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Club News During the Restriction of Activities Caused by Covid-19

The Committee has decided to continue the suspension of activities until further notice after 2 Dec.

The Programme of walks arranged for November and December 2020 has had to be suspended to comply with the new national lockdown in England.5 Nov to 2 Dec

Links

New National Restrictions 5 Nov 2020Government

Updated 12 Nov


Dave Joynson's submission is a little different: Slideshow


Let us see what you are getting up to while we can't meet, send your Lockdown pictures to Mike Everill or to hanliensian@hotmail.com

Always take your photographs and videos on mobiles with your device in landscape mode with the Home button on the right.

Messgae from the Chairman29 November 2020

Stoke and Staffordshire will be in Tier 3 after 2/12/20. The consensus of the Committee is that the walks programme remains suspended until further notice.

Age UK have published a useful summary of restrictions and for Tier 3 to quote: ' journeys should be minimised'.

At Royal Stoke hospital there are 340 cases in I.T.U., twice that of the first wave. A critical incident was declared yesterday, Saturday 28 November.

Keep safe everybody. Ian ( chair)

Chairman's Update November 2020
(Suspension of Walks Programme)

Hello Fellow Hanliensians,
Unfortunately COVID is still having an adverse effect on our activities. The Committee had a telephone conference meeting on 21/10/20 and we have had some discussions since.

The main points arising were :

  1. AGM
    • Reluctantly we are unable to hold the 2020 AGM. It has three main functions, presentation and approval of Officer reports, election of Officers and Committee Members and a social one; it allows members to meet up.
    • The current Officers and Committee Members have kindly continued to serve until we can hold an AGM, hopefully in March 2021.
    • Details of how we intend to perform the normal business of the 2021 AGM will be announced after our January Committee meeting. There are ongoing discussions about the use of technology to assist in the operation of Club business including the AGM.
    • The positions of all Officers and Members are open to all club members and nominations can be received at or before the AGM
  2. Walks (but see Stop Press below)
    • We will continue with a 2 month programme.
    • Continue with 6 on walks [ 5 plus leader]. We decided for various reasons not to follow the Ramblers who allow up to 30.
    • Compilers. Phil Burgess will take over from Bill Walshaw for A/B walks. I will take over from John Critchlow for the Sunday C walks. Many thanks to Bill and John for their work over the years.
    • The 2021 Chairman’s Ramble will be in April. The mud of last February was very bad.
    • Please note there were no offers to lead Thursday A/B walks on the Nov/Dec programme.
    • It was felt that pubs should be an optional feature of walks, but lockdown 2 curtails this through November.
  3. Social Events.
    • The sad decision was made to cancel the Turkey Trot and A/B bash. We had already decided to cancel the Photocomp. It is impossible to plan to hold further events with a second wave upon us.
    • Many thanks to Bill and Carol for organising a successful holiday to Patterdale and an enjoyable Pie and Pea supper. Spring holiday arrangements are in hand to visit Caernarfon. Details later when discussions are completed.
  4. Membership
    • 9 new members have joined in 2020, bringing the total to 189.
    • According to the Constitution those joining AFTER the start of the Winter programme are deemed to be a member for the whole of the subsequent year. The committee felt as the programme has moved to a two month programme a definite date of 1/11/20 should be set for clarity.
  5. Hilary presented the Treasurer's accounts for the previous 3 months.
  6. Website Mike updated the site and paid (with great difficulty) for the Hosting Services and Domain Registration for the next 2 years. Please use the site.
  7. Round Robins. Bill has kindly agreed to keep sending these out. Please direct any walks queries to the leaders, or Walks Co-ordinator, Phil Burgess.
  8. Newsletter. It currently remains in abeyance as the walks programme is subject to change and we don’t need to send out booking forms. Allan Wells has been very ill but is improving and I am sure you will all wish to join me in sending him our best wishes.
  9. YOUR CLUB NEEDS YOU!
    The Club only exists with the support of its members offering to lead and offering to stand for election to the Committee either as an ordinary member or as an Officer. Please step forward and assist in the running of the Club. Do you have any special skills that we could all benefit from? I would like to thank the Committee for their support in these trying times.

Keep safe everybody.
Ian [Chair]

STOP PRESS
In the light of the new restrictions we are suspending the walks programme until further notice. It may be possible to restart in December if restrictions are eased. See above for Government Guidance

2 points:

  1. Under the new restrictions we are allowed to make a ‘short journey‘ for the purpose of exercise . My interpretation is a journey to your nearest green space. I have Wetley Common a five minute walk away, so I feel I couldn’t justify any car journey.
  2. you are allowed outdoor exercise with members of your household or one other person.

Chairman's Update August 2020

Hello fellow Hanliensians, I thought it was time to provide you with another update on the club activities in the light of easing of lockdown and after last week's tele-conference committee meeting.

Walks Policy
This is to comply with current guidance and will continue for the foreseeable future.

  1. Maximum of 6 on a walk i.e. 5 plus the leader.
  2. No car sharing, the meeting point will be the start of the walk.
  3. Members will need to pre-book with the leader by email.
  4. First come first served, any surplus to go on a reserve list in the event of cancellations.

Walks Programme
A walks programme is being constructed in August for September and October. This programme will need to be compiled by 21 August so as to be ready for walks on Sept 3rd and 5th. We do need more leaders to continue to volunteer. The programme will be sent out to all members, via the current Round Robin system, on a monthly basis and will give members enough notice to book. It will also allow for any changes in the current restrictions to be accommodated. Unfortunately, we are unable to show all details on the club website due to data restrictions.

Walks compilers will gather the information, as done previously, which will then be forwarded to the Walks Co-ordinator, Phil Burgess. Initially this will continue on a monthly basis to allow the club to take into consideration any changes in the present Covid19 situation.

Round Robins
When Bill kindly offered to take this on, he did not foresee the increase in workload that COVID would bring with the ad hoc walks being offered weekly. It is for this reason that:

  1. The Round Robins, commencing with the September 2020 programme will be issued monthly.
  2. Members are to book on a walk or send queries by emailing the leader as listed.

Website
We had a discussion at the committee meeting about whether to renew our subscription. There was strong support for renewal. It is an advert for the club as it is open to non-members to view. Mike has been putting on photos and advice about COVID. Many thanks. Please visit the website as we need to move with the times and more and more organisations use websites.

Social Programme
Bill and Carol have not been idle in this regard.

  1. Inghams cancelled the Italy holiday and those booked all had their deposits refunded. I realise that this has caused Bill & Carol a lot of work and worry, which is much appreciated.
  2. Patterdale self-drive holiday in October, 30 booked.
  3. A Pie and Pea has been organised for Weds 2/9/20 at Hotel Rudyard, the capacity of 30 has been reached. It may be possible to arrange a second if there is sufficient interest. There will be no walk.
  4. They are investigating Barmouth as a possible venue for next year’s Spring holiday, possibly late April. I am by a happy coincidence going to Harlech on Thursday, so am now going a day early and staying in the proposed hotel. What I do for the club!! I think it’s got good potential, seaside, mountains and less than a three-hour drive from Stoke. It also has a station so those wishing to go by train can do so.
  5. Photo competition. Sadly, it has been decided to cancel this year’s event due to the problems related to social distancing.

Newsletter
Publication currently remains suspended. Allan Wells continues his recovery at home.

Facebook page
Credit to Kath Moran for setting this up. This is a private group and provides an additional site to post photos as well as those Mike puts on the website.

Membership renewal
Probably due to the cancellation of the AGM and members not meeting up, this has been slower than in previous years. Hilary has sent out a reminder.

A big thank you to:

  1. The members who have volunteered to lead walks in these unusual times.
  2. the officers and members of the committee for their work on your behalf.
  3. the advice and support I have received from committee members over the last few months.
  4. those members who have renewed despite the club being in a state of semi-hibernation.
  5. Not forgetting a welcome to our new members and trust you will enjoy walking with us.

I hope you and your loved ones are keeping well and safe. Best wishes. Ian [Chair]

PS. The Committee is aware that the RA have issued guidance allowing an increase in group size on Ramblers walks. However, this has resulted in a number of queries and until they are resolved and considered, the existing group size of 6 on HRC walks will remain.

Chairman's Update May 2020

Dear Hanliensians
I thought it was time to give you an update on Club business in these extraordinary Coronavirus times. The Committee had a ‘virtual’ meeting via email and conference call. Officers submitted reports and we had an exchange of ideas.

In Summary:

  1. The resumption of Club activity remains under review.
  2. The publication of the newsletter is currently on hold.
  3. Next year (2021) the Chairman’s Ramble will be held in April. The mud of this year was the final straw for me organising it in February.
  4. I will organise the 2020 Turkey Trot at the Hotel Rudyard.
  5. Balance on Italy holiday has been put back and is now due by 8th July. Carol is awaiting further information from Inghams, details will be circulated to all participants when available. Latest government news suggests all foreign travel is off the agenda for the near future.
  6. No news on Patterdale self drive in October.
  7. Photocomp provisionally listed for November.
  8. Mike Everill has added a Coronavirus page to the website. Members are invited to send two photographs each for inclusion, which they can renew periodically.
  9. Mike has circulated an updated list of leaders, and members are requested to notify Mike of any changes to their preferred grades and days to lead. Offers from members to add their name to the leaders list are welcome.
  10. Coach holidays seem to be of declining interest .Only 13 booked for this year’s holiday to the Isle of Wight and Dunwoods cancelled due to low numbers. It is doubtful whether a coach holiday will feature on next year’s programme.

I received a long letter from John Knott, whose father was a founding member, with some details of earlier Club activities. Two of the Club photocomp prizes are in memory of deceased members namely Paul Rey, who died on a Club walk and Bill Broadhurst who was tragically killed cycling. On a lighter note he included a 1961 copy of the Staffordshire Knot (a local YHA publication) featuring a certain W.Walshaw leading cycling outings.

I am pleased to report that our publisher Allan Wells is now home after a prolonged spell in hospital. I am sure you will all join me in wishing Allan a continued recovery.

I would like to thank members of the Committee for their work and advice in these difficult times.

Countryside Code: A polite reminder that food waste counts as litter because :

  1. An apple core takes 2 months to decompose
  2. A banana skin 2 years.
  3. Orange peel 2 years.
  4. It might be harmful to wildlife.
So: Take nothing but photographs. Leave nothing but footprints.
I wish you and your loved ones continued good health.

Ian Bailey [chair]


From Kath Moran on our Facebook Group

Statement from Sarah Fowler, Chief Executive Peak District National Park Authority- 11 May

It is no surprise that as we take the first steps in the easing of 'lockdown' in this time of unprecedented national crisis, many of us turn to our national parks as a place of sanctuary. Across almost seven decades – and a past that has rarely seen anything of the magnitude of the coronavirus – our national parks have never been more relevant to the country’s need for health, wellbeing and connection with nature, beauty and history.

Whilst we may need our national parks at this time, our relationship with them remains precariously balanced with the current risks to everyone from Covid-19. So as we prepare to welcome you back, let us draw upon that remarkable sense of respect, kindness and humanity we have seen so far in our fight against this disease. This is why I am personally appealing today to anyone seeking to travel to the Peak District National Park. Before your journey, please carefully consider your own wellbeing and that of the Peak District’s many small communities - and be aware that the vast majority of facilities including hospitality businesses will be not be open for a little while yet.

Continuing to use local parks and outdoor areas close to your home can continue to provide the crucial breathing space for you and for us, to ensure the Peak District can be a safe and welcoming place to visit in the weeks to come. In this way we can ensure we don’t place undue pressure on public highways, emergency access or key workers. With around 2,000 Covid-19 cases across Derbyshire alone and local services and resources already fighting on a significant front, it is vital that we limit the impacts on our residential towns and villages wherever possible. With a huge collective effort in respecting our national parks right now, they can be protected and will be there for us all to enjoy far beyond this current coronavirus crisis, including a responsible and vital return for our tourism sector. Those who live and work in our communities are already working hard to ensure there will be a warm welcome so our National Park can equally be enjoyed safely by everyone.

Sarah Fowler, Chief Executive

HRC Chairman's Address April 2020

Greetings fellow Hanliensians.
It is traditional for the Chair to open the AGM with some opening remarks. This is a somewhat modified version in view of the pandemic.

I would like us to remember Mabel Hoyle an Honorary Life Member who passed away aged 94 since the last AGM. She joined the Club in 1947 and gave great service as Committee member 1963 to 1982, Secretary 1955 to 1962, Vice Chair 1983 to 1985 and Chair 1989 to 1990.

Peter Gannon died earlier this year after a distressing illness. He was no longer a Club member but I have fond memories of him leading me on my first Club walk. I was one of several members present in a large congregation at his funeral.

The date of the cancelled AGM marks the end of the clubs 90th Anniversary year. The highlight was a programme of 3 walks followed by a celebration meal at Gradbach Mill on the 23rd June to mark our Anniversary. Ron Scholes, an Honorary Life Member, gave an excellent after dinner speech, and by a happy coincidence it was also his 90th birthday in this past year. The sun shone and everyone enjoyed the day. Many thanks to Karl for organising the event and leading the A walk. I led the B walk and thanks to Stan Rogers who led the C walk.

Other events held during the year were :

  • Youlgreave YHA. weekend
  • Daffodil Dawdle
  • Coach Ramble to the Dales Way
  • Pie and Pea Supper
  • Photo Competition
  • A/B Xmas bash
  • Turkey Trot
  • Chairman's Ramble

Also Holidays to:

  • Patterdale (self drive)
  • Picos de Europa (Spain)
  • Morzine (France)
  • Ifracombe coach holiday.
Many thanks to all the hard work of the organisers and the Members who supported the events. Thanks are due to all the Leaders, without their efforts there would be no walks and events.

It has been a very wet winter. I think we hardly had two consecutive dry days. A record number of walks were cancelled.

The Year Ahead

It was pleasing that the A walk I led on 5/1/20 attracted 6 existing Members and 5 who had joined in the last year. The challenge is to retain these new Members, many of whom still work, and represent the future of our Club. We must continue to try to attract new members. Peter Johnson our Publicity Officer has worked hard to achieve this. However, we all need to try to recruit new members from amongst family, friends and acquaintances. A further challenge is to maintain the cohesiveness of the Club over the whole range of walking.abilities. This year I plan to organise the Turkey Trot at the Hotel Rudyard so there is room for all.
I will repeat my comments of last year that there is a lack of representation of D and G walkers on the Committee. I have made an effort to attend some G meals to keep in touch with D and G members. Many of them I know from my early days in the Club when I tended to do D walks.

Future Events

The Committee has decided to replace the BBQ with a summer picnic. This removes the worries over fire risks. Many thanks to Peter Johnson for his hard work organising BBQ's for many years.
Personal thoughts for future events:

  1. I feel the Chairman's Ramble should be moved to April from February for better weather. The fact it would occur a month after the Chairman's term of office ends is of secondary importance.
  2. The Coach Holidays have declined in popularity in recent years. However, any Club Member who is arranging one, and is willing to open it out to Members could have it advertised in a relevant Newsletter. It could then be included in the Programme and be a Club event. Otherwise it is likely that Self-drive will be arranged in Spring and Autumn.
  3. YHA weekends. They are a lot of work for the organiser. I would suggest that it might be better to choose a venue with a YH and members book what accommodation suits them, from YH to 5 star hotel! This is how some other walking clubs operate.

Some Thank Yous

I would like to thank our outgoing Social Secretary Jane Rushton for her hard work. I, on behalf of the Committee welcome Carol Merchant putting herself forward for election to succeed her and wish her every success. I would also like to thank my fellow Committee Members and Officers for their hard work and support during the last year. Allan Wells our publisher remains ill and we send him our best wishes.

Subscriptions
It was decided at the last Committee meeting that they should remain unchanged at £10. Members who have not done so should arrange to pay as soon as possible.

Covid-19
I feel that we were rather ahead of the game in cancelling our programme and the AGM. A delay of 24 hours in cancelling the AGM buffet would have cost the Club £152. At the moment, the Club Programme is cancelled, publication of the next Newsletter postponed and there are no Committee meetings. It is difficult to foresee how long the current situation will continue.

I would like to conclude by stating my aims as Chair which are:

  1. to act as a link between all Members of the Club and the Committee
  2. to improve the cohesiveness of the Club
  3. to provide ideas to continue to improve all Club activities

In the meantime. Keep safe. Keep well.
Ian Bailey (Chair)

Message from the Club Chairman 24 March 2020

Dear Hanliensians
I thought I need to update you on Club business
  1. to confirm that all club activity listed on the current newsletter has been cancelled.
  2. it has been decided to cancel the coach ramble. There is no prospect of the current restrictions being lifted in time. All cheques for the coach ramble have been destroyed.
  3. Committee meetings have been suspended and we are making decisions by email and phone.
  4. the next newsletter will be deferred until a later date. There is no prospect of needing to publish a walks programme or booking forms at present.
  5. although the club currently remains in a state of hibernation I hope you will bear with me reminding you to send in your subs!
  6. on a happier note our Sunday D walk compiler John Brereton has offered to continue his efficient work. Many thanks to you.
  7. many thanks to Carol Merchant for standing for election as Social secretary .Also thanks to our outgoing secretary, Jane Rushton for her efforts during her tenure.
  8. there is now a Coronavirus page on the Club website ( www.HRCwalks.org.uk) which will collate all related Round Robin (RR) emails and useful information from relevant external organisations. The Club Facebook page is another useful source.
  9. please email me with any queries. If you wish to ring me it's best to avoid Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays when I am at work.

On a personal note I would like to thank my fellow Committee members for their support and advice in these difficult times.
Keep well and safe. Ian Bailey(Chair)

Message from the Club Chairman 17 March 2020

Hello Members
In view of the latest Government Coronavirus advice to avoid unnecessary travel and social contact it has been decided to:
  1. cancel the Walks Programme immediately until further notice.
  2. cancel the Atrium meal and walk. Carol will destroy all booking cheques.
  3. cancel the Daffodil Dawdle meal and walk. Further info from Jane to follow.
  4. cancel the Corris YH trip as it does involve unnecessary travel and involves close social contact. Further info from Karl to booked members to follow.

These are unprecedented times and it is hoped that we will all be able to revive our Club activities as soon as possible, in the meantime please stay safe.

Ian Bailey(Chair), Garry Melbourne (Vice Chair)

Staffordshire Police Advice On Exercise 27 March 2020

There’s been some confusion around whether people can visit and exercise in the Staffordshire countryside, including Cannock Chase, the Roaches and other country parks. We’re asking you not to visit these areas and to stay close to home to exercise for the daily exercise, as per the government guidelines on social distancing. We understand that there’s a small number of people who live within these immediate areas who may continue to walk dogs and exercise, but cars should only be used for essential journeys and not to travel somewhere to exercise. We all need to work together to prevent the spread of Covid-19, protect the NHS and save lives. Thank you for your support in staying at home and avoiding unnecessary travel. The beautiful Staffordshire countryside will still be there in a few weeks for us all to enjoy

Latest Pronouncement by the Government 23 March 2020

NEW RULES ON STAYING AT HOME AND AWAY FROM OTHERS

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government is now (23 March 2020) introducing three new measures.

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public
Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings. These measures are effective immediately. The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

1. STAYING AT HOME

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons.
  1. Shopping for basic necessities , for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  2. One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
  3. Any medical need , or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  4. Travelling to and from work , but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

These four reasons are exceptions - even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household. These measures must be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating , and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded.

If you work in a critical sector outlined in this guidance , or your child has been identified as vulnerable, you can continue to take your children to school. Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.

2. CLOSING NON-ESSENTIAL SHOPS AND PUBLIC SPACES

Last week, the Government ordered certain businesses - including pubs, cinemas and theatres - to close. The Government is now extending this requirement to a further set of businesses and other venues, including:

  • all non-essential retail stores - this will include clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.
  • PDF Document

    The last pictures taken before the Club Programme was suspended - Long Mynd 15 March 2020

    Living Streets 24 March 2020

    Ashley Steadman has recommended Living Streets with usefull advice on social distancing

    The Prime Minister has announced new rules: we must all stay at home. This goes for people who have symptoms and those who don’t. It goes for everyone. However, we can still leave the home for vital shopping and medicine, to care for someone else, and once a day for daily exercise.


    Ramblers Members have new ideas on how to keep fit during Lockdown. Goto Ramblers

    Ramblers Update 24 March 2020

    On Monday 23 March, the Government announced that people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:

    • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
    • one form of exercise a day – for example a walk, run or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
    • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
    • travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary.

    In line with previous advice, if you choose to walk for exercise you are advised to only walk locally to where you live. You should walk alone or with people from your household. You should not walk with friends or in groups. Keep 2m (6ft) distance from anyone you pass on your walk.

    If you’re are in a household with COVID-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate at home. Those aged 70 or older and those with pre-existing health conditions that put them at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 are particularly advised to practice social distancing. Please see Public Health England’s guidelines on social distancing.

    If you choose to walk locally for exercise, please:

    • Do not walk anywhere that you could get in to trouble and require the emergency services.
    • Avoid touching gates, fences etc. If you do, clean your hands with anti-bac and wash your hands as soon as possible.
    • Upon returning home, wash your hands.


    Ramblers Information 16 March 2020
    Ashley Steadman has provided the following statement from the Ramblers concerning their policy towards the Government Instructions and Advice.

    The Ramblers GB has today issued an update on what we all should do regarding the COVID-19 virus.

    Below is the information from HQ that explains what is happening...….

    You will have seen the announcements made by the Government yesterday evening (Monday 16 March 2020). We have been following Government advice and we continue to do so. Our top priority is protecting the health of our members, volunteers and staff. We also want to help suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus. So, I want to update you on what the Ramblers is doing and what we need you to do.

    Ramblers GB is suspending all volunteer activities from Wednesday 18 March 2020. This includes group led walks, Walking for Health schemes, all training including walk leadership training, path maintenance working groups, coach trips and holidays, meetings, group and social events. All Ramblers activities must stop until further notice. This applies from Wednesday 18 March, to at least until 31 May, subject to further developments. We are also making the decision to cancel the General Council in April. Those who are attending will receive separate information about this.

    We will keep you updated with the latest information on our response to the COVID-19 virus on Ramblers
    The best way to contact us is to first check the coronavirus webpage link for information. If you have any questions, please get in touch via coronavirus@ramblers.zendesk.com and we will aim to get back to you as soon as possible. Please note that our offices will only have essential staff, with most Ramblers staff working from home.

    Subject to government advice and restrictions about those who are in households with symptoms or pre-existing health conditions: independent walks can continue and are an excellent way to maintain health and wellbeing - provided independent walkers can keep their distance from others.

    Walking Around Britain Update 23 March 2020

    Similar modification of advice as the Ramblers based on the Government's new directions. Basically the best advice for walking right now is to go out and walk with members of your household, or alone, and enjoy the outdoors. Remember to stay local - don't travel very far from your home. Otherwise stay at home.

    Information from Walking Around Britain 18 March 2020

    Kath Moran cited the following article from Walking Around Britain on the HRC Facebook Group, concerning Coronavirus and walking

    The current outbreak of the Covid-19 Coronavirus has many people rightfully worried. With talk of self-isolation, social distancing and the banning of gatherings, is it safe to be going out walking?
    The simple answer is - yes, it is safe to go out walking in Great Britain.
    The team at Walks Around Britain have read through many papers and research to find what we believe to be the current situation regarding Coronavirus and the outdoors. This feature provides our best interpretation of that research, but we are not medical practitioners. Last updated - 18/3/2020.

    Providing you are free of the symptoms of coronavirus, the current advice is that being in the outdoors is as safe as any place at the moment - actually, it's possibly safer. That's because it is believed that coronavirus is transmitted via touching infected materials or people. It is not thought the virus is passed on through the air. So being outdoors away from other people is one of the best things you can do to reduce the spread of the virus.

    The new guidelines on Monday 16th March 2020 advises to minimise non-essential travel. So take this as an opportunity to discover walks that are more closer to you local area. The best advice for walking right now is to go out and walk with a healthy friend or in a small group and enjoy the outdoors.

    Should I avoid touching gates?
    The latest information with the coronavirus is that it does not last very long on objects outside because of the exposure to sunlight. The effect of viruses on surfaces is rapidly diminished by the presence of Ultraviolet light (UVA) and sunlight is a source of a lot of UVA light. So the more sunlight a surface has on it, the less effective any virus is on it. And the even better news is surfaces and objects outdoors should have little virus on them. However, the issue is if someone coughs into his or her hand immediately before touching a gate, and then you touch the gate after them. Therefore, if you have to touch a gate immediately after someone else, do not touch your face after. Or use a glove, sleeve, or elbow - and then wash that item on your return home.

    Should you avoid walking in groups?
    In light of the most recent guidelines issued on Monday 16th March 2020, it is best to avoid walking in groups as part of the Government's advice on mimimising social interaction. If you do walk in a group of people you know, you could protect yourself as much as possible by spreading out a little bit further than you would usually and avoiding unnecessary hand-touching. And of course, don’t forget to wash your hands when you get back home.

    Can you go for a walk if you are self-isolated?
    No. The current advice from the UK Government is if you have any symptoms of coronavirus infection, however mild, do not leave your home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. However, because the current thinking is the virus is not airborne, you are able to go outside in your own garden providing you stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from your boundary. You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

    Can coronavirus be spread through sweat?
    According to the most recent information, transmission of the coronavirus happens between people who are in close contact with one another (about two metres or six feet) and through respiratory droplets, produced through a cough or sneeze - not sweat.

    How can walking help with Social Distancing?
    We've all decided to go walking somewhere for some peace and tranquillity, only to find everyone and their mothers has chosen the exact same walk as you. So, with the policy of Social Distancing - keeping around 2 metres or six feet away from others you don't know - perhaps this is a great opportunity to visit some places you've never been, or indeed places you'd never previously thought of to go walking...

    Can I catch coronavirus from dogs?
    There is no evidence that you can catch coronavirus from dogs or other pets. The virus is most commonly passed from person to person through coughing and sneezing. We know the virus can live on surfaces for some time, depending on the type of material, temperature and other factors - so in theory it could live on fur or pet hair. However, there’s currently no evidence that companion animals can spread Covid-19 to people.

    It’s best to follow standard good hygiene practices, such as regularly washing your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water, especially after handling or feeding your pet. It's also possibly wise to reduce your contact with other dogs you don't know.

    Should I go into a pub, cafe or tearoom after my walk?
    The official advice (now law) is to avoid pubs, cafes or tearooms. Pubs, cafes and tearooms are closed from 20 March 2020

    Walks Around Britain