This award recognises inspirational volunteers, or group of volunteers, who have helped other people to put one foot in front of the other. Whether they are taking their first steps or are a seasoned walker this award recognises that volunteer who encouraged, supported and inspired them to get out and get active.
I come from a family who used to walk to town. At 15 a teacher took us on a school visit to a youth hostel in Snowdonia. It rained every day. The adventure of walking, views, mountains had started. My walking since then has been modest, sporadic, brief. Tagging along with local groups while on holiday has been a joy. Once I met a man who used to be an acrobat. Then there was the 90-year-old man in Yorkshire who had celebrated his birthday the week before with the group, eating birthday cake, sheltering under a hedge.
I am 65, married with three grown up children and two grandchildren. We have lived in Leicester, North Wales and for the past 30 years in Nottinghamshire. Before retirement I had many jobs in community work, training and health promotion. We sometimes walk along the Grantham Canal, admiring the moorhens, coots and swans. We can pick up groceries at Morrisons and carry them back in our rucksacks.
Why did you join the Ramblers?
To walk behind someone who knows the way, the glow I get from knowing that there are good people out there who campaign. The discount comes in handy too.
How long have you been a member?
About 20 years.
If you could walk anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
The coast to coast
What is your most memorable walk?
St Cuthbert’s way. Lindisfarne appeared over the mountains- in the distance, tiny, shining and white.
What is your most treasured piece of walking kit?
My Brasher Boots. They become my footwear of choice every day during the winter.
Have you ever got lost on a walk?
Yes. We had the Cicerone. The towers of San Gimignano had disappeared, there was a wood, wild boar lived there, (said Cicerone) the undergrowth rustled, it began to rain. Then we found a road, we could see the towers. There were ice creams and red wine in the village.
Who would be your ideal walking companion?
We used to send invitations with our Christmas Cards to all our friends & family to join a New Year Walk, ideal companions.
How do you relax?
Kitchen table, friends, family, food, red wine .
What is your favourite meal?
The masala dosa made in the Shivali, Leicester with the friends we always go with.
The Robin Hood Way was initially planned by members of the Nottingham Wayfarers’ Rambling Club, specifically Roland Price and Alec Hickton, in commemoration of its Golden Jubilee in 1982, from an idea by Chris Thompson.
The original route of 84 miles from Nottingham Castle to Edwinstowe Church was opened in 1985 with the intention of linking all the places in Nottinghamshire with connections to the legend of Robin Hood. However these are well scattered around the County so since there are also several Country Parks and other interesting places it seemed obvious to include them in order to add to the appeal of the Way.
A guidebook was published and proved so popular that it quickly became sold out so a second edition appeared in the early 1990s. Again this proved to be a success and it was decided that when the next edition was released, in 1995, the route should be extended to 105 miles with the purpose of including the historic, Minster town of Southwell. Other minor route alterations and improvements were made to bring it up to date but basically the Way has remained unchanged and has been enjoyed by ramblers from in and outside Nottinghamshire.
The guidebook now includes the route going into Mansfield Town and there are route modifications that keep this guidebook alive and of continuing interest to walkers of the route whether it is your first time or you are exploring it again, there is something within its pages to suit all tastes.
There are also several circular route taken from the Robin Hood Way for you to enjoy a days walking exploring the Nottinghamshire countryside for a better appreciation of our beautiful county.
The Robin Hood Way Association was formed to keep the book available and to provide Wardens whose job it is to make sure their sections of the Way are waymarked and the path is in good order. Over the years wardens have grown older and many have had to give up their Wardenship which means that there are now only 7 wardens to look after 18 Sections.
In early 2016 a Ramblers’ Flexigroup/Special Interest Group – The Robin Hood Way was formed. One of its principal aims is to recruit more wardens to look after the Way and for the Way to continue after the Robin Hood Way Association ceases to exist.
Read Robin Hood Way update 16th April 2017 click here
Chesterfield Area Walking Festival from 12th to 20th May - Click Here
Ramblers Walk About Festival 26th May - 3rd June
And for those of you who prefer canals, look out for details of a Walking Festival being planned for later in the year. The Festival will run from 15th to 23rd September with over 30 different walks taking place along the entire length of the Chesterfield Canal - more details when available.