17 October 2018: Evaluation Report on White Cliffs
Walking Festival 2018
For the sixth consecutive year volunteers from White
Cliffs Ramblers organised a very successful walking
festival during the week of the August Bank Holiday.
They have now evaluated the event and produced a
comprehensive report showing that despite rain on two
days the total number of walkers was 1201, only a slight
fall compared with the record 1252 of the preceding
year. The full report can be read
9 October 2018: Kent Ramblers publishes New Walking
Ramblers has published a new walking guide, the Kent
Ramblers Guide to Three River Valley Walks in West Kent.
The guide describes the routes, attractions, history and
landscape of three fine walks:
- Darent Valley Path
- Eden Valley Walk
- Medway Valley Walk
The book follows the style of our successful
Guide to the Kent
Coast Path: Part 1 with specially created 1:25,000
maps, photographs and diagrams in full colour
The previous guides to these walks produced by Kent
County Council have been out of print for many years.
Now all three walks are covered in one book, available
from our publications page
or from good bookshops online or in the high street.
24 September 2018: North Downs Way Pilgrims Festival
coincide with the 40th anniversary of the opening of the
North Downs Way, a week of celebrations will take place
from 24-30 September 2018: "a fun week of music, drama,
literature, medieval feasting, beer festival, and more
walks than you could shake a pilgrim stick at".
More details here.
The photograph shows the North Downs way near the
Devil's Kneading Trough.
9 July 2018: Sports Minister Meets Stepping Out Team
sports minister Tracey Crouch met carers from the
Stepping Out project at Aylesford Priory in July to give
her backing to the series of walks, founded by Kent
Ramblers and East Kent Carer Support organisations, to
improve the lives of carers and the people they care
a great scheme combining physical activity with respite
and connectivity and much loved by participants,” she
said as she joined the group for a walk round the
grounds of the Priory.
Minister for Loneliness, as well as her sport portfolio,
she listened to the stories of the individual carers and
the people they care for who came along to meet her.
“Tracey’s just amazing. She listens. She’s genuinely
interested.” said dementia campaigner, Lorraine Brown,
who has the condition herself. "I said these walks are
just so necessary. You have so much taken away when you
have dementia and one of my greatest fears is getting
lost. But being able to join walks like these
means you have fun: go to lovely places and above all
you can't get lost. You have got a bit of your
life back. This is how things were in my old life.
It helps me go forward in my new life.”
The walks, supported by the National Lottery through
Sport England, the Ramblers and carers support
organisations, proved such a success in Kent last year,
they are now being trialled in Doncaster Manchester and
Hertfordshire alongside the Ramblers groups in those
There is a short video of the event here:
25 May 2018: Good Time at Goodnestone
2018 programme of walks for carers and those they care
for continued with a well-attended event at Goodnestone
Park Gardens near Canterbury.
Read more here.
We are pleased to report that Sport England has awarded
sufficient funding for the
project to support not only the full 2018 programme of
walks in Kent but also walks in Manchester, Doncaster
22 May 2018: White Cliffs Volunteers Fit New Gate
photograph shows the team putting the finishing touches
to a new gate in place of a rickety old stile.
Ramblers volunteers regularly give up some of their
spare time to improve the paths for everyone.
Please join us to support their work – or even
step forward to become one of them.
6 April 2018: Carers' Walks on the Radio
The BBC Radio Kent Breakfast Show (on Friday 6th
April) featured the “Stepping Out” Carers’ Walks on a
segment about carers and their immense value to society.
One of the walks organisers, Sue Mott, explained that
the project evolved from the “wonderful White Cliffs
Walking Festival” when it became evident that carers
were the crucial link to offering outdoor activity to
people with a disability.
“Carers and the people they care for are some of the
most invisible and challenged people in society and it
has been eye-opening to get to know them so well.
We’re not separate “carers”, “cared for”, “Ramblers” and
"carer support staff” any more – we’re just a
bunch of mates out for a walk in the open air together.”
Following its success in Kent, The Stepping Out
project – subject to funding by Sport England –
may now be piloted in other areas of the country
including Manchester, Doncaster and Hertfordshire.
The photograph shows the walk at Hythe in March 2018.
For more details about the project,
23 February 2018: Good News for Walkers in Faversham
Today we learned that following a public inquiry in
January the appointed Inspector has confirmed changes to
the public rights of way along Faversham Creek made by
Kent County Council with the support of Kent Ramblers.
The result is that an unusable footpath that was built
across some years ago has been removed from the
definitive map and a much more useful path along the
edge of the creek has been added. The new path
offers fine views along the creek and we hope that the
proposed route of the England Coast Path will be
modified to follow it. Kent Ramblers' Coastal
Access Officer, Ian Wild, spoke at the inquiry on behalf
of the Ramblers and later said "It has been a long
time coming. An unbroken path along the west bank of
Faversham Creek will hugely benefit the town and all
(Click map to view full-size version and click again
12 February 2018: White Cliffs Walking Festival
is well under way for this year's White Cliffs Walking
Festival and today the organising team issued a media
release anticipating the pleasures in store for those
who take part. The full release is available
3 February 2018: Area AGM
100 members turned up for our AGM in Littlebourne,
kindly hosted by our Canterbury Group. As well as
the usual formalities of receiving accounts and report
and electing officers (which we kept as short as
possible) we had a series of presentations that
illustrated the variety of work being done for walkers
by our dedicated volunteers. We celebrated the
work of our Local Footpath Officers and Parish Footpath
Observers - but we also noted that we don't have Kent
completely covered and we appealed for more people to
step forward to help with this vital work.
We looked forward to the opening of the section of the
England Coast Path from Ramsgate to Whitstable during
2018 and to the opening of the rest of the route in Kent
from Whitstable to Woolwich in 2019. We watched a
video of a walk from the 2017 programme of walks for
carers and those they care for and looked forward to
continuing this valuable work in 2018, subject to
renewed funding from Sport England. After an open
forum we enjoyed a ploughman's lunch and the more
intrepid the braved the none too hospitable elements for
a walk through the very fine surrounding countryside.
There are more pictures of the event
31 December 2017: Annual Review Published
Kent Ramblers 2017 Annual Review has been posted and has
started landing on members' doormats. Already half
a dozen members have submitted their entries for this
year's competition to win some Paramo clothing or copies
of our Coast Path guide. As usual, the Review
contains news from the Groups, topical articles and
descriptions of two of our favourite walks. If you
are a member and you haven't received your copy of the
Annual Review please let us know at
26 December 2017: Looking Forward to the AGM
2018 AGM will be hosted by the Canterbury Group on 3
February 2018 at Littlebourne. There is more
where you will also find a link to the minutes of the
2017 AGM held in Kemsing (pictured). Please note
that printed copies of the draft minutes will not be
available at the AGM.
20 December 2017: Christmas in Bromley
Ramblers held another very successful Christmas five
mile walk on 20th December, with Father Christmas and
one of his ‘little helpers’ providing half-way mulled
wine, coffee and mince pies for 40 members.
Everyone then joined a further 30 people for a most
enjoyable lunch at Farleigh Court Golf Club. All
that was missing was the snow!
21 December 2017: Volunteering Opportunities for
is increasing evidence that volunteering is beneficial
to the health and well-being of those who take part –
it is a great way to make friends, acquire new skills
and have the satisfaction of doing something useful for
One of the most important areas of work
for which we need volunteers is the protection of
footpaths. Our aim is to have someone in every
parish (or equivalent urban area) who walks the paths
regularly (at least once a year) and reports any
problems – these are our Parish Footpath
We also need volunteers – Local
Footpath Officers – to help deal with occasional
less straightforward issues reported by the Observers, to check all
proposals submitted to Kent County Council for
extinguishment or diversion of rights of way and to
inspect certain planning applications to ensure the best
outcome for walkers. Local Footpath Officers
normally cover several parishes but we are happy to be
flexible about that.
No particular experience is required as we offer
training and support to all our volunteers.
Details of the parishes for which we need cover
including links to maps showing their locations can be
found on our
Vacancies page. Contact information for
getting in touch are on that page – we are very
happy to discuss these roles without any commitment on
We are also in need of a Sector Coordinator and an
Area Footpath Officer but these roles are more suited to
people with some experience of rights of way work.
If you are interested in either of these, please get in
touch – if only to discuss what might be involved.
27 October 2017: Stepping Out: Grand Finale
last of this season's walks for carers and those they
care for was held in glorious autumn weather, starting
at Aylesford Priory. One of the walks explored the
historic town including the church and the medieval
arched bridge, recognised by Historic England as a good
example of its type. Read more details about
the Aylesford walk
about the Stepping Out project generally
26 October 2017: Report on White Cliffs Walking
the request of the team that delivered this year's White
Cliffs Walking Festival, John Grace has produced a
comprehensive report assessing the Festival's success in
meeting its objectives. The total numbers of
participants on all the 43 walks was a record 1252 and
the variety of interesting themes was much appreciated. The report explains
the planning, promotion and delivery of the Festival
programme and analyses the data collected, particularly
as to where the many participants came from.
You can read the full report
17 October 2017: Stepping Out Film Released
Sport England released a film made during the Carers'
walk that took place in Kingsdown and Deal as part of
the White Cliffs Walking Festival. The walk was
one of eight being organised this year as part of the
Stepping Out project, a joint venture between Kent
Ramblers and Carers' Support organisations, funded by
You can read more about the 2017 Stepping Out
Visit the Sport England web site and view the film
Details of the next and final event of the season are
November 2017: Annual Footpath Meeting
The annual workshop for all those interested in
footpath matters in Kent will be held on 30 November
2017, as usual in Lenham Community Centre. All are
welcome – you don't need to be a current volunteer
although we will be delighted if the meeting inspires
you to offer your time to help protect the county's
paths. Advance booking is essential: there are
more details and a full agenda
27 September 2017: East Kent Ploughing Match
last Wednesday in September, the date of the East Kent
Ploughing Match, seems to enjoy more than its fair share
of fine weather and this year was no exception. The sun
shone, the sky was a somewhat hazy blue and, most
importantly from our point of view, there was no wind to
blow our tent or our leaflets away. The event is held
at a different location every year and this time it was
at Quex Park, not too far from Margate. Volunteers from
White Cliffs Group manned the Ramblers’ stall and
chatted to visitors about the joys of walking in Kent.
Quite apart from the competitive ploughing, the event is
a major agricultural show with plenty to see including
demonstrations by birds of prey and the regular sheaf
tossing competition. Nevertheless, the heavy horses and
vintage tractors are not to be missed, especially
regular attendees Madge and Dolly (pictured). A great
day out – do join us next year.
25 August 2017: Stepping Out
Most of us take for granted the simple pleasures in
life such as going for a walk. But, for many
people with caring responsibilities, going for a walk to
enjoy the physical exercise, the company of fellow
walkers and the delights of the Kent countryside is
something they can only dream about.
This summer Kent Ramblers and carers' support
organisations in East Kent are running a project funded
by Sport England to enable carers and some of those they
care for to take a much needed break and go for a walk
in the company of members of the Ramblers.
The sixth of the series of walks took place as part
of the White Cliffs Walking Festival on 25 August when around 50 people
participated. They were joined by Vanessa
Griffiths, Chief Executive of the Ramblers, and a film
crew from Sport England. There is a full report on
the day here.
For more information about the
project generally, click here.
24 August 2017: White Cliffs Walking Festival
The opening ceremony of this year's White Cliffs
Walking Festival took place today. Brief speeches
were given by Margaret Lubbock (Chairman of White Cliffs
Group), Charlie Elphicke (MP for Dover), Kate
Ashbrook (Vice Chair of the Ramblers' Board of
Trustees) and Councillor Nick Tomaszewski (Deputy Mayor
of Deal). The Festival runs until 30 August –
to peruse the programme and book a place on a walk
please visit the
Festival web site. As usual there
is a huge variety of walks, many of them with themes
reflecting the rich history of the area.
Margaret Lubbock with Charlie Elphicke pledging
his support for keeping four wheel drive
vehicles off rural byways
Setting off from Walmer
11 August 2017: Footpath Cleared at Tilmanstone
A team from White Cliffs Group today cleared 200
metres of impenetrable undergrowth from a path at
Barville Road, Tilmanstone. We depend on our
volunteers to carry out this work and on the
subscriptions of our members to fund it.
Taking satisfaction in a job well done
30 July 2017: Walking with
London Blind Ramblers
members of our West Kent Walking Group hosted a walk
with London Blind Ramblers. 18 members of WKWG
accompanied 15 guests from London Blind Ramblers in a
circular walk from Borough Green station, taking in the
delights of Ightham Mote and some of Kent's finest
orchards. Read Alan Richardson's
full report ...
20 July 2017: Walkers are Welcome
you aware of the
Welcome scheme? Towns across Great Britain are
awarded Walkers are Welcome status if they meet certain
criteria and we have three such towns in Kent: Elham,
Deal and Dover. The Dover team has just revamped
web site and is in the process of producing a new
leaflet describing the walking opportunities in the
area. Meanwhile there are a couple of inland walks
near Dover on our web site:
Kearsney Abbey and Lydden Temple Ewell Nature Reserve
Kearsney and St Radigund's
For those wanting a coastal walk, all the information
you could need, including detailed maps, can be found in
our Guide to the Kent Coast Path available from our
21 June 2017: England Coast Path Consultation
It is now over a year since the section of the
England Coast Path from Camber to Ramsgate opened in
July 2016. Since then work has been under way to
extend the route in an anticlockwise direction.
The route of the next section from Ramsgate to
Whitstable has been determined by the Secretary of State
but the signage and the works necessary to create a new
path along the edge of the North Foreland Golf Course
near Kingsgate Castle have not yet begun.
Natural England issued a
consultation document on the proposed route of the
section from Whitstable to Iwade (where the path will
make a detour to go around the coastline of the Isle of
Sheppey). Kent’s Coastal Access Officer, Ian Wild,
anticipates that this will be one of the trickier
sections with a number of issues to be addressed,
especially around Faversham. Consultation closes
on 16 August 2017.
Meanwhile Kent Area Secretary, Robert Peel, has
started work on the second part of the Area’s guide to
the Kent Coast Path which will cover the route from
Ramsgate to Gravesend. He has got as far as
Reculver (pictured), site of both a Roman fort and the
remains of a 12th Century church whose twin towers have
long been a landmark for shipping. On the way he
has passed delightful beaches and limestone coves as
well as sea stacks at Botany Bay and the Turner
Contemporary art gallery at Margate. The first
part of the guide has sold well, proceeds having covered
the printing costs so that sales are now generating
profits for the Ramblers. Copies of the first part
are still available from our