RAMBLERS celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Ramblers Association with free walks over the May bank
RAMBLERS celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Ramblers Association with free walks over the May bank holiday weekend.
There were more than 20 free walks throughout the county and five of these were led by the Henley and Goring Group.
Susan Maguire, who chairs Oxfordshire Ramblers and is a former chairwoman of the Henley and Goring Group, said: “There’s a walk for everyone, ranging from three miles to 14. You don’t have to be a member, just come along.”
Lots of people did come along. On bank holiday Monday in Henley 44 people did the shorter walk and 22 more enjoyed the longer nine-mile walk. The bluebells were in full glory on all the walks.
Susan said: “We still do what the founding members did all those years ago, working to maintain and improve access to the countryside and walking in it for sheer pleasure.
“In Oxfordshire we also have several Ramblers’ path maintenance groups, comprising volunteers who clear footpaths and install gates to improve the walking experience for everybody.”
Alie Hagedoorn, the Henley and Goring Group’s walks co-ordinator, said: “We started our weekend on the Friday evening with a short walk from Turville followed by a pub supper.
“On the Saturday we had a longer (11 miles) walk from Whitchurch Hill to Mapledurham and Holly Cross.
“On the Sunday morning there was a six-mile walk from Nettlebed to Nuffield and English Farm, taking in four bluebell woods.
“Despite a rainy start, the weather cleared and the walkers finished in sunshine. The grand finale was on bank holiday Monday when we had two walks, both starting and finishing at Rotherfield Greys â?? a four-mile walk in the afternoon and an all-day walk of nine miles.”
Susan co-led the four-mile bluebell walk with her nine-year-old granddaughter Elisha Crane, who is a keen walker and had done this before.
The walks were followed by a splendid tea with homemade cakes in Rotherfield Greys village hall, accompanied by music from Colin Heaven’s jazz band.
There are many reports demonstrating the benefits of walking for good mental and physical health. Exercise is more fun when you do it in good company.
“The miles fly by when you walk with others, chatting as you go,” said Susan.
Since April 2012 Ramblers has been working with Macmillan Cancer Support to run Walking for Health, England’s national network of health walk schemes. Henley and Goring Ramblers run a full programme of walks of different lengths throughout the year as well as social events and walking trips further afield in the UK and abroad.
There are 97 walks in the summer programme, which runs from May to September, ranging from 2.5 miles to 14, so there should be something there for everyone.
The group is already working on the winter programme, which will have just as many walks, social activities and trips.
For more information, call Alie Hagedoorn on (01491) 640858 or 07894 580413 or Susan Maguire on (01491) 680109 or 07835 872791.