Newsletter - December 2023


Xmas Bells

Seasons' greetings from the committee of the Wiltshire LDWA


Hi everyone,


In this month's newsletter:

  • Annual General Meeting, Xmas Meal and Walk
  • LDWA Local Groups' Weekend; and
  • Forthcoming Walks





Annual General Meeting, Xmas Meal and Walk


A reminder that our Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled to take place on Sunday 3rd December 2023. I will be sending out the agenda for the AGM shortly. I haven't received any nominations or motions.

The committee is holding the AGM at the Bear Hotel in Devizes. Please click HERE to view their festive menu. As usual, the meal will be subsidised. You will each pay only £10. Please make your selection and pay as soon as possible.

To book your place at the meal, and make your food selection, please go to

Carol Holmes will be leading the walk beforehand, and will be providing mince pies. If you're intending joining the walk. please can you let her know at, so she knows how many to cater for.




LDWA Local Groups' Weekend


I've recently had the pleasure of representing the Wiltshire group at the annual Local Groups' Weekend, which was hosted by the Dorset LDWA, and took place in a very pleasant hotel between Yeovil and Dorchester. In previous years, we've taken over youth hostels for the weekend. Our hotel was luxurious by comparison.

Although the programme was less intense this year, we were still asked to discuss issues affecting the LDWA. Our brief was to discuss the following during our walks on the Saturday, then discuss them in workshops on Sunday morning. The outcomes were then summarised in short presentations. The LDWA's National Executive Committee will now take them away for further action. The 4 topics were:

  • Something for Everyone: making social walks more accessible, inclusive and involving more people
  • Money doesn't grow on trees ... or does it? How should Martin Greaves Fund be spent?
  • Website wonderings: What should the new website look like?
  • Mission Statement: What is the goal and purpose of the LDWA?

We each attended three of the four workshops. As you can imagine, there was plenty of lively discussion, and no shortage of ideas. When I have something formal from the weekend, I'll make sure I share it with you. In the meantime, here are my 'takeaways' from the event:

  • There has been a 16% decrease in social walks nationally, with 9% less challenge events. The Wiltshire group organised 27 social walks this year ... down from 38 last year. That's a 40% decrease!
  • The percentage of walks registers being completed has also decreased nationally
  • The Wiltshire group hasn't uploaded any of its walks (in GPX format) onto the website. Having walks published is seen as a membership selling point, as they are available to all LDWA members
  • All members, regardless of age, are now covered by the LDWA's insurance underwriters, however, the insurance only covers walkers if a walks register is completed
  • The Wiltshire LDWA needs to provide better walk descriptions, in order to manage walkers' expectations better
  • The group has 233 primary members, of which 134 are male and 99 are female. We have 438 associate members, i.e. those from other groups who want to know what we're up to. For the first time this newsletter will be sent to more than 600 recipients

I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, especially meeting friends from across the association. The hotel was excellent, particularly the food and service in the restaurant. Anne Brown gave us an interesting presentation about the 'The Dream Way - Munich to Venice across the Alps'. Needless to say it won't be making it onto my bucket list! Anne also led the 19-mile walk on Saturday, which I thoroughly enjoyed, despite the climb up to the hotel at the end! We were also given a 'getting to know you' exercise to do. Unsurprisely, Julie Cribb travelled the furthest to the event, i.e. from Inverness. I can't remember who had walked the most long distance paths, but it turns out that I had the most items of walking footwear, i.e. boots, shoes, etc ... . If you want to know how many, you'll have to ask me when you see me next! At least I'll know if you've bothered to read this far!




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.


Date Name Type Mileage Organiser
Sat 2nd Dec 2023 Pre - Christmas lunch/AGM walk Group 9.5 miles Bristol & West
Sat 2nd - Sun 3rd Dec 2023 Tour De Trigs Challenge 50, 30 or 15 miles (Non LDWA)
Sun 3rd Dec 2023 A Convivial Walk & AGM Group 10 miles Wiltshire
Sun 3rd Dec 2023 Over the Downs & a (long) way off Group c19 miles Thames Valley
Sat 9th Dec 2023 Christmas Meal & Walk Group tbc miles South Wales
Sat 9th Dec 2023 Cotswold Trackways Group 15 miles Bristol & West
Sat 9th Dec 2023 Cotswold Trackways Group 15 miles Wiltshire
Sun 17th Dec 2023 A Wilts Winter Wander Group 17 miles Wiltshire
Wed 27th Dec 2023 Eat your left-overs walk Group c16 miles Thames Valley


This e-mail has been sent to 600+ Primary and Associate group members. If you wish to opt out of receiving e-mails from us, you will need to change your e-mail preferences by logging onto the LDWA website.

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