Newsletter - April 2023

Hi everyone,

Some good news to begin with. At the recent committee meeting, held on 22nd March, I was informed that Lucy Robins has now expressed interest in taking over the role of Walks Secretary, with Dave Purdy volunteering to take over the Treasurer role. That's fantastic news. Andy, Janette and I very much look forward to you joining the committee later in the year.

In this month's newsletter:

  • Volunteers needed for the Pewsey Downsaround (PDA);
  • Walk leaders needed;
  • LDWA Local Groups' Weekend; and
  • The usual round-up of Forthcoming Walks



Volunteers needed for the Pewsey Downsaround (PDA)


Help required

The Pewsey Downsaround is on Sunday 23rd April. This is the Wiltshire LDWA's annual challenge event and raises funds for the group. Up to 250 people will be walking or running between 10 and 35 miles from the Pewsey Scout Hut. The event is famed for its homemade food (made by the group) and the fabulous volunteer marshals.

Can you bake?

We need sweet and savoury baking such as sausage rolls, pizza and cakes. We can reimburse you for the ingredients. The food needs to be at the Pewsey Scout Hut by 08.00 on the day of the event. If you can’t get your baking there let Janette know and she can probably work something out. If you can donate some baking please let Janette know as soon as possible by emailing her at

Can you help on the day?

We need

  • an additional marshal to check in walkers and serve food and water at Checkpoint 1 at Knapp Hill from 9.00 to 13.00;
  • an additional marshal to help with teas and coffees and food preparation at the Pewsey Scout Hut from 07.00 to 14.00; and
  • an additional marshal to help serve food and drink and tidy up at the Pewsey Scout Hut from 12.00 to 20.00.

No previous experience required.




Walk Leaders Needed


If you can lead a walk this month, or during May, please contact Stephen ( as soon as possible to get the details published on our web site.

We will be sending out an e-mail shortly with specific dates that need filling.




LDWA Local Groups' Weekend


As promised previously, here's a summary of what was discussed at the local groups' weekend held in the Peak District last November. The report has been circulated within the committee, however, if members wish to see it, please e-mail me at

As usual, the weekend was a mixture of workshops and walks, followed by a formal meeting.

Workshop 1: Membership & Local Group Data Analysis & Insights

At the 2021 Local Groups’ Weekend, the Officers developed a list of the areas they felt it would be beneficial to collect information on to provide them with a better understanding of their group’s current position. With the support of Poppy Norley, our volunteer data analyst, the information was collected and analysed. The actions arising from this workshop were:

  • Start to collect and report on information about why members are joining the LDWA and how they heard about us;
  • Extend the gender question on the membership application form to be more inclusive;
  • To develop a simple, easy to use, dashboard for all local groups which provides a snapshot of how things are to help them make more informed decisions about their group; and
  • Update the data pack on an annual basis and share the information at future local groups' weekends.

Workshop 2: LDWA Challenge Events

To share and further develop best practice to ensure the local groups continue to offer safe, enjoyable, attractive and well supported events now and in the future, including catering on challenge events, volunteer expenses, enhancing cooperation between local groups and electronic tracking. The actions arising from this workshop were:

  • Consolidate and further develop good practice guidelines for catering on events, including a standard approach to risk assessment;
  • Notify relevant catering volunteers about the recommended training & encourage them to complete it;
  • Confirm whether the LDWA’s liability insurance protects against claims of injury or damage as a result of food offered to entrants. The insurance underwriters have confirmed that our public liability policy will cover the LDWA should a claim occur as a result of our provision of food to members. The assumption is that we would be following good practice and complying, if appropriate, with Natasha's Law and have completed a catering risk assessment;
  • Develop a set of guiding principles for local groups to work with when considering their approach to reimbursing/contributing to expenses; and
  • Create a Local Group Challenge Event Coordinator role in cases where this role isn’t currently part of the local group's committee.

Poster Topics

Throughout the weekend we were asked to contribute our ideas on the following poster topics:

  • How do we encourage more members to lead social walks?
  • How can Strider further support Local Groups?
  • How can we ensure social walks are attractive and accessible to more of our members?
  • LDWA’s 50th Anniversary – benefits of the local group celebrations?
  • Which Local Groups are interested in an Exchange Weekend?

Walk & Talk Topics

During the two walks on offer, we were asked to discuss the following:

  • Given the cost-of-living increase, and the subsequent reduction in some member’s disposable income, how can the LDWA ensure that our core activities can continue and be enjoyed by all our members?
  • How can the NEC consult more effectively with local groups and members to ensure that the LDWA is being taken in the right direction?
  • How can the local groups get more of their Members involved in the group’s activities?
  • How can the LDWA attract, recruit and retain younger people to help ensure the long-term viability of the association?

As you can see from the above, there was a packed agenda. It's the third time I've represented the Wiltshire group, and is an event I look forward to attending each year.




Forthcoming Walks


Finally, here's the usual look ahead to all the group walks and challenge events that are taking place this month within a 50-mile radius of Chippenham, plus my Monopoly Board walk.

Date Name Type Mileage Organiser
Sat 1st Apr 2023 Revisit 2019 National AGM walks Group 14 miles Bristol & West
Sun 2nd Apr 2023 Woodstock Circular Group c20 miles Thames Valley
Fri 7th Apr 2023 Good Friday Frolic: Eggsact route to be confirmed Group 20 miles Wiltshire
Sat 8th Apr 2023 A Bit on the Side Group 22 miles South Wales
Sun 9th Apr 2023 Halt, Who Goes There! Group 18 miles Dorset
Thu 13th Apr 2023 A Pilgrimage around Avebury Group 13 miles Wiltshire
Sun 16th Apr 2023 Monopoly Board Group 13 miles Wiltshire
Sun 16th Apr 2023 Donheads and Wardour Castles Group 15 miles Dorset
Sun 16th Apr 2023 Offa's Twisted Wye Kanter 5 Challenge 24, 19, 16 or 13 miles South Wales
Sat 22nd Apr 2023 A Cotswold Meander Group 18 miles Bristol & West
Sat 22nd Apr 2023 Malvern Midsummer Marathon Challenge 26 or 14 miles Heart of England
Sat 22nd Apr 2023 The Bath Beat Challenge 26.5, 21, 17 or 12.5 miles (Non LDWA)
Sun 23rd Apr 2023 Pewsey Downsaround Challenge 35, 26, 16 or 10 miles Wiltshire
Sat 29th Apr 2023 Abergavenny Peaks Seven Group 32 miles South Wales


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That's it for another newsletter. All our newsletters are available via the Wiltshire LDWA website. If you have anything to contribute to future editions, please can you get it to me by the 20th of each month. I look forward to seeing you out on our group walks this month.

Warmest regards


Secretary of the Wiltshire LDWA