Meeting: 16th January, 2017 held at the Wheatley Hotel.
Present: David Gadd (Chair), David Horne (Treasurer), Wendy Atkinson, Jim Elvidge, Dennis Neal, Bob
Carlisle, Tony Marsh, Peter Gravestock, Kerry Forman, Owen Evans.
Visitor: Cynthia Elvidge
Apologies: Martin Wyman
1 Minutes of the meeting of 21st November, 2016.
These were accepted as being correct.
2 Matters arising.
3 Central Office initiatives.
Winter Festival - we agreed to address this issue next Autumn to try and ensure that the walks that fall in this
time-period are as attractive to newcomers as possible.
People’s Postcode Lottery - This was not discussed. However, for information Central Office receives funding from the PPL to promote walking and it needs to demonstrate the effect of the funding. Projects include
Walking for Health, Walk About and the Festival of Winter Walks. Central Office are carrying out a survey
to understand groups’ experiences. The results will be shared with us in mid-2017. One piece of consistent
feedback was the relatively short lead-time. Hence the next Walk About will be in spring 2018.
Views on improving support for Groups and Areas - Central Office have sent out a survey form asking for
suggestions. Several suggestions were made but it was agreed that members would look at the survey and let
DG know their thoughts for a Group response by 30th January. Members are welcome to respond individually. Map-reading courses were suggested, although these can be provided locally.
Pathwatch - there were issues surrounding the perceived problems with The Big Pathwatch when it was introduced. Our system with DMBC is working well, hence TBP with DMBC is not necessary. However, OE
pointed out that it could be useful to report problems out of DMBC. TM pointed out that the map of Pathwatch-reported problems shows very few reports in this area, despite the fact that we provide an excellent
comprehensive footpath monitoring and maintenance service. DG agreed to contact Central Office regarding
4i Wednesday evening walks
After some discussion re the small numbers of people attending these walks we agreed not to submit
Wednesday evening walks in the next programme. We acknowledge that the situation may change in the
future and we may reconsider.
ii Get Doncaster Walking
As with our Wednesday evening walks, numbers are generally low. However the publicity for our Group is
considerable, with the walks being promoted by DMBC. A full-page GDW advert in the Doncaster Free
Press last week, with six walks being provided by the Group, illustrates this well. We agreed to look again at
this issue before the next GDW programme.
5 Walks Programme
We discussed various issues around the Walks Programme. OE described the set of walks he is submitting to
mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of James Paine, the architect who designed the Mansion House,
Cusworth Hall, Nostell Priory, Hickleton Hall, etc. He agreed to write an article for the Newsletter about
We agreed to increase the number of pages in the Walks Programme by four colour pages, giving us the opportunity for more adverts as well as more photos of the Group’s activities, and thus a better vehicle for promoting the Group. We agreed to increase the print number from 250 to 400 copies for this purpose.
6 Rights of Way report
This is to wish A Very Happy New year to all volunteers, be they Square Walkers, maintenance volunteers,
or both, and to a very successful 2017.
First of all thank you for walking last year and making it possible to achieve100% coverage of all walkable
paths, for the second year. This, with the backup of all those who help with the maintenance work, ensures
that our footpath network is as good as we can make it for everyone who walks to enjoy the exercise.
We hope that you all will walk the footpaths in your square again this year, perhaps at a different time of
year, and help repairing the problems found. This year we would like to finish the whole network earlier if
possible, perhaps by the middle of November.
The number of paths walked is now shown on the Ramblers website, so it is possible to see how the number
add up through the year, and to read, using the volunteers section, how much work has been achieved. We
will continue to add more information to the website.
If you report a problem on a path might it be possible to walk it later to see the improvement when the problem has been addressed? Some walkers have also found a problem has arisen after the path was earlier reported as satisfactory. Please let me know if you foresee a problem with walking your current square. WA.
7 Lost Ways report
Nothing to report. No recent progress due to lack of time.
8 Social report
Both Christmas lunches preceded by walks were very successful. Thanks to the organisors.
DN has made a provisional booking at Sykehouse for the Tuesday Christmas lunch for 2017.
The coach has been booked for a coach trip to the Helmsley area on Saturday, 1st July. There will be three
walks of varying lengths.
9 Financial report.
The figures had been distributed prior to the meeting. DH said that there were no problems. We agreed that
the £158 raised from the Christmas raffles would be raised to £200 and distributed equally between Edale
Mountain Rescue and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
i The Group received a Christmas card from Central Office.
ii On the Christmas walk at Barnburgh a member refused to put his dog on the lead and insisted that he was
not walking with us, which he clearly was. DG and TM attempted to reason with him, to no avail. He has
walked subsequently, without the dog.
iii A complaint was received from the clerk to the Letwell Parish Council re our car-parking there on 3rd
January. A letter of apology has been sent.
iv There are now over 2,000 photos on our website.
v A lady moving to Doncaster in a couple of months has been in touch to ask if dogs are allowed on our
vi With the aim of demonstrating our support for our advertisers we agreed that members of the committee
who wish to do so will dine at the NUR Indian restaurant in Edlington at 7.30pm on the 16th February. NUR
is a ‘bring your own’ alcohol restaurant.
Next meeting: Monday, 20th March