Witham & District (Essex)

U3A New Century Ramblers walking notes

Our rambles will normally start at a pub and be circular of about 4 to 6 miles and finish with a meal together. We meet at 9.45am to get boots on ready for a prompt 10am start on the first Wednesday of each month. Occasionally we may change the format and maybe have a linear walk or further from home or even a little longer.

As far as possible we do not use roads so ramblers must always be prepared for muddy conditions and the odd shower of rain. For the welfare of the group as a whole please dress sensibly. Ideally, proper walking boots are best and waterproof trousers and a good cagoule are desirable. A small rucksack for spare warm clothes, a drink and snack will be useful. It is worth remembering that the person responsible for their safety and happiness on the walk is the individual. The walk leader(s) will show the group the way but it is up to the individual to be careful and to know their own limitations and capabilities. Walks organised by U3A have public liability insurance but this is not personal accident insurance and all members walk at their own risk. Members are advised to carry with them a contact name and telephone no. which could be used if necessary. This may be on a card/paper, or may be stored on a mobile phone under the name “ICE” (In Case of Emergency).
If you have a mobile phone, please bring it with you and ensure at least one other walker has your number. Please keep it switched on for the duration of the walk. If you don’t have a phone, or have forgotten it, then make sure you stay near another walker at all times. If for any reason you need to leave the group temporarily, then please tell someone so that the group can wait for you. A back marker should be appointed to ensure no one is left behind.

It is hoped all members will take a turn at organising and leading a ramble and group members should inform the Group Leader of their availability. Leaders usually lead in pairs and should ensure they are familiar with the route, preferably by walking it beforehand. On the day they should bring a map and any notes they feel they need, and possibly a compass. They should also carry the name and telephone number of the pub/lunch place in case of any delay. If the route includes any walking on roads they should ask the Group Leader to bring high visibility safety jackets. When choosing a venue for lunch please ensure that it is OK to leave cars there and ask if we may use the facilities before starting out. Sometimes the pub will ask us to order our food then too. When sending out details to the rest of the group please include details of any stiles etc., and please use blind copy (“Bcc”) as opposed to “To” on your emails.

Having said that, all of our rambles should be a sociable and enjoyable event and definitely not an endurance test.

It is expected by Witham and District (Essex) U3A that members accepting lifts should make a donation to the driver towards expenses (£1 for a local destination and pro rata according to distance). Drivers should accept this as a good will gesture and donate the money to charity if they feel they do not need it.

If non-walking partners would like to join us for lunch they will be very welcome.