The NWR Walk 2022 – Making Strides Together

Below are snippets of what we did and where we went for the NWR Walk 2022.

Buckhurst Hill and Woodford (Eve) NWR have clocked up 79 miles across a number of local walks in the local area, with one finishing conveniently at the Slug and Lettuce.

It was a super, sunny late afternoon on Monday for one of Congresbury’s walks!  An abundance of mud on view due to such a low tide, but a sunny afternoon with a clear blue sky gave 12 NWR members an enjoyable three mile walk in Clevedon, North Somerset’s Victorian coastal town. They were able to enjoy views across the channel to the Welsh coast as well as to the Mendip Hills in the opposite direction. A fish & chip supper in a restaurant on the site of the old Clevedon Salthouse fields was waiting at the end.

Congresbury NWR

Members of Bookham NWR went for a walk around Epsom Common. Walking on wide hogging paths (that lent themselves to being able to chat easily) they followed a circular route of just over 3 miles. 

Their group leader, Cherry, pointed out interesting places along the way.  These included:

  • The entrance to Epsom Wells – now a housing estate after the Wells dried up in the eighteenth century
  • The coal and wine markers, which were put in place to mark the boundary which when crossed tax needed to be paid on coal and later wine to collect taxes to rebuild St Paul’s after the Great Fire of London
  • The stew ponds that once belonged to Chertsey Abbey, Christ Church (a Victorian building)
  • The late nineteenth century working man’s club (still going) and The Cricketers Inn (an old English pub) facing the cricket green.

All this around the common which itself is a SSSI (site of special scientific interest).

A total of 23 miles was walked by the group before stopping for a lovely cup of tea or coffee at the Cricketers Inn.

Bookham NWR Group

Members of Poynton NWR and Marple NWR walked five miles at Padley Gorge in the White Peak, Derbyshire. They told us “The scenery was spectacular. Beautiful views, ancient woods, tumbling streams and we were also rewarded by the sight of a magnificent stag and a small group of deer. A bonus was that the rain held off until we finished.” 

The deer seen by Poynton NWR and Marple NWR during their walk
Buckhurst Hill and Woodford (Eve) members walked six miles to London Trafalgar Square to partake in the Diwali festival.

We heard that four brave members from the Beith NWR group turned up on a rainy Thursday. Perhaps it was the brunch at local cafe, Mocha Jak’s, which attracted some, since it certainly was not the weather! They decided that ‘it’s only rain’ and set out for the local countryside walk around the pretty Ayrshire village of Gateside. They arrived back at their starting point absolutely ‘drookit’ (as they say in their part of the world!), but having enjoyed each other’s company and the fresh air!

Beith NWR
The Kilbarchan group took advantage of a dry day to walk 31.5 miles

Seven members of the Cleeve Prior NWR group undertook the History Walk round their lovely old village. 

There were many charming and interesting buildings including the Mill House where Edward Elgar visited and played with the then owner, George Halford and an original “Hovel” used by  local Market Gardner Edgar Wheeler as his office, storage shed and rest room.  It holds some remarkable items reflecting the history of market gardening in The Vale of Evesham.

They started and ended at the truly historic King’s Arms which dates from 1542 where they enjoyed an excellent lunch, having arrived back rather later than intended as their walk necessitated lots of stops to take in the various pieces of information.  

Cleve Prior NWR
Cleve Prior NWR

The Weymouth group told us that they started their walk with a light hearted quiz about Maiden Castle, a famous hill fort in Dorchester they were walking around. After lunch they were joined by more members for a gentle walk from Maiden Castle to Martinstown where they were able to buy locally made ice cream from a farm shop via a vending machine! Yummy. The original route had to be changed due to a bull in the field and a closed bridleway.

Weymouth NWR
Weymouth NWR

Leighton Buzzard told us that they have visited the Bloomsbury North Conservation Area (around London Euston station) twice this week as part of their Making Strides effort. 

They were blessed with the weather, as you will see from the photo. They started both walks with coffee at The Wellcome Institute then did their walks complete with lots of interesting information, many blue plaques to look at and several lovely green oases to walk through where so many were enjoying the sunshine.

Leighton Buzzard NWR
Leighton Buzzard NWR

Three members of the Ottery St Mary group at the finish of a 5 mile walk from Beer to Branscombe and back on a lovely sunny day, stopping for coffee and cake at The Sea Shanty at Branscombe beach.

Ottery St Mary NWR
The Edenbridge group walked a total of 18.6 miles round the lakes at Hever Castle.
The Waltham group litter picking around Waltham
Seven Hereford NWR members walked just over 1.5 miles on the Hereford City Trees Trail. NWR member Nichola Geeson led them with an entertaining mix of tree identification, their uses and snippets of history.
Perhshore NWR, whilst making their way around their trail, popped into the church in Wick which had just been decorated for the Harvest Festival.

Marple NWR members walked a joint total of 25 miles on a lovely Autumn afternoon walk through the local park and along the Peak Forest canal, finishing at a local garden centre for Afternoon tea. The trees were starting to show their Autumn colours.

Marple NWR
The Sonning Common group spent a few wonderful hours in the beautiful sunshine by the river in Henley and included a stop at the Chocolate Cafe!

Members of Eastbourne NWR walked around Arlington Reservoir just as the mist was being burned off by the warm autumnal sun.

They were accompanied by sparrows, robins along the circuit and could see Canadian Geese and Mallards on the water. Four White Geese greeted them on their arrival in the car park, and seemed to be accusing them of invading their area!

The water was still at a very low level even after the numerous rainy days.

Linda managed to avoid treading on the frog, which luckily she spotted between her feet and persuaded to hop to a safer place.

Four members of the SW Sheffield NWR group met at the Longshaw Estate. The rain was teeming down so they sheltered in the book shop and then decided to go to the cafe in the hope that the rain would stop soon. 
By the time they had finished their drinks the sun had come out and they carried on. They arrived back at the car park just before the rain started again!

Eight members of the Hythe and Waterside NWR group did a lovely circular 5.5 mile walk in The New Forest from Burley, taking in a disused railway track for about a mile of the walk. The weather was glorious with beautiful views. They were also joined by some of the members’ husbands for the walk and a surrogate Cockerpoo.

The walk ended at Holmsley Tea Rooms which is an Old Railway Station for Tea & Scones

Hythe and Waterside NWR

The NWR Giffnock Group walked in Pollok Country Park.  In a day that threatened some showers, they set off enthusiastically through beautiful Pollok Park which is a large country estate of 360 acres in Glasgow. 

With magnificent scenery and various walking routes it provided access to beautiful landscape and natural habitat in south side of the city.  The trees were resplendent in their autumn colours and they saw the beautiful Highland Cows.  The park also houses the magnificent Pollok House, a Georgian mansion which has a collection of fine European art.  Their circular walk of three miles returned them to their starting point at The Burrell Collection which has 9000 stunning treasures and artefacts from all over the world…and a very enticing restaurant.

Giffnock NWR
Three Ruislip members met with a Witney member to walk around Regent’s Park, London and visit Frieze Sculpture 2022.