25 March - Four walkers joined Martin for a bright and breezy jaunt on his former Staffordshire stamping ground of Cannock Chase, which has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty even without the presence of Warwick Walkers. The part we walked in was predominantly open heathland (an increasingly rare habitat), which gave a feeling of space and provided a contrast with our usual terrain of farmland and villages. The few easily avoidable mud patches were of no more than mild academic interest, although there was a boot-wetting opportunity at the crossing of the Sher Brook, which is a magnet for children, dogs and loony mountain bikers. Near the end we visited the immaculate cemetery where all the Germans who died in Britain in both world wars are commemorated. In all over 8 miles were covered, which shows what this super-fit group can do with good underfoot conditions and an absence of stiles.
11 March - Kay led 7 walkers on a circular (actually sausage-shaped) walk taking in sections 2 and 3 of the Diamond Way; welcome to Mala and Delphine out with us for the first time. This turned out to be a very pretty walk starting at Aston Magna - via Paxford and a coffee stop in the rather nice bus shelter - to Ebrington and lunch on the village green. These north Cotswold vilages are very atttractive and not really affected by the 'olde worlde' tourist trail features of Broadway and Bourton... (although the tourist villages do have rather fine teashops.....). The weather was bright and fine for most of the walk and - amazing - only very feeble mud obstacles; Truly the first sign of spring! Mud quotient 2/10
25 February Kay took six walkers on a fairly energetic walk to the south of Edge Hill - taking in the exceptionally attractive golden villages of Hornton and Ratley and the outskirts of Warminton. The walk took us up and down the main ridge (200 metres) three times - exposing the fitness level of at least one of us - but worth it for the wonderful views and the panoramic cloudscape of cloudy, stormy and sunny weather. For the first time in ages we got caught in a short sharp shower with added hailstones - luckily on the homeward stretch. The wet-legged ones decided that a 'cake and tea' stop at the National Herb Centre would help with the drying off process - and it was very nice too; we recommend the Mint sponge. Mud.....? at least 15% of the walk was not in mud; but we added a new variety to the season's mud experiences - mud'n'slurry - a yard of pretty but dim little cows watched our progress through it with interest. Mud quotient 8/10
11 February This five-mile walk took in the Moreton in March to Aston Magna stretch of the Diamond Way. A mild sunny day after the mid-week snow dramas, and five walkers set off to enjoy another mud'n'fresh-air experience. This is an attractive walk over some familiar territory (and some new) including the Olive Tree teashop.... As well as the flooded fields and and general sloshy-mudness, this walk included three cross-field 'paths'; and, as mud experts know, field paths produce the challenging leaden boots effect (and the "wow, I'm two inches taller" surprise). Gill and Solveig to the rescue with clettering sticks found in the hedgerow to poke off the worst of it. Mud-quotient 7/10 (I feel a mud-thesis coming on..... )
28 January 2007 Kay led 7 of us on a seven mile walk around Knowle and Temple Balsall. A pleasant and unassuming little walk taking in the undulating Warwickshire countryside, the interesting Almshouses and church at Temple Balsall - a pleasant and sunny interlude for early lunch - and back along the Grand Union Canal. As predicted - mud featured !! Two stretches of track were almost impassable - sending the walkers into the hedgerows and over tree roots to get through. Gill's new boots showed no sign of these travails, others (Kay!) were totally mud covered up to the knees. Is this climate change in action? are Warwick walkers destined to be the mud experts of the midlands? questions, questions..... Walk Mud-quotient 8/10
14 January 2007- Gill and Tony led 10 of us on an easy 5.5 mile walk around Bourton on the Water. Not surpsingly (given the weather in the preceding week) mud, puddles and general gloopiness was something of a feature of the walk. Nevertheless, it was a very attractive walk including an SSI (water meadows - with lots of water) and some great views. A tea shop experience to round off the day, and (a first for Warwick Walkers) we misplaced one of our walkers in the car park - sorry Terry!