Registration for the popular Worcestershire walking/running event Rock Pound the Bounds is now open. Taking place on Sunday 4th May 2014, Rock Pound the Bounds offers walkers and runners of all ages and abilities a great opportunity to exercise amongst parts of Worcestershire’s beautiful countryside. The event also enables participants to raise much-needed funds for the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. Starting from the village hall in Rock near Kidderminster, entrants can join the 25, 18, 12, nine or six mile walks; for youngsters who want to get involved, there’s a three mile treasure trail.
Henk Buzink, one of the organisers of Rock Pound the Bounds, said, “This is the fourteenth year we’ve organised the event and the third time we’ve teamed up with Midlands Air Ambulance Charity to organise the Pound the Bounds. No matter if you’re an experienced rambler or are just looking to increase the amount of walking you do, our event is a great way to enjoy a walk and fundraise for charity.”
Registration and sponsorship forms can be downloaded from the Pound the Bounds website. To find out more about the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, visit www.midlandsairambulance.com
Ramblers recent report reveals a serious backlog of paths waiting to be recognised as public footpaths. Any historic paths not officially recorded as public rights of way by 2026 will be extinguished, meaning thousands of well-trodden paths, and other potentially useful routes would be lost forever.
The ‘Paths in Crisis’ report revealed more than 4,000 paths are on a waiting list to be determined as legal rights of way in England and the Ramblers estimates this backlog will take more than 13 years to clear if processed at the current rate.
To help combat this problem the Ramblers has been working with landowners, land managers and local authorities to find ways to make the process for recording paths more efficient, consistent across the country, and less contentious, helping to claim as many historic paths as possible before the 2026 cut-off date.
The group’s recommendations were put forward to Government and have now been included in the draft Deregulation Bill. These proposed changes to rights of way legislation are part of a package of measures which, if taken as a whole, will benefit walkers and landowners alike. The aim is to simplify rights of way legislation, meaning the process for claiming paths will be easier so that they can be added more quickly, helping to clear the substantial backlog.
Ramblers chief executive Benedict Southworth said, “The proposed legislation has been carefully put together by representatives from landowners, paths users, and local government – including ourselves and the NFU – who have worked together for over three years to simplify the law around rights of way for the benefit of everyone. This carefully crafted solution should make it easier for historic paths to be added to the definitive map – the official record of all public paths. Many of these paths have existed for hundreds of years – they are an ‘inscription on the landscape’ made by generations of people going about their business, and are as much a part of our heritage as our ancient monuments and historic buildings. By adding them to the official map they cannot be blocked off or built upon and are protected for future generations to enjoy.”
“Our network of paths provide an important role connecting people to green spaces, allowing them to travel to shops and to schools and are enjoyed by millions each year. This unique network attracts tourists from around the world and provides a vital contribution to the economy – last year alone visitors to England’s outdoors spent £21 billion. We hope that this new legislation will make it easier for our historic paths to get the protection they need so that we can continue to walk and enjoy them.”
The Ramblers is Britain’s walking charity; at the heart of walking in Britain, working to promote walking and protect the places where people walk. It has a grass roots network of over 25,000 volunteers who work tirelessly for a walking Britain. For over 75 years it has helped build and protect Britain’s 140,000 mile long path network. It runs over 45,000 walks a year and campaigns for better walking routes and more walking opportunities – www.ramblers.org.uk.
Missing the Olympics? Looking for a new sporting challenge in 2013? Or simply want to get out there and enjoy the countryside? International charity, WaterAid, is calling on walkers and climbers of all levels to ‘conquer’ their favourite local mountain and raise vital funds to provide access to clean water and sanitation to rural communities in Nepal.
Join over 2,000 other climbers taking part in the 2013 WaterAid200 challenge on the 8th June and take on your chosen mountain to raise money for the charity. The challenge aims to put a different team on top of 200 different mountains in the UK and Ireland while raising over £200,000 to help fund work to improve access to safe water and sanitation in mountainous Nepal.
WaterAid200 includes some of the UK and Ireland’s best-loved peaks including those in the Scottish Highlands, the Lake and Peak Districts and Wales as well as lesser-known but equally stunning sites in the South of England. Visit www.wateraid200.org to find out more about the challenge, sign-up and claim your favourite peak.
Anna McGuire, Senior Events Officer at WaterAid, said, “By taking part in WaterAid 200 you can know that with every step, you are helping others to climb out of poverty by providing access to safe water and sanitation and reducing the time spent collecting water each day in one of the most mountainous regions of the world. You don’t need to be a mountaineer or experienced climber to take part – with climbs that range from gentle slopes to steep scrambles and take in some of the best views (and pubs!) across the UK and Ireland, there really is a peak for everyone!”
Although we’re all hoping for great summer weather, conditions in the hills can change rapidly and walkers have to be prepared for the worst. On a bright, sunny day, it’s tempting to head off in shorts and T-shirt but it’s important to be prepared for the worst so bear in mind our advice for charity walkers.
The key to comfort is flexible layers of clothing – a baselayer to shift moisture away from your skin where it would chill as it cools; a mid layer for insulating warmth and an outer layer that will offer protection from wind, rain and snow. Don’t forget the instant flexibility offered by a hat and thermal gloves. Avoid overheating by sticking to a comfortable pace and letting heat escape by quick simple ventilation options such as opening zips and cuffs and whipping off your hat.
In your rucksack, a water bottle, food, snacks, basic first aid kit, survival bag and a head torch (check the batteries) are the bare essentials. A map and compass or GPS should be handy and in use whilst a safety whistle should be easy to reach.
It’s time to pull on some hiking boots and take to the hills to help end cruelty to children in the UK. The NSPCC’s HACKs (Hike Against Cruelty to Kids) are taking place across the UK and the charity is looking for people who want a real physical challenge to sign up to take part.
The HACKs range from 10 to 25 miles and will take place during September in five locations across the UK – Buxton, London, Devon, Northern Ireland and Shropshire – raising vital funds to support the NSPCC’s projects and services for vulnerable children including ChildLine which this year is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Rachel Case, NSPCC Head of Community Fundraising, said, “Training for the HACK is a great way to start a keep fit campaign, and taking part is an amazing challenge and experience. The HACK will be a fabulous day out in the great outdoors and a valuable opportunity to help the NSPCC raise money to support its projects and services to help vulnerable children and families across the UK. Why not sign up with a group of friends or colleagues and make it a real team challenge?”
HACKs are taking place in the following locations:
• Buxton High Peak HACK – Saturday 1 September
• London HACK – Saturday 15 September
• Mournes HACK – Saturday 15 September
• Devon HACK – Sunday 16 September
• Shropshire HACK – Saturday 22 September
The HACK challenge can be great fun, but is hard work. The walks are a demanding physical challenge and the NSPCC recommends people who register undertake some training beforehand. There will be checkpoints and marshals on routes, with radio contact between all checkpoints and the control centre. The terrain is very varied and the weather conditions can change quickly, so suitable walking boots, clothing and accessories, such as a rucksack, are recommended for all walkers. Check out the training tips section on the NSPCC website at www.nspcc.org.uk/hack for more information or to register for your nearest HACK.
The HACK is open to people aged 18 years and over (people aged 16 to 18 years may be eligible for some walks – check website for details). Pets are permitted on some of the walks (see website for further details). The registration fee is £10 for the shorter walks and £20 for the longer walks. Once registration is complete, entrants will receive a walker’s pack outlining their start time and giving further details of the route. Participants can then begin collecting sponsorship pledges from friends, family and colleagues.