Rob’s Ramble

I hope I find you in good health following the season of over-indulgence. There is a good way to remove those extra pounds and many of you have been doing just that during the start of this year.
Luckily the period of very wet and windy weather seems to have passed, but it did mean that several of our walks were cancelled. I can’t remember so many walks being cancelled as during the last few months of 2023.
The weather has obviously not impacted on our membership, which increased to a record number by the end of 2023. Attendance on walks remained at manageable levels so the committee does not at this stage feel the need to limit new membership, but we will continue to monitor the situation.
We once again had high/record attendance at our Christmas Lunch at Purbeck Golf Club, where we were blessed by stunning views across to Poole Harbour. The pre-lunch walk gave members the appetite to enjoy the excellent lunch. Thanks to Chris Boon and Jill Carter for making the arrangements for the lunch, and Robin Brasher for leading the walk.
In April we are holding our AGM at All Saints Church Hall in Swanage with the same format as last year (Bring and Share Supper) although my report will be slightly different. The date is Monday 29th April, so please make a note in your diary. We hope to be able to find a replacement for Chris and Jill on the committee to run the social side of the group. Jill has been a committee member for many years and her good sense and enthusiasm will be greatly missed. Chris has been a natural in the role and his sunny nature has been a big plus – and of course, at many of the events, Chris’s wife Angela has been dedicated in making the events a great success.
You may have noticed that we have a new look website so thanks very much to Lesley Watts for getting that up and running with a minimum of fuss,

Swanage Walking Group Gad Cliff Ascent
Swanage Walking Group Tyneham Village

and of course thanks to Bryan Stubbs who has managed the website for many years.
We have had a steady influx of new members and we hope you enjoy being members of our group. Please read through our etiquette guidelines so that walk leaders have a less stressful time. We also adhere to the Countryside Code so make sure you are familiar with that (go to advice for countryside visitors on the government website for information).
We’ve also had some new walk leaders in recent times so thanks to them for stepping forward, but of course we can always do with more so please let me or another committee member know if you wish to lead a walk.
And if you would like to help in the organisation of the group you would be very welcome to join our friendly committee.
Spring is my favourite season with the emerging wild flowers and improving weather. I do hope that this programme encourages you to get out and enjoy the beautiful Dorset countryside and get fit at the same time.
Do “keep walking and stay fit”.

Rob Lobley – Chairman, Swanage Walking Group