Walking - come rain or shine
I’ve just returned from a week in the Peak District. Even now, everything is so much greener up there than it is in our Surrey countryside and this really emphasizes the points made in my earlier blog about fire risks. That blog pre-dated the horrendous fire at Hankley Common which was another terrible reminder of the devastation which can be caused by a single ignition source.
My walks in Derbyshire got me thinking about similarities and differences in enjoying the outside world in various parts of the country. We actually saw rain – several times overnight and during one morning – and I suspect that many of us in Surrey wouldn’t mind a bit of that at the moment! The fact that rain is normally a regular occurrence for walkers in many parts of the country means that most of them are prepared for it and have suitable waterproof clothing. As I was told many years ago – there is never the wrong weather for walking, only the wrong clothes.
I suspect that for many Surrey walkers, the return of wet weather will come as a bit of a shock. Don’t be put off by it. Our Walkfest walks will certainly be going ahead come rain or shine – the only differences will be the clothing and especially footwear. We are likely to find that footpaths over chalky slopes could become a bit greasy and the clay ground will be so hard that water will sit on it instead of soaking in quickly. This makes footwear with a good grippy sole far more important - so take a look at yours now whilst you still have time to replace that old pair of walking shoes or boots that have seen better days.
The massive vistas of Derbyshire and elsewhere are stunning but it’s nice to be back in Surrey where we have brilliant views from the hills and the ever-changing scenery of downland, heath, woodland and farmland within the length of a single walk. Surrey is a relatively small county but has incredibly diverse geology and hence biodiversity. Yet more reasons for getting out and exploring it.
One other similarity which I noticed this week was the poor mobile phone coverage of rural areas. Whilst that may be good for helping you to chill out on a walk without being interrupted by non-urgent communications it does have other implications. For those that live and work in the countryside, it can be a real constraint on their ability to run their businesses or to make urgent calls – especially since these are also areas which are more prone to power cuts and electricity is needed for broadband and other communication devices.
The bottom line? It’s great to get away for a holiday but our part of Surrey has so much to offer that every day can be a holiday whilst staying locally. So why not get out there to explore and enjoy our borough – Walkfest is the ideal opportunity to do so with walk leaders to support you and take you to new and fascinating locations.