John Harris's Walking in England

Walking in Devon

Okehampton Rambling Club

Welcome to Okehampton Rambling Club!

Unless there is any change in the proposed lifting of Covid restrictions due on 17th May, 2021, Okehampton Rambling Club will resume walks from Sunday 23rd May, meeting at the post office in George Street, ready to leave at 9.30am. All welcome. Please ensure you are suitably dressed and carrying a drink and refreshments. The walk of between 7 and 9 miles will be local so no car sharing is necessary.

At present we are not issuing a programme and are being cautious about venturing too far. We will continue to meet on Sunday mornings ready to leave at 9.30am. For information about a specific walk, please contact Chris Baines on 01409 221362 at least 24 hours before the walk.

Our club has been in existence for over 40 years as a small group of friends who enjoy walking together. Membership has grown over the years to more than 50, although probably only about 25 members walk on a regular basis. We walk every Sunday throughout the year and see ourselves as a group of friends walking together. Everyone walks at their own risk. Occasionally, we must postpone a specific walk, but this is very rare, and we try to do an alternative walk.

The club is entirely independent and not affiliated to any other walking group, although we do upload our walking programme to John Harris' 'Walking in England' website www.walkinginengland.co.uk/devon/okehampton_ramblers.php

Members plan and lead walks of between 5 and 9 miles. We walk on Dartmoor, Bodmin moor, coastal paths and countryside locations throughout Devon and Cornwall. Any member can propose and lead walks and, indeed, members are encouraged to do so, but there is no pressure.

We meet outside Okehampton Post Office every Sunday morning ready to leave at 9.30am. We share cars where possible and passengers make an agreed donation to the drivers. It is suggested that passengers bring a pair of shoes to change into at the end of a walk to travel home in. If it is more convenient for you to join the walk at the start, rather than meet at the post office, we ask that you let the walk leader know in advance.

We try to avoid having rules, although we do expect all members to take sensible precautions for their own and fellow walkers' safety. You should always be appropriately equipped for the weather conditions including wearing suitable footwear. You should carry a drink and a snack or packed lunch as we don't usually return until mid or late afternoon; often we are in time to stop at a tea shop, pub or just an ice-cream van at the end of the walk, although not everyone stops for these post-walk refreshments.

Members leading a walk will have taken trouble to plan a route and may have walked the route more than once to ensure safety and suitability. The walk description will give an indication of the level of difficulty if appropriate. We recommend that you do not go ahead of the walk leader, unless he or she directs you to do so (even if you think you know the route). It is important that the group stays together for safety (e.g. an accident or mist). It is a good idea is to make sure you can always see at least one person in front of and behind you. You should also avoid walking behind the back marker (except for a call of nature, when you should make sure someone knows you have dropped back). If any member does wish to go ahead, or leave the group, they should inform the leader.

Dogs do not often come but, if you wish to bring a dog, please let the walk leader know in advance so that they can tell you if the walk is suitable for dogs, e.g. stock in fields. Of course, all dogs should be kept under strict control, on leads preferably.

Socials
As well as our weekly walks, on one evening of every month one of our members will organise a meal out at a local town or country, pub or restaurant of their choosing. On one morning of each month, some members get together for coffee at a local café. Every Christmas, we have a meal together after a Sunday morning walk and are joined by some of our non-walking members. We also have a short walking holiday every year. Non-walking members or partners are very welcome. We hope you will enjoy walking with us and soon make many new friends.

Philosophy
Despite all reasonable precautions, very occasionally accidents do occur. Membership therefore is accepted on the condition that the member accepts that they participate in the club's walks and activities entirely at their own risk. This is a fundamental condition of membership.

Codes
" The club will conduct its walks taking all reasonable measures for the safety and well-being of its members, but no responsibility or liability shall be accepted by the club, its committee, its officers or its walk leaders for loss, injury, death, or damage sustained by members or guests during walks or other club activities.

" The club has a Public Liability Insurance policy. This covers damage to other people's property such as farmers' walls, livestock, etc. It does not cover personal accident, death, injury, or loss which might be incurred by members during a walk. The club and its leaders cannot be held responsible for members' own actions.

" Each member is individually responsible for their own safety and for acting in a responsible manner to diminish the risk of accident or injury to themselves and other members of the party. They must keep with the party and follow the directions of the leader.

" Walkers are strongly recommended to carry the following equipment: compass, whistle, torch, hi vis item, mobile phone, or card with emergency information (who to contact), survival bag and first aid.

" Minors (below the age of 18 years) must be accompanied by an adult who is a club member and who is willing to accept personal responsibility for the safety of the minor.

For more details, please contact Sue Lewis (Chairman)on 01837 318106 or susan.lewis01@tiscali.co.uk or Chris Baines (Secretary) on 01409 221362 or chrisbaines63@btinternet.com.



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