January 2018

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Hello and Happy New Year to all our members. 2018 is a special year for us, as it is the club’s 80th birthday year. Let’s make it a good one! Much has changed since 1938, from heavy tweed and canvas to ultralight wicking fabrics and GoreTex, and from handwritten records in elegant copper-plate script to electronic newsletters, but the joy of walking in the Devon countryside remains much the same. Later in this newsletter you’ll find a ‘Tales from the club archive’ section.

We currently have 52 subscription-paying members, plus 5 lifetime members. There’s always room for more, so do promote our club whenever you can and invite any of your friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances to sample our walks

Spring walking programme
Along with this newsletter you will find a new programme for the period February – April 2018, with a good selection of Sunday walks, both long and short, and Thursday walks to include lunch out. As always, many thanks to Katherine for all her efforts.

Annual General Meeting: 25th February 2018
Accompanying this newsletter you will find the statutory notice regarding our AGM 2018. This will be held on Sunday 25th February, once again at the excellent Padbrook Park in Cullompton, and we hope to see as many of you as possible there, especially those whom we no longer see on Sunday walks. Our speaker will be from the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team; there will be a collection afterwards, so please bring some loose change.

The 3-course lunch is the same price as last year. Don’t forget to make your menu choices and return your booking slip to Pete in good time. You can download a copy here.

Once again, there’ll be a Bring and Buy table to raise funds for the club, so do please bring along anything you think may be saleable. We especially welcome donations of home-made produce and crafts, plus any walking or outdoor gear (new or in good used condition), maps, books and unwanted gifts. Why leave them to clutter up your cupboards and drawers when they can find a new owner and get a whole new lease of life. Just bring them along on the day.

Photographers: please bring your favourite photos for the pin board. As last year, there will be a chance to share your best shots taken on club walks during the past year. We look forward to seeing pictures of club members enjoying themselves, classic landscape shots and anything unusual or humorous. If possible, please provide details of when you took the picture and where.

Tales from the club archive
The inaugural meeting of the Exeter Rambling Club was held on the 15th March 1938 at Messrs Hammett’s Dairies Ltd., St Sidwell Street, Exeter. There were thirty-three members present, and an Express & Echo Staff Reporter. Mr A.O. Rowden presided and opened the meeting with an interesting talk on Rambling. It was decided to hold Rambles on Saturday afternoons and Sundays. Mr Rowden offered to lead the first walk, which was fixed for Sunday 20th March 1938 at 2.30 from Burnthouse Lane, the route being as follows:- via Northbrook Park, Topsham, Clyst St George, Clyst St Mary, across the meadows to Sowton and back into Exeter.

Exhibition: Dartmoor, a Wild and Wondrous Region
There is currently an exhibition at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter featuring the portrayal of Dartmoor in art from the late 18th to early 20th centuries. It is fascinating and tells the story of the discovery of Dartmoor by landscape artists in the late 18th century and how this sparked a boom in tourism, at a time when the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars were making the Grand Tour and travel to Europe impossible. There are works by Turner, William and FJ Widgery and many others, and they range from huge oil paintings to intricate pencil sketches, water colours and early photographs. The exhibition runs until the 31st March 2018 and entrance is free.

“The summits of several of the higher swells of Dartmoor are truly savage, and rendered finely picturesque by reason of immense piles of stones, or huge fragments of rock, thrown confusedly together in the most grotesque manner.”
Arthur Marshall, The Rural Economy of the West of England, 1796.

Favourite recipe: Savoury Flapjacks
Everybody knows and loves the sweet flapjack, but have you tried this wonderful cheesy version? They make a great addition to your hiking lunchbox or an exceedingly tasty snack at any time.

2 oz butter, melted
5 oz porridge oats
4 oz chopped nuts (any kind you fancy – I like to use a mix of peanuts and pecans, with some sunflower seeds thrown in too)
I large carrot, grated
6 oz mature cheddar cheese, grated
Pinch of dried mixed herbs
1 beaten egg
Salt and pepper to taste (not too much if using salted peanuts).

Mix everything in a large bowl. Press into a greased baking tin (8” square or 11 x 7” oblong). Bake at Gas 4/180o C for 25 mins until set and golden.
Cut into squares while still warm, then allow to cool in the tin. They freeze well in individually wrapped portions and are equally good eaten cold or warm.

A reminder about our club supporters
If you are booking a Ramblers Holiday, please consider nominating our club for a donation from The Walking Partnership. This scheme gives direct financial support to local walking clubs. Each time a club member books a UK, European or worldwide holiday with Ramblers Holidays, the club will receive a contribution. In order for us to receive this, you must nominate our group at the time of booking, so look out for the logo and web link.

Would you like to contribute an item of news or advertise an event in a future newsletter? Please give any suggestions or contributions to Janet or Christabel.

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October 2017

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Hello to all our members. We now have 57 of you, including 5 lifetime members. Please continue to promote our club whenever you can and invite any of your friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances to sample our walks and consider joining us.

Sad News Again
It is another sad loss to hear the news of Janice’s passing, after a relatively short illness. She had very much enjoyed exploring our home county of Devon and beyond, over her years with the club, and will be missed.  Helen sent a card on behalf of the Club to her family. Her funeral service will be held at Exeter Crematorium on Monday 30th October at 12:30pm.

Autumn Walking Programme
You will find an attached programme for the period November 2017 – to January 2018. We are offering a good selection of Sunday walks of different lengths, together with the monthly Thursday walks with a pub lunch.

Annual Club Outing, 2017
This year’s club outing to Wells was enjoyed by all who went on it. The weather was not as perfect as in previous years and fingers were kept firmly crossed all day that the rain would hold off. It worked and, although there were strong and quite cold winds, there were no raindrops. Christabel led a 9-mile walk which afforded splendid views of Glastonbury and beyond. There was a shorter option of 4.5 miles, which was taken by five walkers, and seven people chose just to explore the town and its environs. Committee members work hard to ensure that the annual outing offers something for everyone. If you have any ideas or requests for next year, please do let us know.

Walker’s Tale: North Devon Weekend, written by Kathy
Once again for the first weekend in September, Andrew and Lesley had kindly organised a club weekend away in North Devon, based at Mortehoe. We were all looking forward to it, especially those who love camping, as the plan was to camp at Damage Barton where Andrew and Lesley had stationed their camper van. There was one person not so keen on camping who managed to book a lovely B&B nearby too. However, there was appalling weather predicted for early Saturday morning and all day Sunday. Unfortunately the forecasters got it right this time, so the camping was cancelled. Saturday was a most beautiful day and Nigel and I drove up to find Andrew and Lesley first. Then found Janet and Julia R (who had driven up for the day) already sitting in the posh camper van enjoying lunch in style at Croyde Bay N.T. car park. After lunch we did a splendid walk around Baggy Point on the S.W. Coast path. It needed to be fairly short as curry on the beach at Barricane is extremely popular so we needed to be there promptly by 6pm. Also, we could not miss tea, could we! After dashing back to respective abodes to don warmer clothing we hurried back to meet up with Janet and Julia who were already queuing for the curry! Thank you, both, as it was crowded and rumour had it that they might run out of food! The beach is a beautiful, sheltered cove surrounded by mammoth rocks with the small cook-shed perched on the cliff. There were even a few hearty people swimming – and without wet suits too. I was not expecting much but the curry was actually delicious. Perhaps the joy of sitting on that beautiful beach on a beautiful evening, in such good company also helped it seem so tasty. Altogether it was a wonderful day and it is sad that others missed out. Janet and Julia drove home and Andrew and Lesley, and Nigel and I went back to our cosy beds. Our B&B room had a view of the sea, supposedly, but in the morning the rain was blowing sideways in the gale and there was no sea to be seen. Once we set off for home, our SatNav (a new toy) was determined we should not go through Braunton but back to Barnstable – so took us via a single track road with grass down the middle. When we hit a ford with a rocky ledge the other side and then a dirt road as well, we decided probably it was preferable to go through Braunton. I did think the SatNav very clever to realise that there is always a traffic jam in Braunton, or perhaps it was just trying to persuade us to take the shortest route…? So, many thanks to Andrew and Lesley. It was a great time and so unfair that the weather scuppered their well-thought-out plans again! Third time lucky next year maybe?

Would you like to contribute an item of news or advertise an event in a future newsletter? We would like to have any Walker’s Tales, Favourite Item in your Rucksack, pieces for the Ask Arthur Corner, or just about anything else of relevance or interest to club members.

Please send suggestions or contributions to Julia H and Janet at julia.rambling@outlook.com

July 2017

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Hello to all our members, of which we currently have 50, plus 5 lifetime members. Please continue to promote our club whenever you can and invite any of your friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances to sample our walks.

More sad news
We are all very sad that one of our members, Glenda Hawkins passed away recently, on 17th July. There is to be a private cremation service for the family. We are invited to a Service of Thanksgiving on Tuesday 1st August 2.30pm at Lifton Down Methodist Chapel, PL16 0DA, which is 1 mile before the junction for Launceston on the A30. The family has asked us to give them the numbers of people would like to go. If you intend to go, please could you contact Helen by e-mail or phone.

Summer walking programme
Along with this newsletter you will find a new programme for the period August – October 2017. As usual, there is a mixture of Sunday walks, evening walks, both long and short walks and a weekend event. Many thanks to all volunteer leaders and to Katherine, our programme organiser.

New Sunday meeting place
Please note that due to demolition and construction work around the bus station site, we have changed our regular Sunday meeting place. We now meet in the Triangle car park (EX1 2BL), close to the entrance opposite the Clifton Inn. Please see the website for more details.

Don’t miss this year’s annual club outing on Sunday 10th September
Our club outing this year is to historic Wells, Somerset. Full details are given on the separate information sheet, which you can download here. Once again the coach trip is free to members (this year it is being paid for from a legacy from Pat). Non-members, friends and relatives are very welcome to come along, at a cost of £10 per person. We will have plenty of seats available, so please invite others to join us. The fuller the coach the merrier!
Wells offers something for everyone to enjoy. Walkers can choose from a variety of walks of different lengths and difficulty. For others, there is a wealth of places to visit in this beautiful little city and plenty of short strolls in gardens and surrounding meadows. Here are some links to information sites for Wells:
Please use the tear-off slip on the information sheet to book your place before Friday 24th August.

North Devon walking weekend:  Saturday 2nd – Sunday 3rd September
This is being organised by Andrew and Lesley. The plan is as follows:
Saturday 2nd September. Meet at 1.30pm at Croyde Bay National Trust car park (SS 432 397). Car sharing from Exeter to be arranged. A short afternoon walk of about 5 miles around Baggy Point. Campers will stay overnight at Damage Barton campsite, Mortehoe (SS 472 449), tel. 01271 870502. Tent and one person costs £10.00. There is plenty of B&B accommodation in Mortehoe or Woolacombe for those who like their creature comforts, but you will need to find and book this yourselves. We will meet for an evening curry on Barricane Beach, Woolacombe (SS 454 443). Cost £8.95 with a choice of meat or vegetarian curry, served with rice and poppadoms. Bring your own beer or wine (soft drinks can be bought) and something to sit on (chair or rug).
Sunday 3rd September. Full day walk starting at 10.30 from the car park at Damage Barton campsite, Mortehoe Station Road, EX34 7EJ (SS 472 449). From A361 follow the signs to Mortehoe. The walk is 8 miles via Lee, Bull Point and Morte Point. Farmland, wooded valley and coast path. A moderately strenuous walk with steep ascents and descents, some with steps. Please note: there may be no transport from Exeter on Sunday.
If you are interested in joining us for the weekend or just on the Sunday, please contact Andrew and Lesley by 14th August on 01392 757483.

Proposed navigation workshop
We would like to gauge interest in a navigation skills workshop. This is likely to be a 2-hour session on a Saturday at Andrew and Lesley’s house and will demonstrate map-reading skills, with a possible follow-up session on a Sunday to practise what has been learnt. Is this something you would be interested in?  If so, please speak to a Committee member.

A reminder about safety on walks
Please remember that we all walk at our own risk. Our leaders are not trained in first aid and are not responsible in the event of an injury or accident. You are advised to carry a basic first aid kit and to take all reasonable precautions against injury whilst out walking.

We have had a number of thunderstorms recently, so please familiarise yourself with the drill for what to do in the event of a thunderstorm while out walking. This can be found on the website: https://exeterramblingclub.co.uk/information-for-leaders

The science behind the lunchtime walk, contributed by Janet
In my old job I set up a lunch time walking group. Everyone had always had their lunch at their desk whilst still being on the computer. To begin with I got quite a few people to leave their desks and come walking with me, just for 20 minutes. Soon the numbers fell, but I continued to have my lunchtime walk and there were always some takers. On a rainy day I would get some funny looks when I said “Anyone joining me today?” but still we walked.
I recently left that job for a new one. So just in case they didn’t continue the lunchtime walk in my absence, I pinned the following article to the office notice board as well as sending a personal reminder email to each of my colleagues. Now I have been in my new job for 5 weeks and yes, you guessed it, we now have a lunchtime walking group there too:

We all know that exercise does us good, but did you know that walking has huge health benefits even in small quantities? Moderate intensity walking has just as effective benefits as jogging, such as lowering the risk of high blood pressure – and you don’t even need to wear Lycra! Phew!!! The physical benefits of walking are clear:
1.  You reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by walking regularly. It’s great cardio exercise, lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. The Stroke Association says that a brisk 30-minute walk every day helps to prevent and control the high blood pressure that causes strokes, reducing the risk by up to 27 percent.
2.  A brisk walk helps to boost your circulation and increase oxygen supply to all your cells, giving you great benefits such as more energy and even healthier looking skin.
3.  Walking even boosts your immune system for 24 hours – who knew?
4.  Physically active employees also take 27% less sick days than non-active employees, leaving them healthier the whole year round.
5. Walking is also great for getting some more vitamin D. Many people in the UK are vitamin D deficient which is essential for important things such as bone health.

Walking has plenty of mental health benefits as well:
6. Being active promotes mental health and well-being. It improves self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue.
7.  Physically active people have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed.
8.  Physical activity stimulates the release of body chemicals called endorphins, which act as natural painkillers, reduce stress and produce feelings of well-being.
9.  Walking improves cerebral blood flow and lowers the risk of vascular disease, which may be linked to helping you stave off dementia.
10. Scientists at Essex University found that our well-being is boosted significantly with as little as 5 minutes outdoor exercise (but make it at least 20 mins!) And you will then feel like this!!!

Templer Way Walk
We received the following feedback from Julia R on the recent Templer Way walk: “As I rushed to be the first person past the post, I could not believe Janet could be so cruel as to deny me my moment of glory and rush past me as I neared the tape and the chequered flag. Out of respect for my great age, I think she should have let me win!!! Also, huge thanks for organising the meal after the walk. Just can’t beat fish and chips when by the sea, especially after the walk.”

‘Ask Arthur’ Corner: More science
On a recent walk, one of our more agriculturally curious walkers enquired, whilst pointing to the distant fields, “Is there a reason why the large round bales are covered in different coloured plastic wrap?” We scratched our heads and came up with all sorts of reasons, from farmers’ personal preference to geographical suppliers, but we knew the only thing to do was to ask Arthur, and this is what he told us.
During 2002, the Dow Chemical Company commissioned a study at the Centre for Dairy Research (CEDAR) at Reading University to test the effects of different film colours and number of wrap layers on spoilage, nutrient quality and potential impact on animal production. Two colours of film were used, green and black, in combination with four, six or eight wrap layers. This produced six treatments.
The crop was cut in the second half of June, wilted for 24 hours, then baled and wrapped the same day. Ten bales were made for each treatment, all from the same field, and were stacked for four months before opening. In late October, five bales from each treatment were reweighed and opened, and samples were analysed.
The most noticeable differences were in the wastage levels between green and black films, and between four, six and eight layers of wrap in the bales wrapped in black film. In the bales wrapped with the standard four layers of black film, the average spoilage was almost 9% of the total fresh weight of the bale. However, wrapping bales with six or eight layers reduced wastage to less than 1%. This indicates that there is a marked difference in spoilage when wrapping with six or more layers rather than four. Other results that were of interest were significant increases in the digestibility (D Value) and metabolisable energy (ME) as the numbers of layers went up from four to six to eight in the black film. These differences are thought to be associated with improvements in silage fermentation characteristics, such as a reduction in pH and ammonia nitrogen and an increase in sugars. The spoilage in the bales wrapped with green film was nil, irrespective of the number of layers of wrap used. This could indicate a positive effect from controlling the impact of UV light on the stability of the bale or the air permeability of the film, but requires further investigation before any firm conclusions can be drawn.
Our member commented, “That’s very interesting Arthur, but what about the pink bales we have seen on some of our walks?” Arthur replied: They might look like giant marshmallows, but these pink hay bales are raising awareness of breast cancer. Volac (suppliers of all things to do with dairy farming) realised that many women work within agriculture and wanted to raise awareness of breast cancer in the countryside. What better way to visualise it than with pink bales in the fields?
The pink wrap has sold out in many shops, according to Volac. For every roll of pink Topwrap film purchased, £3 is donated to Breast Cancer Now. Thank you, Arthur!!!

A reminder about our club sponsors
Our club relies on generous annual donations from sponsors. These businesses in turn rely on your custom. Please Support Our Sponsors whenever you can!

Would you like to contribute an item of news or advertise an event in a future newsletter? We would like to have any Walker’s Tales, Favourite Item in your Rucksack, pieces for the Ask Arthur Corner, or just about anything else of relevance or interest to Club members. Please send suggestions or contributions to Julia H and Janet at julia.rambling@outlook.com

January 2017

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Hello everyone, and a very Happy New 2017!

We have have had a few new members join us recently and would like to extend a warm welcome to them. We currently have 53 paid-up members plus 5 ‘lifers’. New members are always very welcome, so do please do encourage friends and colleagues to join.

Winter Walks Programme
As always, we have another programme of walks lined up for you for February to April. Thanks again to Katherine for her work as Walks Organiser, which is no easy task. During this coldest, bleakest time of the year, it’s good to be out and about, taking in the fresh air and the beautiful landscapes we have on our doorstep. Isn’t it?

Annual General Meeting: Sunday 26th February 2017
Full details are given on the separate statutory notice that comes with this newsletter. Do remember to make your lunch choice and return the booking slip to Pete in good time.

Our speaker this year is Paul Rendell, otherwise known as ‘Dartmoor Paul’, who will be giving an illustrated talk on “The secret wildlife on Dartmoor”. Paul is a full-time professional moorland guide, author of several books on Dartmoor and editor of the Dartmoor News. You can read more about him by visiting his website: http://paulrendelldartmoor.co.uk.

Please note, there will be a vacancy for a new Committee member as Bill will be standing down. If anyone is interested in this position, please contact Christabel before the AGM.

We’ll also be holding the now-traditional BRING & BUY SALE to raise funds for the annual club outing later in the year. For those who haven’t been before, we would greatly welcome donations of used or unused walking or outdoor gear in good condition, any home-made produce or crafts, and any unwanted maps, books or gifts. Just bring them along on the day.

** A reminder to bring your favourite photos for the pin board.  Members will certainly be interested in your ‘best shots’ taken on club walks during the past year, with a maximum of two per person please. Please also bring details of when you took the picture, and where. We look forward to seeing classic landscape pictures, close-ups, abstract or anything unusual or humorous.

Proposal to increase annual membership subscription to £10 per person
There has not been an increase in a number of years now. This is something the Committee has been discussing and will be asking the membership to vote on at the AGM. Among other things, an increase would enable us to continue to meet at least partial cost of the coach for the annual outing. In recent years, we have funded this from very generous one-off donations from previous members.

 Advance notice of future walks: two dates to save in your diaries
The following have been proposed for future programmes and are being advertised now so that you can save the dates.

The Templer Way – proposed date 28th May 2017
This is a historic and scenic waymarked route of 18 miles between Haytor on Dartmoor and Teignmouth on the coast. The Way traces the route by which granite was exported from Dartmoor via the unique Haytor Granite Tramway and the Stover Canal and is comprehensively waymarked except on the open moor. The route is named after the Templer family, who built the tramway and canal. The walk offers a wide range of scenery, including open moorland, woodland, river valleys, the Teign estuary and foreshore, together with glimpses of old quays and locks, the old tramway and canal. Four club members completed this walk in October last year and found it was a very enjoyable, easy walk. If you regularly do an 8, 9 or 10 mile Sunday club walk, then the Templer Way will be no problem to you. Walking the route from Haytor to Teignmouth it is mostly downhill. Further details of the walk can be found here: https://www.teignbridge.gov.uk/article/2690/Templer-Way

North Devon Weekend – propsed date 2nd-3rd September 2017
This will be a second attempt at the weekend away (camping or B&B, depending on preference) organised by Andrew and Lesley in 2016, which had to be cancelled due to appalling weather on the Saturday. Full details will follow but will be the same as before: a short walk on the Saturday afternoon followed by supper, and a full-day walk on the Sunday.

‘Ask Arthur’ Corner
Whilst out on one of our many delightful walks, a few of us remarked that a couple of cows in a field had their two back legs chained together via a ‘manacle’ on each leg, located just above the hoof. Our “go-to” man on the ground, Arthur (who has been a herdsman in a previous life) was called upon to give an explanation. He explained that they can be used to stop a cow kicking out at other cows. Some cows are, well, ‘cows’ to others! A kick from one of them can cause a huge amount of damage and being shackled helps prevent this, without splitting away the offending animals from the herd. This method is known as ‘hobbling’ and the hobble is the device which limits the motion of the legs. We thought this only happened in Ben Hur, certainly not in the fields of Woodbury in Devon!

Useful Websites
For general information about UK events, http://rambleon.org.uk/
OS maps are available from the Millets website with 40% discount and free delivery. A very good offer and there is a large selection to choose from: http://www.millets.co.uk

We are sorry to learn that Kit Cozens, who was Treasurer of the Club for many years, recently passed away.

Would you like to contribute an item of news or advertise an event in a future newsletter?
If so, please send suggestions to your editors, Janet or Julia H.

Reminder about our club sponsors
Our club relies on generous annual donations from several sponsors. These businesses in turn rely on your custom.

If you are booking a Ramblers UK or worldwide holiday, please look out for the Walking Partnership logo. Our club is eligible to receive a contribution each time one of our members (including friends and family) books a Ramblers holiday: £10 for UK, £20 for short-haul and £30 for long-haul holidays. Remember, you do have to ask for it, but it’s a simple process – please do so!!

SOS – Support Our Sponsors whenever you can!