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Chairman’s Chatter – March 2017

Arthur's Chatter for the spring quarter


 As we hear every day our local councils are short of money. In Surrey there is an ever tightening squeeze both on Surrey Wildlife Trust which manages about 5% of the land in Surrey, including, near us, Staffhurst Wood, and on the Surrey County Council (SCC) teams that look after rights-of-way including footpaths. As members of Ramblers we are passionate about maintaining and improving the footpath network. Our footpath team (Kens Krew now led by Barbara B) undertakes tasks chosen and arranged by SCC who carry out the necessary liaison with landowners. As SCC funds for new kissing gates are now limited, ESW has funded two gates that we have installed, is arranging to pay for and install two more, and with Surrey Area we are looking at ways to raise funds for more gates.

We had two popular social events, the New Year lunch which was well attended as always with super food and a quiz to take part in while we were eating which was fun. Well done to Pamela and the team, they did a splendid job again. The second event was the disco organised by Helen and Amanda W and supported by Pamela C and Julie A. It was a real success, everyone danced all night and they plan to hold another one next year in February.

Thank you so much to our loyal leaders, they have come up trumps for the April-June Walks Programme with a record of 84 walks including 43 short walks, 13 long walks, 11 ambles, 11 fast fitness workout walks, and 6 linear walks. The fast fitness workout walks have been a success story of this last winter with a good attendance of members keen for a quick workout in the open air to get their heart rate up. With the number and diversity of walks we hope that the numbers on each walk are not too few and not too many......

Last September we ran a coach trip to the Canterbury area with both long and short walks. It was a very enjoyable day out, helped by glorious weather. This year we are planning a similar trip on a Thursday in September, after the group holiday in France.
Amanda W has kindly offered to organise it again and we have decided to visit Arundel as it is good walking country and has so much else to offer, a castle to explore with gardens, a cathedral, rowing boats to hire, and a Wetland Centre, something for everyone.

Many thanks as always to our many volunteers who give us so many opportunities to enjoy ourselves. Have a great spring and summer out walking!

Arthur Darby

Chair East Surrey Walkers

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