Click on the headings to expand article. Click again to close it.

The Kent County Show, the East Kent Ploughing Match and the White Cliffs Walking Festival have all been cancelled this year. The High Weald Walking Festival has also been cancelled but proposals for a self-led walks are being formulated.

Our central office ‘PR and media manager’ Deborah Hyde advised me that ”at 'central office', we are currently planning a campaign (hopefully for July and August) to 'target' people who may have (re)discovered the joys of walking under lockdown and who have been walking 'independently'." Deborah would like to speak to anyone who may

• have been enjoying walking under lockdown, and would welcome access to more local routes

• be a Ramblers member who has a good story to share about using our routes library/app.

If you would like to have an exploratory, no-obligation chat with Deborah, you can call her on 020 3961 3143.

After being closed to pedestrians since June 2017, the subway was finally replaced by Highways England between 14 and 24 February 2020, during which period the A21 was closed to vehicular traffic. Other work was carried out to the nearby viaduct at the same time.

Dave, our Local Footpath Officer, has put in so much work on this so will be very pleased!

leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths unless wider access is available, the attached report encourages us to be sensible where gates and ropes are in place to prevent animals from roaming into dangerous situations.

Full report

Thankfully, in this case the horse was recovered successfully, but it was obviously a very stressful situation which could have been avoided.

Kent Area has asked us to remind you all about the risk of Lyme Disease which is now reported to be particularly prevalent in our part of the country. A particular point we discussed was that ticks encountered on a walk can hide in clothing and bite on a later occasion. It is not clear whether washing will kill them, but some sources suggest tumble drying for ten minutes prior to washing.
    How to avoid tick bites
    • cover your skin while walking outdoors and tuck your trousers into your socks
    • use insect repellent on your clothes and skin – products containing DEET are best
    • stick to paths whenever possible
    • wear light-coloured clothing so ticks are easier to spot and brush off
    See a GP if:
    • you've been bitten by a tick or visited an area in the past month where ticks are found

      AND, you get:
    • flu-like symptoms - such as feeling hot and shivery, headaches, aching muscles or feeling sick, or
    • a circular red rash
Tell them that you have been in forests or grassy areas.

This is a new EU legal framework which came into force on 25 May 2018. Its purpose is to give individuals more control and protection of their personal data. It introduces new regulations for all organisations that process (collect, manage and use) personal data. Here is a link to the Ramblers privacy policy.

In response to recent feedback from several experienced volunteer leaders of this group could we ask all participants on future walks to respect the leader's role at all times. This includes -
  • allowing the leader to lead and determine the pace
  • to comply with the leader’s request to wait for slower walkers, particularly in hilly conditions, and, not immediately race ahead when they do catch up. The cohesion of the group will be lost if people disappear into the distance and, possibly, get lost.
  • if you wish to leave the main led group to take a shorter route, always discuss this with the leader, preferably, before the branch point so that everyone is clear as to what route you intend to take and who is then responsible for the splinter group.
  • could we ask walk leaders when submitting walks of 6 miles or more in future, (a) to consider in advance any shortcut options and, if available, mention them in the published programme so that they can be discussed at the start of the walk, and (b), perhaps provide a map for any alternative route (none of this is mandatory, but it is one way of providing for the diversity of wishes within the group, when possible).
Happy Walking

The 2019 AGM was held on Sunday 1st December at the end of our Christmas lunch. The current committee members were re-elected unopposed and names put to faces, for the newer members. The chairman thanked the Public Footpath Officers for their work in keeping our paths accessible. He also outlined the process for reporting path problems to KCC and our own path maintenance group. The AGM finished by raising a glass to departed friends.

Work is underway on a project to find lost pathways in Kent as part of a national response (“Don't Lose Your Ways“) by the Ramblers Association to footpath legislation. The legislation broadly means that if a path existed before 1949 and has not been recorded, or is not in the process of being put on the definitive map by 2026, it will be extinguished then and lost forever. "Lost Ways" is Kent's own part of the Ramblers national response.
We have all walked a path that seems to go nowhere or doesn't connect with where we think it should. These paths are potential lost ways.
On behalf of TMRA, I have volunteered to be group co-coordinator for this project. At present, a number of preliminary field surveys are being undertaken, where route anomalies have been identified. The survey will consist of photos, showing what's on the ground, together with anecdotal evidence - for example chatting to local residents, dog walkers and so on - together with information gained from historical and current maps.
When these surveys have been completed the data will be used to determine which of the route anomalies are suitable "Lost Ways Candidates " and therefore will go forward for more in depth research and will form part of the "Candidate Route Dossier".

I will keep TMRA informed as the project progresses. Frank