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  1. The Ramblers Festival Of Winter Walks

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    For over 25 years, through snow, sleet, rain and under clear winter skies; in parks, forests and on mountain tops, the footsteps of thousands have dotted the countryside each year as family, friends and avid walkers step out to enjoy the Ramblers’ Festival of Winter Walks.

    This year, the Ramblers is once again providing wintery walks for all to enjoy with two weeks of festive wanders, led by volunteers, from 21 December 2013 – 5 January 2014. It’ll be here before you know it, so why not bag a winter warmer now? Baselayers, mid layers, softshells and other outer layers, hats, gloves and socks will ensure you make the most of days out however cold it is. Whether it’s a merry jaunt to the pub on Christmas Eve you’re after, a festive Boxing day walk to burn off the mince pies, or a lengthy hike to start the new year on the right foot, there are hundreds of free walks to suit everyone across England, Scotland and Wales with the Festival of Winter Walks.

    Ramblers chief executive Benedict Southworth said, “There is something wonderful about walking over the festive season; the company of family and friends, exploring beautiful winter landscapes under clear skies or the fun of being the first to make tracks in the snow, all of these things make getting out and about at this time of year even more of an adventure. Our Festival of Winter Walks is as popular as ever after 25 years. So, put on your winter coats, wrap up warm and join us again as we head out to enjoy the season the way we know best, on our feet.”

    This year for the first time ever you can also download one of their expert walking routes from Ramblers Routes to try on your own or with friends and family this winter, visit www.ramblers.org.uk/ramblersroutes for info.

     

    For more information on the Festival of Winter Walks and to browse the festive walks on offer visit www.ramblers.org.uk/winterwalks.

     

  2. Enjoy, Respect, Protect The Countryside With The Refreshed Countryside Code

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    Natural England is re-launching the Countryside Code – the refreshed version gives updated advice on rights of way, controlling dogs around livestock and wildlife, and preventing fires. Natural England, the Moorland Association, the National Farmers Union and the Ramblers are all encouraging people to read the Code to help them enjoy, respect and protect the countryside:

    • Enjoy the outdoors – Even when going out locally, it’s best to get the latest information about where and when you can go. For example, access to some areas of open access land and coastal land may be restricted in particular places at particular times. Find out as much as you can about where you are going, plan ahead and follow advice and local signs.
    • Protect the natural environment – We all have a responsibility to protect the countryside now and for future generations, so make sure you don’t harm animals, birds, plants or trees and take home everything you brought with you. When out with your dog make sure it is under effective control, and does not disturb farm animals, horses, wildlife or other people.
    • Respect other people – Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors. Remember that the countryside is a working environment and even small actions can lead to big disruption. Leave gates as you find them and take extra care to avoid the risk of starting wildfires.

    For more information on Natural England please click here

     

  3. Derbyshire Walking Festival

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    Autumn Walking Festival Steps Out

    Autumn Footprints’ is the annual autumn walking festival, held in the Derbyshire boroughs of Amber Valley and Erewash that provides a varied programme of walking activities, from gentle family rambles, to more strenuous hill walks for the more experienced walker. Set in the heart of picturesque Derbyshire, it will run from Saturday 10- 25 September with a range of 32 guided free walks over 16 days. The areas are well known for their natural beauty, superb scenery, industrial heritage and attractive towns and villages.

    One of the Walking Festival Co-ordinators Marion Farrell from Groundwork Derby & Derbyshire, said, “This Walking Festival is a fantastic way to see more of your local area. Each walk has two leaders – there is plenty of time to chat and admire the views. The idea behind the festival is not only to get local people to appreciate the countryside on their doorstep, but also to show visitors that you don’t have to go racing up to the Peak District to walk through beautiful countryside. Most of the walks are close to bus and train routes enabling everyone to get to the start point.”

    All the walks are free of charge, and will take place in areas of local heritage and natural history interest, taking walkers alongside rivers and canals as well as through towns and villages. The walks are of varying lengths and gradient, ranging in length from one mile to 8 miles, offering something for everyone no matter what their interests or abilities. They are all led by knowledgeable local people who are enthusiastic to show off their local patch.

    Some of the walks taking place are:

    • Amber Valley highlights include Round about Alfreton (5 miles) and Explore the Highlands of Amber Valley (strenuous walk, 7 miles).
    • Erewash highlights include The Lewis Wilson Memorial Walk and Top O’ Stanley (6 miles).

    A comprehensive guide detailing all the walks and events is available free of charge from Groundwork Derby & Derbyshire, tel. 01773 535232, or log onto www.gdd.org.uk to download the full leaflet.

     

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