information in our Footpath Database.
  4. Page 5
  • The Projects Group organised by Brian Richardson has made a welcome re- start to work with a couple of tasks and there was a good response to the request for volunteers. This included a useful task to set up a ‘by pass’ to the eroded section of the River Dean at footpaths Wilmslow 134, 78 and 127.
  • There has  been no progress in organising a Maintenance Coordinator for minor maintenance work. This action needs to be continued.
  • Cheshire East PROW re-started its Consultative Meetings by ZOOM on May 26th. The Agenda was largely routine and ECR requested a summary of their progress on dealing with the backlog of Modification Orders for new paths. There was no opportunity for the normal session of meeting their Enforcement Officers.
  • The PROW staffing of its Enforcement Officers is currently undergoing significant staffing changes. One long serving Officer – Evan Pedley – is taking early retirement and the temporary Officer, Nicola Swinnetron, is taken over the parishes in the west of Cheshire East. She has been very active in collaborating with ECR over the last two years. They are advertising for a new Officer who will take over the majority of parishes in the ECR area. This is an unfortunate change for ECR as we will inevitably lose a significant amount of experience in dealing with problems.

Dave Barraclough

17th June 2021

            Social Secretary’s report – Maggie Swindells

Since the last meeting we have hosted two more successful Zoom events. Nicola Swinnerton PROW Officer on the 19th April and Cheshire Wildlife Trust on the 17th May. Many thanks to everyone who led an event and to Jane for sorting the Zoom licence and for ‘zoom testing’!  

Two history walks are planned for September. Judith Wilshaw will lead a walk in Stockport on Thursday 2nd September and a Wincle History Walk, led by Rodney Hughes, will take place on Friday 17th September. I’ll be advertising both after the meeting. 

Jane organised a very successful weekend away in Patterdale. The weekend was blessed with excellent weather, company and food! Thank you for organising such a good weekend Jane.

Andy Davies is leading a weekend away in Ambleside in mid-September. 

A Christmas Carol Walk led by Jenny Bordoli is in the diary for the first Saturday in December. Hopefully the Christmas Carol Concert at Nether Alderley, which usually takes place on same day, will take place this year. 

If restrictions are lifted in July we may be in a position to think about holding events at the Tennis Club and booking Christmas Meals. Any offers? 

Thanks again to everyone who makes a contribution to the ECR Social Calendar we couldn’t do it without you all. 

Ideas for events are warmly welcomed & volunteers needed for the Christmas meal.

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Treasurer’s report – Colin Finlayson


As expected there has been very little financial activity that has taken place since our last ECR zoom meeting however there are now signs that our usual activities are starting to ramp up with the recent Patterdale Weekend being held and our Projects team starting to re-mobilise. So hopefully we could have a more active final quarter to this financial year.

Our bank balance stands at £9371.00 as of 22nd June.

The 2021/22 Budget Review documents have just been issued by RA Central and we have to submit our budget on 16th July.

6.ANY OTHER BUSINESS

a) Dave said it was impossible to send any message to the Chair or trustees of the Ramblers and this should not be the case.  There is now a new chair and we might ask Diane Simcoe to request a means of direct communication.  Dave will put together a request to be discussed at the trustees’ meeting and Jane will send it.

b) Jane wanted to mention a message she had received from a Rambler who didn’t want to lead and who felt they therefore shouldn’t go on walks.  A committee member would speak with that member and reassure them that they are entitled to walk, and furthermore, in this case, they gave their time to play an active role in another part of the organisation.

The procedures around leading had put them off doing it and this should be reported back to central office.  The risk assessment form does put some people off but it must be stressed to leaders that this is a very minor task when you actually get round to doing it.  It was pointed out that this was brought in because of covid but its contents were not all as a result of covid so it needs reappraising.

c)  Some of the walks were highlighted advance booking essential but when you clicked on them this was not the case.  Jane will email Roger about this.

d)  Additional committee members are needed.  Melanie expressed her wish not to have an actual role on the committee and had doubts about remaining on it.  This was entirely a reflection of the fact that she had just left  her drama group’s committee after 15 years and she felt she needed a break from committees.

e)  Need a long walks weekend coordinator.

f)  Need a replacement secretary.  Kathryn will continue until the AGM but will resign at the AGM.   Hopefully someone will come forward.

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g) Colin Park put in a lot of effort as Publicity Officer and nobody has come forward to replace him.  It is proving difficult to get things on facebook. That said, we are getting new members.

e)  Dave said we should give thought as to how long people should remain in post and whether it would be better to have a set period of time.  There is always the danger that replacements won’t be found because of their perception of how long they would need to stay in post.  Colin doesn’t believe that this is laid down anywhere.

f) £5000 is still ring fenced for footpath issues.  Social events are self-funded.  There is quite a large cash balance. This could be used to make up a shortfall on social events and related expenses.

g) Related to “f” above.  There needs to be procedure followed re recce expenses for trips away.  It was felt that walk leaders should be encouraged to charge 28p per mile and not to feel that they shouldn’t claim.  If someone recces a walk they often meet other expenses themselves such as overnight stays.  If the recce sum charged to members going on the walks (£ 5 was charged per head for the Patterdale weekend) proves to be insufficient to cover the recce costs paid out then the surplus can fund this.

h) The AGM is on 20 November.  Papers are to go out three weeks before, by 30 October.  The FP committee have a meeting scheduled for 5 October

Date of next meeting 18 October at 1.30pm at Jane’s

WALKING PROGRAMMES AND SOCIAL EVENTS UPDATE April 11th 2021

STROLLER WALKS

The Stollers Walks programme, which is designed for members who require short, flat and easy walks, will commence on the 23rd April and will run fortnightly until the 1st October.

PLEASE NOTE ALL STROLLER WALKS START AT 10.30am.

Please see the ECR Website for dates, leaders and more information about the location and starting points for the walks.  Maggie Swindells is co-ordinating the programme this year – contact details are mobile 07729327940 and email maggieswindells@gmail.com. 

EVENING WALKS

Ralph Atherton is coordinating the evening walks programme this year. Walks will begin on the 13th May and will run until the middle of August.  Please see the ECR Website for dates, leaders and more information about the location and starting points for the walks. 

SOCIAL CALENDAR

The ECR Social Calendar has been updated and key dates are set out below.  If you feel you would like to offer to run or host and event please don’t hesitate to contact me.  As always the success of the programme is down to the generous support and contributions of our members.

APRIL 2021 EAST CHESHIRE RAMBLERS SOCIAL CALENDAR  
Thank you to all those involved in organising these events, any suggestions or ideas about an event would be warmly welcomed. Please don’t hesitate to contact me on: Maggie Swindells maggieswindells@gmail.com 
07729327940 /01625 829671  
 
   
Monday 22nd February 7.30Zoom Quiz led by Steve Hull
Monday 22nd March 7.30Zoom Mindfulness led by Marion Duff
Monday 29th March 7.30Zoom Macclesfield Canal Presentation led by Duncan Learmond
Saturday April 17thRamblers Association General Council Meeting  via ZOOM
Monday 19th April 7.30An Audience with Nicol Swinnerton PROW Officer Cheshire East
Monday 17th May TBCZoom Cheshire Wildlife Trust
TBC1.30 pm Stockport Guided Walk with Judith Wilshaw organised by Maggie Swindells
23rd April to 1st OctoberStart of fortnightly Strollers’ walking programme organised by Maggie Swindells
Thursday 13th MayStart of evening walks organised by Ralph Atherton
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th  JunWeekend Away  Patterdale organised by Jane Gay
Sunday 8th AugustRosie Walk and lunch at the Boddington Arms/ Hickory Smokehouse Organised by Gina Thompson
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th SepAmbleside Weekend away – Andy Davies
Saturday 20th November 2021ECR AGM
September 25th to October 2ndBollington Walking Festival
TBC November 2021Cheshire East Area AGM
Saturday 4th DecemberChristmas Carol (Carol service still to be confirmed) short walk Jenny Bordoli

MINUTES OF ECR ZOOM MEETING TUESDAY 30 MARCH 2021

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  Start time 3.00 pm

ATTENDANCE

Jane Gay – chair

Dave Barraclough – footpath committee chair

Kathryn Carty – secretary

Sue Munslow – membership secretary

Maggie Swindells – social secretary

Colin Finlayson – treasurer

Melanie Davy

Keith Anderson – lost ways

  1. Apologies and attendance

All committee members present.

  • Minutes of the last meeting

Previous minutes approved.

  • Matters arising from last meeting
  • a) Maggie – Slow Ways – nothing to report since last meeting.
  • b) Dave – re footpath inspections – a conversation was held with Head Office (HO) in which he pointed out that there were no government rules restricting one person walking so they were clearly able to continue with local inspections.  HO didn’t change their mind though rationale was unclear.  Dave took the view that activities were recommencing soon so not worth pursuing.
  • c)Colin – permissive paths – Colin had spoken with John Goodman and had précised a document prepared by John which has yet to be finalised.  Dave Barraclough has received a copy.  This document will provide guidance on the process to follow which includes first of all providing the committee with details for approval before any work is done on a potential permissive path.

Alan Catherall had secured a permissive FP in Wincle with the farmer’s agreement which added a loop to a right of way.  Dave had wondered whether this should be referred to HO in case there were any implications for Ramblers.  No maintenance costs fall on the FP owner.  Permissive paths effectively impose duties on Ramblers in the same way Public Rights of Way do on Cheshire East, such as maintenance of stiles and footpath.  Dave doesn’t recall a stile on the Wincle permissive path and the farmer just didn’t want any planting along the path.  It was believed that the Charles Head permissive path didn’t go to HO for approval. It was felt that there would not be onerous costs

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maintaining the Wincle permissive path.  The only possible thing is if a claim is made by walker injuring themselves there.  It was decided not to refer to HO.

  • d) Dave – projects and maintenance coordinator – Dave circulated a document to the FP committee and has received a couple of replies.  The document may be further tweaked before being put out to the membership to see if there is anyone willing to do the job.  The priority at the moment is to get the walk programme up and running.  It might be best just to say to the membership that a job description is available and to try and source an appropriate candidate.  The maintenance role needs to be quite separate from the FP committee.  Whoever takes on the role would report to the main committee.  Dave will send details to Brian Richardson.  This new role would complement Brian’s role.
  • e) Jane – archiving – Jane spoke to HO and was asked to leave it for a while as they are so busy with Covid. There are several questions to address.  What records HO require us to keep and in what format?  There must be some records we are legally obliged to keep for example re public enquiries but these are going to be limited in number. 

Also, a different question is how to make records accessible to members.  For instance Jane would find it helpful to be able to see what contributions different people are making to help assess whether this was exceptional and warranted an award of some kind.  She thought it would be good if this were considered on an annual basis but not minuted and Maggie thought some criteria could be drawn up to assist with this assessment.

Maggie questioned how long minutes should be left on the website and when these could be archived.  Could Roger create some archive function?

  •  Walks programme
  • Jane had notified all walk coordinators to say what she is doing and it was up to each coordinator to determine the length of the programme.  All coordinators are short of leaders, and no-one rushed to bring forward the start date when advised we could.
  • Tony Walker isn’t well so we need to check if he is still drawing up the stroller programme.
  • Sue Thersby has given notice that she will finish being the long weekend coordinator at Christmas.
  • Andy is currently asking people to fill a programme for medium walks on Thursdays and then, presumably, when this is full he will try and get another day up and running (alternate Tuesdays and Wednesdays).  There was concern that the numbers would get too high if there was only one medium weekday walk.
  • Steve Hull is the long week midweek coordinator and he too is finding it hard to fill the programme.
  • We need to check the date Ralph intends to start the evening walks.
  • There is no maximum walk number imposed.

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  • Don’t Lose Your Way
  • Keith had attended two meetings with Jack Cornish and Dominic Tooze and there were about 35/40 people at the meeting making it difficult to tell how the country was covered.  It seemed to Keith that there was great activity in some areas and little in others so it was hard to discern any national coherence. The two named above work with an external IT contractor but Ramblers also use them for other jobs and so they are not always available to them.  This is delaying how to use the map, it is really in the hands of others.  Tools are needed to log onto the map to look at a particular lost way being worked on.  The map is open to the public.  There are different levels of prioritisation awarded.  Basically the system is relying on volunteers.  Keith hasn’t been asked which of his prioritised routes should be worked on. He has 5 on the list from Dave, 19 from Colin Park.

Keith just doesn’t know where this project is heading.  It seems there is activity producing training manuals and on using information from the British Horse Society which is ahead in activity terms.  You have to believe a path is worth saving, and we already have thousands of useable footpaths.

Dave reminded the committee that Cheshire had been selected for a trial some four years ago and a lot of work was done by volunteers including Colin Park.  The outcome of a trial with the Dept of the Environment concluded the exercise was too expensive and of little overall benefit and was abandoned by them.

Clearly prioritising is needed and there are 8 categories.  Keith is not expected to look at the list and categorise the routes.

Keith would have liked to report that there had been some progress but he is unsure the project will ever progress without enthusiastic volunteers and is unsure who these will be.

We could ask PROW what they are doing in the local area.

Keith says questions need to be put forward before his next Zoom meeting and Maggie offered to draft a question as to whether they had been asked to pursue any useful paths.

Reports from Officers

Chair – Some of Jane’s report has been covered earlier in the meeting.

It has been suggested to all coordinators that we find leaders up until the end of June. All the coordinators have gone with this suggestion. It is up to them to decide what is the best method to move forward for their particular part of the programme.  Are we going to encourage people to go back to a six month programme  or perhaps a three or four month programme is more appropriate at this time?

Sue Thersby who is the weekend long walks coordinator has contacted me to say that she will continue in the role until this Christmas. A massive thanks must go to Sue who has carried out the role for eight years, during which time

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she has attended most, if not all, weekend walks, so what a huge commitment that is!!

Christine Brear has been in touch with me about the Bollington walking festival and asked if ECR are prepared to support it again as she wished to get in contact with some ECR walk leaders who led for the festival last year. I said that we would definitely support it and that I would ask the coordinators to put information out about it for the next schedule

I have taken part in the walk leader training which I have to say was interesting but extremely difficult to access. Ramblers use completely different grades to us. I actually think our members are very aware of what our grades mean and nobody has ever mentioned to me that they have been confused. The one thing that I did pick up from the training was that it’s a good idea to check the mobile coverage when you are doing the recce. They also said that incidents or incidents should be reported for example even if a walker was lost for a short time then that should be reported There is more information on this in the document hub on Assemble

I must congratulate Dave on getting the Cheshire East motion accepted for National Conference. This is no mean feat as there are only six motions being debated. At the moment Steve Butterfield and I are the delegates for conference but I’m hoping to be able to pass my place over to Dave so that he can speak to the motion. It was felt that Dave could propose the motion and answer questions on it.  Dave was accordingly nominated to attend instead of Jane

I have agreed with Gina Thompson to organise a walk in memory of Rosie Forth on Sunday, the 8th of August. That would’ve been Rosie‘s birthday. I’ve asked Gina if she will lead the walk at Lindow Common which is the last walk Rosie attended, and was led by Gina.  My plan is to invite her Goddaughter and Godson, who both live in the South, and maybe carry out some of the readings from the memorial service.  Everyone thought this was an excellent idea to remember a lovely member. Other thoughts are to take along a tin of Roses chocolates as Rosie quite often brought some along and if at all possible a few people may like to go to the pub to celebrate with Prosecco or rosé wine, the drinks of choice, as far as Rosie is concerned

Re-memorial for Alan I have copied a section from an email from from John Goodman.  It is agreed that some sort of footpath signage would be very fitting for Alan who worked tirelessly on improving the footpath network.

Briefly, the current cost of sponsorship is £375. (If that worries the committee I am sure you would find a queue of donors). Amongst the benefits that flow with PNFS signs is a dedicated group of volunteers, led by David Morton, who

erect and maintain all the signs, and replace them if necessary.


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 One choice is whether to have Alan’s in memoriam plaque attached to a recently erected PNFS sign post already in place – which is much quicker – or to find an appropriate location for a new one. This means finding a spot where one is needed and then getting the consent of the landowner for it to be erected, plus design and manufacture.

David Morton does the negotiations with landowners and oversees the whole process. He usually has a few already erected signs available for sponsors, plus ideas about possible locations for new signs.

 Lynda and the committee will have thoughts on location. Personally, Alan’s long association with Wincle as FP inspector and being known by some land owners there, almost suggests itself – if there is a place where signage is required.

I mentioned Wincle to David when checking the current cost with him. He said there is a sign available for sponsorship in nearby Gradbach. However, haste is the last thing needed here. Many views need to be sought on both the nature of the memorial before geography comes into it. Lynda is, of course, the person who most needs to happy with any choice” John

There was much discussion on this and it was felt that a new sign might be more appropriate than one already dated 2018, location to be decided.  Jane will speak again with Alan’s wife.  Colin pointed out that there would have to be a sign put up about the new Wincle permissive path so that might be appropriate.  Although a new sign would take longer, speed is not at issue here, more making a fitting tribute to Alan.  It was suggested that Nicola Swinnerton be approached re suitable site but Wincle is not her patch.

Jane also wondered about asking the long walkers to make a collection and then the balance being made up from surpluses from social activities.  Colin (treasurer) said that there was no problem either funding a balance or the entire cost. Both options were in accordance with the rules.

I would also like to discuss some walking routes which are on the website. If you go to “articles” and then “routes” you will find a very well presented leaflet called “local walks by members of the group”  “East Cheshire paths”

I have spoken to Roger about this and apparently they have been there for many years! He was looking at updating it so that people could access photos et cetera and we both decided that the details needed checking. So I’m asking if anybody is prepared to walk one of the routes and check the details both written and on the map.

Treasurer Colin

            The current balance is £8,927 with very little going out – a healthy balance.

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Membership Secretary Sue

            March Membership Report

New members to our group

January      7

February.    1

March.        3

Although numbers joining/leaving each month are fluctuating at present our overall membership numbers remain steady at 567.

In the last week there have been 4 new members.

Social secretary Maggie

            Maggie will add the date of the Bollington Festival to the schedule.

She and Gina are thinking of offering a day out to the Sandstone Trail but not a coach trip, but three walks would be put on.  Maggie thought it was worth trying it out to see how it goes.  She didn’t think there would be many takers for a coach trip.

She had also thought about a day trip to Hereford with a guided tour.  Travel by train is under two hours from Wilmslow.  This sounded a great idea but this would be put on hold for the timebeing.

Also Cheshire Wildlife Trust will do another Zoom session.

There were 63 on Ducan’s Zoom talk.  He hadn’t wanted payment for the charity and certainly not for himself.  It was felt however that the group could donate £75 to the Canal Trust.

The report is as follows

Social Secretary’s Report 30th March 2021

My thanks must go to Steve Hull, who suggested we could think about running ‘virtual’ events via Zoom. As a result of his suggestion we’ve managed to hold a few Zoom socials this year. Steve Hull led a very successful quiz in February and Marion Duff ran a mindfulness event in March. Duncan Learmond offered a Macclesfield Canal talk, due to take place on Monday 29 th March and two future events are planned; Nicola Swinnerton PROW Officer on the 19 th April and Cheshire Wildlife Trust on the 7 th May. Many thanks to everyone who offered to lead an event and to Jane for sorting the Zoom licence and for ‘zoom testing’!

Until coaches are up and running we thought it might be a good idea to offer a

‘Walking Day Out’ where people take their own cars? Gina Thompson and I thought we’d try organising one in West Cheshire using the Sandstone Trial as a possible location?

Another idea could be a train trip to Hereford with a city walk and a visit to the

Cathedral?

Key dates for AGMs could be published but I feel dates and venues for Christmas Meals may need to wait until the impact of the lockdown easing is known?

Maggie also provided a draft of planned activities / events.

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Chair footpath committee – Dave

Footpath activity since the last ECR Meeting has been fairly routine, with e mail exchanges with PROW over a few ‘problem’ paths:-

  1. Neil Collie has inspected a Diversion Order of Macclesfield Forest FP 34 & 35 and then objected in order to finally ‘get it right’.
  2. Poynton FP80 – severe mud as footpath passes under railway bridge. PROW has responded promptly with clearing the mud but the problem of a low bridge is not easily resolved.
  3. Rainow FP62 – steps in poor condition, landowner requested PROW action and Nicola Swinnerton has requested ECR assistance via Brain Richardson. The photos and our database results suggest this is barely necessary – but in the absence of higher priority tasks being identified, it may be carried out by the Project Team at some point.
  4. Wilmslow FP 76 – near Handforth. Severe river erosion has caused part of the path to fall into the river. ECR suggested a temporary diversion for nearby paths to remain open  but PROW has insisted on a complete closure for safety reasons. This group of paths is well used by Handforth residents and we believe the public will now develop their own unofficial diversion. We can do no further at present.
  5. We are planning to restart long term discussion at the Footpath Committee and with PROW over  a couple of locations on the Gritstone Trail where the route is dangerous as it  passes for a short distance on a busy road.

Tony Battilana has organised a full complement of inspectors for the 2021 Footpath Inspections. The circulation of instructions to the Footpath Inspectors was delayed by the lockdown but this will now be able to proceed. This is now in good shape and the database is steadily improving – particularly with the inclusion of multiple photos for footpath problems. Committee Members could help by encouraging to spread the word that we would like inspectors to take photos and also to carry out minor clearance by using secateurs on their inspections. (The majority are authorised to do this.) 

The footpath inspectors have access to the database to enter reports and to view them.  Dave will ask Roger for a read only logon for the FP database for Main ECR Committee members.  Maggie mentioned insurance and Dave clarified that Tony had put out guidance on this.

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Actions agreed


 
  Reference 
Action
 Owner
 3 d)Projects and maintenance coordinator job description to Brian RichardsonDave 
 3 e)Archiving function on website.  To ask Roger if this is possible.Jane 
 4To see if Tony Walker able to remain coordinator for stroller walksJane 
 4To check with Ralph the start date of evening walks.Jane 
 5Question to pose in advance of Keith’s next Zoom meeting on Don’t Lose Your Way.Maggie 
 10Ask Roger Fielding for possible “Read Only” access to the excellent Footpath Database for all ECR Main Committee Members.Dave 
 Pages 4&5To continue the discussion about a suitable way of recognising the work of Alan Catherall   All 

Date of next meeting Wed 23 June 1.30pm at Jane’s house.

Weekend Away Ambleside 2021

East Cheshire Ramblers

Weekend Away 17-19 September 2021
Ambleside 

This is an early briefing note as you will need to book your own accommodation. It is suggested that you book or provisionally reserve something as soon as possible as Ambleside is a very popular destination.

Ambleside is a small town situated at the head of Lake Windermere in the heart of the Lake District.  Although a major tourist resort with shops, restaurants, cinema and a large selection of places to stay, it has managed to retain a village feel. It is very popular with walkers and climbers and is one of the best bases for exploring the Lake District.


Organiser

The weekend at Ambleside is being organised by Andy Davies (sliponmeslipper@hotmail.com). 

Melanie Davy will look after the administrative side: forms, payment etc.

No accommodation is being organised for attendees, but Andy is hoping to arrange group meals for both Friday and Saturday evening.

 

Walks

We are hoping to offer short, medium and long walks on the Saturday and Sunday. This will be confirmed once all the walk leaders have been identified. If you are willing to lead a walk, please contact Andy at sliponmeslipper@hotmail.com.


Accommodation

No accommodation is being organised, but there is a wealth of accommodation in Ambleside to suit everyone.  Among other sites, see:  booking.com; Airbnb; www.visitcumbria.com/amb/ambleside/  and www.amblesideonline.co.uk/accommodation/

Friday and Saturday night meals 
We are hoping to organise these at Ambleside Salutation Hotel, Lake Road, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9BX for those who wish to join the group for one, or both, meals.

This will be confirmed at a later date as the hotel is currently closed due to the pandemic.

Registration Form and Recce Fees

Once details of meals have been arranged, there will be a further briefing note with a registration form to complete. There will be also be a £5 recce fee payable per person to cover the walk leaders’ petrol expenses. Full details of how to pay will be sent out with the registration form.