28th Mar: A Group to a Void!
A Group to a Void! … but not a group to avoid if you want a pleasant stroll at a leisurely pace in the fresh air with cheerful company. Many thanks to Anne C for leading this very informative walk from the VOID at Apedale to admire the sterling conservation work of Ranger Andrew Hunt and his volunteer team. If you haven't seen the new Miner’s statue overlooking the Void it is well worth a trip.
Read more: 28th Mar: A Group to a Void!
14 Mar: Walking back to happiness in Barlaston
Welcome sunshine blessed the seventeen members who set off from Barlaston Green car park for a mid week figure of eight walk over Baslaston Downs and then through the Wedgwood Estate. We had clear skies enabling impressive views of the Wrekin from the topograph and, for some, the Duke of York provided an excellent ale as a finale.
Brian L and Stephen M
11 Mar: Spawning in Froghall
18 people turned out on a spring like day, a pleasant route that involved quiet lanes and inclined planes to alleviate some of the mud. After a short ascent we walked along Banks Lane past the wildlife sanctuary then dropped down to the Churnet for coffee break at the Black Lion. A stiff climb to Basford Hall had us puffing and panting, then on to our lunch stop at lpstones. A pleasant stay in the Sea Lion before setting off back to Froghall via Hopestones and Shawall, then down the inclined plane. Well done Swifty.
4th Mar: Mobberley Manoeuvres
Where were we?
Walking along the River Bollin, and guess where its route flows - right under the runway at Manchester Airport!
Now that the Twigges are settled into their new Cheshire residence, they’re certainly making use of this county to extend their range of walks. Eileen led 17 of us on a truly original 10-mile walk, watching planes land at very close quarters, with a few of us closet planespotters so absorbed by this treat that we nearly got left behind.
Eileen achieved this with a pastoral walk from Mobberley, where she came up trumps with a great pub stop at lunchtime near the station. Here I have to admit a personal interest, since this also became the instant choice for an after-walk meal later in the day, where I could celebrate a big birthday surrounded by friends. A memorable day, thanks very much, Eileen!
Read more: 4th Mar: Mobberley Manoeuvres
4th Mar: Sandon
The following photographs were taken by Dave S-J as proof that Stoke/Newcastle Ramblers are hardy types.
Read more: 4th Mar: Sandon
18th Feb: Bishop Offley walk
20 people turned out, plus one woman and her dog. Phil and Elizabeth guided us on a figure of eight route from Croxton, linking all the Offley hamlets. Lunch stop at the Star lnn at Copmere was well received, almost a spring like day had most people sat outside. We made our way back via Copmere lake and Jackson's Coppice. Phil gave us an informative historical account of mills on the River Sow as we passed through. We were all impressed, this being Phil and Elizabeth's first led walk for our group.
Thanks for a lovely walk.
Read more: 18th Feb: Bishop Offley walk
31st Jan: 4 mile Urban Walk
This was the best turnout so far for the 4 mile local walks Anne introduced to the Group last year. 15 ramblers met up at the Brindley Farm car park, Etruria Valley proving that urban walking when the fields are muddy and wet can be more enticing and even more interesting too. On joining the Trent & Mersey canal our industrial heritage came into play when places familiar were recognised and new buildings and improvements to the city landscape were noted. Eventually joining the Caldon Canal leading to Hanley Park, Anne was able to photograph the group in front of the recently restored terracotta fountain.
7th Jan: Tatton Park
The recent walk in Tatton Park attracted some first time walkers. As you can see from Aaron's letter below, he had a good time!
Most of our walks are suitable for the grand children of members - it's never too early to introduce them to the joy of walking, so why not bring yours along too!
Hi, I went with my Grandpa and Mum on the hike and met a new friend 13 yr old Tyler. The weather was perfect, sunny and cold, but no rain or wind. Malcolm, the team leader led the way with interesting facts about the area. There were 25 of us. Tatton Park has lots of scenic beauty with a large lake with swans and ducks and we also saw some deer and black sheep in the open fields. We had a break in the coffee shop after 3.5 mile and then continued back through the forest. It was an exciting day and I will certainly do it again.
Aaron George (age 10)
Read more: 7th Jan: Tatton Park
6th Jan: Public transport walk
Our walk through the green ways of the city had great turnout - 21 people alighted from the bus at Werrington. We made our way to Hulme hamlet, then Park Hall Country Park and Berry Hill fields to our lunch stop at a micro brewery and real ale bar in the Imex industrial complex. A very unusual location set in the middle of an industrial estate, but everyone enjoyed this unique bar complete with log burner.
We finished the walk in Stoke centre via Glebe park, Smith's pool, and the Trent and Mersey canal towpath, ending the day with one for the road in the White Star. Thanks for a super turnout.
Read more: 6th Jan: Public transport walk
3rd Dec: Christmas Lunch and Walk
Photo by Anne Clamp
Many thanks to Doreen A. for organising an excellent meal at the Red Lion, Market Drayton and to Susan M. for expertly shepherding us along the Shropshire Union Canal and subsequent lanes back to the start. With forty walkers in attendance, neither of these tasks was insignificant. During the walk Susan’s gingerbread disappeared almost as fast as the rainclouds leaving us free to admire the 19th century engineering skills of Thomas Telford as our appetites grew. Clean plates, cups and glasses at the Red Lion were a testament to the quality of the food and drink on offer and the event reached a conclusion with a raffle draw organised by Lynda B.
We are much indebted to those who volunteered their time to explore and conduct these activities; not forgetting the other attendees for their warm conversation on the day.
11th Nov: Real Ale Trail
Thank you all for supporting the 6th real ale trail on the 11th Nov.
After a lovely hour in the market Street cafe consuming a range of breakfast options with coffee we began our tour. Four good pubs and micro bars had been carefully selected by woody and Allen a week earlier, someone has to do it!
Calling in at the Burslem Tap, Johnny's Bar, Bulls Head then Duke William, about 18 people including associated friends enjoyed a variety of different beer and really good banter. A small group stayed on and continued in the Leopard then went to have a curry.
Lots of fun and laughs all day. Woody
6 Nov: 800 Years Since the Charter of the Forest
The 6 November 2017 marks 800 years since the Charter of the Forest granted ordinary people the right to access royal forests. This was the first step in a campaign spanning centuries seeking the freedom for people to explore our beautiful landscapes.
There have been many milestones in our journey to increase access since this seminal moment; the Kinder Mass Trespass, the creation of National Parks, the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, the Land Reform (Scotland) Act, the Marine and Coastal Access Act, the opening of the Wales Coast Path, all of which have helped to increase the places people can walk. But we know there’s still a way to go, with many areas still out of bounds.
Ramblers Central Office are keen to use this anniversary to start a conversation about the future of access.
You can add your support in two ways:
1. Sign the petition available at https://e-activist.com/page/15160/petition/1, which calls on the government to increase access to woodland
2. Share your views on the future of access by completing the survey at https://e-activist.com/page/15458/data/1
A new Ramblers guide to open access is available at http://www.ramblers.org.uk/accessguide
28 Oct: Staffordshire County Council Rights of Way proposals
Staffordshire County Council are proposing an A, B, C classification for all footpaths in the county. Maintenance priority would be given to A footpaths with C footpaths, which ‘are most likely to be infrequently used’, only receiving attention when they become unsafe or ‘when limited resources allow’. As some of you will be aware, this proposal was discussed at our group committee meeting on 18/10/17 when concern was expressed that the Council seem to be neglecting their statutory responsibilities, and, since walking groups were most likely to use C footpaths, this initiative conflicts with other programmes designed to enhance health and wellbeing. More personally, it seems that the diversity of our group walking programme would reduce.
Further details of the proposal are available at https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/environment/eLand/RightsofWay/Rights-of-Way-consultation/The-proposals.aspx. You are strongly urged to read this and to send your individual response through the associated online portal at https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/environment/eLand/RightsofWay/Rights-of-Way-consultation/Have-your-say.aspx. While a formal group response will be sent reflecting the views of your committee, it is important that individuals also have their say. Many individual views would certainly add weight to anything the committee say.
I am also aware that many of you walk in groups that are not part of Ramblers. These programmes might be similarly affected so you may wish to also encourage these walking colleagues to respond to the consultation. The group committee will solicit the help of Ramblers Central Office to support the group case.
Please remember that the diversity of the group walking programme is at stake!
3rd Sept: Chinley
Londoner leads first walk from Chinley in the High Peak
Mr Damarell led 15 ramblers on a circumnavigation of Chinley Churn,stopping on the edge of Hayfield, free chips and sandwiches at the pub stop,a great treat. John was equipped with a 20 inch HD ready tablet in his map case, a smart phone GPS tracking tablet and a magnetic field compass. More tablets than Moses. lf there had been an electric storms he would have been the first person to go up in smoke. Just one hiccup on the way back as the weight of his navigation equipment took him off piste, sliding off Cracken Edge; however John recovered well to return with everyone else. Mr Damarell who came to the Potteries Betteries via Henley on Thames jumped ship at Hanley by Etruia using the canal system, ran into a ground floor flat 2 years ago and has been there ever since. Mr Damarell said he came north so he could wear flat caps, go whippet racing, have cheap housing, cheap beer and finally cheap women. John (later) said he had been misquoted there is no such thing has cheap women. A Home Office spokesman said it is a alarming trend that Londoners are entering Staffordshire illegally using the canal network. Its quite possible Mr Damarell could be sent back on the very boat he came in.
Ramblers spokesman Brian Wood said we hope this is the first of many led walks.
Chinley and Hayfield Gazette (Northern correspondent)