‘A ridiculous number of walks from a single place – which just proves that our countryside can be opened up – lockdown or not’
I live in an urban community called Lady Bay right on the edge of the City of Nottingham. The River Trent separates us from the City, via Trent Bridge. Local people were saying that they were bored and fed up with walking the same two walks up and down the river every day during lockdown. So, I decided to try and put this right. Surely, there must be more than two walks in this area of Nottingham?
I work as a volunteer guide and mountain leader for a Ramblers Walking Holidays. I am used to scoping walks, describing them, annotating maps and making walks accessible to others. I have now been grounded by Coronavirus. So, I wanted to use my expertise for the benefit of the local community while keeping me sane during the lockdown!
I set myself the challenge of finding and describing 100 quality walks starting and finishing at our local pub – The Poppy and Pint! I discovered footpaths, old and new, and put them to good use making interesting and sometimes challenging walks from 5 kms to 25 kms long. Something for everyone! I wanted to prove to local people that the countryside of Nottinghamshire is not only worthy but can also generate the same feelings of awe and wonder and challenge and satisfaction as being on any walking tour abroad. I also wanted to prove to people that there is more choice of quality walks than we might think, and that these walks can be ‘coronavirus safe’. This is particularly the case now that the lockdown is easing. Why travel to the Peak District or beyond when there is all this to enjoy right here? Suddenly, we have a significant group of people exploring their own county and getting to know it well for the very first time.
100 Walks from the Poppy and Pint is the result – a vast range of walks from our very doorstep to wild, lonely or interesting locations off the beaten track of the regular lockdown walkers. Each walk comes with a handy reference guide and map. The booklet is available free of charge on the local brewery website (Castle Rock Brewery) or by an email as a pdf attachment.
Being out on the paths anywhere like I have been in my home county, I would argue, lifts the spirits, is good for the soul, and gives our lives a different perspective. I think we always feel better when we come back from a walk!
The response to this work is best summed up by recipients of the book:
Of course, I am missing the coast and Derbyshire BUT at the moment counting our blessings and the profound saying ‘Less Is More’ has never been more apt.
Thanks again for the work in this these walks and for sharing.
Your list so highlights how truly blessed we are in a small radius!
Many people up and down the country will live in places that are ‘blessed in a small radius!’ They just don’t know it. All it needs is a confident and experienced walker to study the local map, plot a few lesser known routes, and then share them with others. It’s not so much that the paths have disappeared, just that people don’t know that they are there, don’t know how they link to other paths and don’t have the confidence to set out and use them to make a good day or half day’s walk.
We could start a movement of people across the country of doing this for their local communities! That way, we could open up all our local paths for others’ health and enjoyment.
By Trevor Riddiough