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Message from our Chairman - January Newsletter 2017

Welcome to 2017, the year in which we will be celebrating the club's 70th birthday.

At the Annual General Meeting we accepted the resignations of Jenny G our Chairwoman and committee members Bob, Pam, John A and Sandra. On behalf of the club I would like to thank Jenny, Bob, Pam, John, and Sandra for all their work in ensuring the continued success of Dorset Ramblers. We would like to offer a warm welcome to our new Walks Secretary, Rosemary and committee member Anne N. I am looking forward to working with you and the rest of the committee in my new role as Chairwoman.

The AGM completed, and a generous buffet eaten, the afternoon concluded with a talk by Briony Baxter, a Dorset Wildlife Trust Conservation Officer. Briony's light-hearted and informative presentation offered many ideas to help make our gardens into refuges for wildlife.

Our autumn programme has been very enjoyable walking in varied landscapes, enhanced by the mild weather and glorious autumn colours. The Autumn Outing in September started in Colyton and ended with a tram journey through the Axe Valley with excellent views of wading birds. There were further opportunities for bird watching with a guided walk around the RSPB bird sanctuary at Arne. In December Jo along with other club members took part in the Santa Stride in aid of the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Service.

I would like to thank each person who has led a walk during 2016, walk leaders are of course essential. Please don't be daunted by the prospect of leading a walk for the first time; ask any Club member and they will direct you to someone who can help.

One of the committee's aims this year will be to increase membership. There are many walking groups in Dorset so what can our club offer? We provide an excellent range of walks, social events and holidays. Each club has a unique character created by its membership; over and over again our club has been described as friendly and welcoming, an obvious advantage in attracting new members.

Finally, from those of us who attended the Christmas Dinner at the Dorset Golf and Country Club, a huge thank you to Angie for organising the rooms, the lovely welcome we received as we arrived, the Quiz, the photographs and after dinner get together at Oakland Cottage.

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