Dearne Valley Ramblers group walking onto success

Dearne Valley ramblers have have bucked the trend and have recorded an increase in annual membership in recent years
Dearne Valley ramblers have have bucked the trend and have recorded an increase in annual membership in recent years

The Dearne Valley Ramblers group is striding out with confidence after bucking the trend and increasing its membership.

Based in the Dearne, but with a widespread membership base, Dearne Valley Group are the only one of the nine Ramblers groups in the South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire area to see an increase in membership.

Chairman of the group and Wombwell resident, Nigel Hebden, said: “ Our success hasn’t happened overnight. A few years ago we were struggling with a shortage of walk leaders and committee members, as age and infirmity had taken its toll. We took the decision (quite rare amongst rambler’s groups at that time) to welcome dog owners, together with their dogs on our walks and we also launched ourselves onto the Internet. This proved to be the turning point, with new faces being attracted to joining the group, all willing to devote their time and effort into ensuring that the group not only survived, but which ultimately formed the cornerstone of where we find ourselves today.”

The group’s extensive walking programme doesn’t just include venues within the region, but extends to most parts of Yorkshire and beyond. Recent outings have included a walk along the Flamborough coastline and, more recently, a coach trip to York Christmas market, which entailed a six mile walk into the city centre for those who wished to do so. Dearne Valley Group celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016, marking the milestone with a number of events including walking the entire length in stages of the 98 mile South Yorkshire Trail, as well as a summer barbeque and a book of members’ recipes. In autumn 2017 we joined with Rotherham Metro Group of The Ramblers for a very successful revival of the Rotherham Walking Festival which saw 500 walkers during October. The Group walks on Sundays throughout the year and on summer Wednesday evenings, along with occasional offerings on other days. Monthly meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at Rowms Lane Social Club, Rowms Lane, Swinton, Rotherham, S64 8AE. The meetings commence at 7.30pm and anyone is welcome to attend. For more visit www.ramblers.org.uk/dearne-valley website.