A message from your committee; please read and give us feedback at AGM or informally on walks or by return e-mail / letter.
We have had several events in this last programme which were slightly out of the ordinary and were certainly enjoyed by the people who participated in them; a Summer Outing in early July to Otterton, Devon with lovely riverside and cliff top walk, a visit to delightful Pallington Lakes (Angie and Rita’s walk starting at Affpuddle on 21 July), the Chairman’s walk in Ashmore then enjoyable visit to Jigsaw Factory on Thurs 8 August and the visit to Tiverton for the Horse drawn Canal Barge in the morning and lunch in the garden cafe, then a choice of easier or more strenuous walk in the afternoon. Events like these are attracting an average of 12/14 people, which is fine but we are no longer able to fill a coach as we did annually in the past for travel to places further afield. Costs have escalated and people are much more reluctant to commit so far in advance; we do need approx 35-40 people to make a coach trip both affordable and viable. Also fewer of our older members are regular walkers now, so this means having to choose places such as National Trust houses, gardens etc that may appeal to non walkers as well as devising a good walk for regular walkers.
We have discussed this matter thoroughly at committee and have concluded that we will continue to put on walks that are a bit further afield or that involve something special - e.g. a boat trip, guided walk, rail or tram ride or visit to a property - but that either members must be willing to make their own travel arrangements/ share lifts etc or a minibus will be hired for the weekend and driven by one of us. If we fill all 17 places on the bus, the cost would only be £11 plus petrol. Places on this minibus will inevitably be on a first come first served basis and we would require payment in advance to secure a place. Jo C. has already suggested a walk (which she would lead) from Dunster for next year, so we hope to offer that as a summer outing. Details and date for this will be in the next newsletter. Jenny N has thought of repeating RSPB or Stuart Line cruises on the Exe Estuary plus walk from Exmouth (these are only from November to February), and is keen to offer a walk from White Horse Hill, Uffington, Oxfordshire with a section of the Ridgeway.
If any of you would be willing to lead a visit or walk further afield please let us know and we will help you with any arrangements.