Short Walks Group
The Short Walks Group was established in March 2017 and has grown from an initial membership of 10 to currently 29. Walk attendance is in a range 10 to 17 since the walks are always on the second Saturday of the month and different members have weekend commitments from time to time.
The group caters for country walk enthusiasts who wish to pursue their hobby but no longer relish the challenges of steep hills, climbing stiles or distances above 3 miles.
The walks are at a leisurely pace with plenty of opportunity to stop to admire views, wildlife; hedgerow and meadow flowers and any historically interesting features on the route.
Mileage is between two and three quarter to three miles maximum and take no longer than one and a half hours on level and stile free terrain. Walks always end at a country pub for lunch. Due to the short duration of the walks, locations are chosen requiring low mileage to start point.
These constraints mean that the number of different routes discovered to date has been limited to 12 since planning reconnoitres are often abandoned after a succession of swing gates give way to one or more stiles! However, repeat walks are carefully chosen to be several months apart and sometimes done in reverse to vary the view!
Venues to date have included Knowle, Dorridge, Hockley Heath, Lapworth, Yarningale, Wooton Wawen, Baddesley Clinton, Earlswood, Ullenhall, Packwood and Barston and embraced canals, lakes, woodlands, field footpaths, Country Parks and National Trust grounds.
The walks are planned and led by the group leader who often explores the countryside in search of new stile/hill free walks to add to the list. Health and Safety is always a priority; no-one is ever left to fall behind if finding the pace too much; the leader carries a full first aid kit and lane walking is avoided or is kept to a minimum where unavoidable.
Communication with members is by email approximately ten days prior to the due date and states meeting place and time and intended route. There is a reply request: Walking YES/NO, Eating YES/NO. This ensures no-one delayed by roadworks etc. is left behind at start time and small country pubs get advance notice of the size of group requiring lunch. Not having a planned annual programme enables the walk leader to suit the route to prevailing weather conditions, thus avoiding floods and mudbaths!
New members are always welcome. Contact Betty Sands with your email address.
Report from the Short Walks Group – Saturday 8 June 2019
Nine intrepid explorers from the Short Walks Group assembled in the car park at Packwood House in monsoon conditions. The big decision – should we set out on our planned walk, despite the weather conditions? Or maybe we should repair to the National Trust café and drink coffee until the pub opened and it was time for lunch? Or should we just go home and abandon the whole enterprise?
Readers will be glad to know that we took the courageous option, and embarked on the planned walk, which took us across fields, through woods, across a very narrow and slippery plank bridge across a raging torrent of a stream, to a magnificent view of Packwood House from the other side of the lake. This, we were advised, was a beautiful view if the sun had been shining.
Undaunted, we trekked on to St Giles Church in Packwood. Fortunately this was open, and we were able to see the Treasury Chest dating from the Middle Ages, the Doom Painting on the wall, and the Absolution Tower – the penance demanded by the Pope from a local gentry who happened to murder the incumbent priest. (All several centuries ago, you understand)
From there, back to the car park and The Railway Pub in Dorridge for lunch. Thoroughly soaked to the skin, but well exercised both physically and mentally.
A pudding from the menu: