Annual Report for the Amber Valley Group of the Ramblers’ Association
for the year ending 10 November, 2017
Group Committee during the year
President and Footpath Secretary- John Morrissey
Vice President- Dick Hall
Chairman- Gerry White
Vice Chairman and Membership Secretary- Keith Howkins
Deputy Chairman and Webmaster- David Davison
Secretary- Christine Levasseur (post to be vacant by November 2018)
Treasurer- Michael Hufton
Away Trips Organisers- Jane and David Moore
Programme Co-ordinator- John Topliss
Programme Publisher- Martin Phillips
Footpath Maintenance and improvements - Michael Poyser Team leader
Social Secretary- formerly Peter Swan. Post now vacant.
During the year John Morrissey has been elected as Derbyshire Area President
The Committee met on 2 occasions during the year in April and September, plus the A.G.M.
The Group were represented (by Gerry White and Davison)at 3 meetings to help formulate and launch the 15th Amber Valley and Erewash Autumn Festival of Walks. We led 4 well attended walks in the September festival fortnight. The events attracted over 800 people.
John Morrissey has been involved with the Derwent Valley Mills Discovery Days’ walks and activities during October.
At the time of writing membership stands at 216.
The past year has seen us launch the Ecclesbourne Valley Way, a 10.6 mile route from Duffield to Wirksworth, linking with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and the Ecclesbourne Railway. A successful formal launch was held on Saturday, 8th July. Anecdotal evidence is that the route is being well walked.
Our Walks Programme has been published twice during the year, appearing and being distributed in printed form and on the Group’s website. We walked on 41 available Sundays with an average of 15 people per walk. Shorter Wednesday and Friday walks continued throughout, whatever the weather and averaged between 20-30 people. As ever we are grateful to those who volunteer to lead walks.
The Footpath Maintenance Team have enjoyed a busy year. They have been significant contributors to the launch of the Ecclesbourne Way, doing work around Windley, Alport and Duffield localities. Projects included repair of bridges, installation of steps, clearance of culverts and drains and installation of many gates along the route. Work has also been carried out on the Derwent Valley Way at Milford. Some of these projects were done alongside Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and National Trust volunteers. Disappointingly we lost our Volunteer Organiser and Supervisor earlier in the year, due to Derbyshire County Council redundancies and withdrawal of Rights of Way activities. In spite of meeting with D.C.C. representatives the way ahead is unclear.
Socially we enjoyed our Annual Dinner at the Lion Hotel, Belper and in June an evening walk at the Family Tree restaurant at Whatstandwell. We also had a meal at Denby Lodge on New Year’s Day preceded by a walk for some. We had 4 talks and film presentations on winter Friday evenings.
Two very enjoyable 4 night breaks were organised in Dunster, Somerset and Llangollen. Wales in May and October. These were arranged by David Davison and Jane and David Moore, to whom we are grateful for their efforts and time. The latter have now taken over the role of Away Trip Organisers and we look forward to trips to Newby Bridge, Cumbria and Ravenscar, Yorkshire in 2018.
The post of Social Secretary remains unfilled with Peter Swan’s departure. We thank Peter for his past contribution and wish him well.
If anyone wants more information about what is involved with this post please have a word with any Committee member.