South Leeds Hikers stride forwards

The South Leeds Hiking Group are making great strides this month developing the group and planning a variety of walks for all abilities. The group is made up of local people who are passionate about hiking and scaling mountains.

In a recent meeting some exciting plans have been made for the future of the group and their proposed walks. A small committee has been formed and the group has been formalised in a way that allows them to access funding, which will be used to buy new equipment such as first aid kits and tents. The group has also confirmed that although they are now a formal hiking group, members will not be charged any membership fees although a small contribution towards each walk helps the group cover their costs.

Ian Swithenbank who is a long-term member and newly appointed Chairman feels very positive about the changes and upcoming walks:

“I joined the group last year mainly to go on walks I’ve never done and see parts of the countryside I’d never seen. I enjoy being outdoors walking and camping, but when I joined the group I never imagined getting involved like I have (becoming the chairman) with encouragement and help from Ed Carlisle, Peter Todd and John McKee. It’s great to meet new people from all different backgrounds and it’s given me a real boost in confidence.”

The group has recently received a set of litter pickers and sturdy bags to take with them on their walks, these were generously donated by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) as part of their Hills 2 Oceans campaign to get rid of rubbish on mountains and in the oceans. This equipment will allow the group to help clean up the areas they visit leaving them cleaner than when they arrived. The group hopes that they can help the BMC in their goal to clear up the environment.

“The BMC want to remove mountains of waste from the places we love. Plastic bottles, crisp packers, cigarette packs, cans and much more often litter the places we love and if not removed, this waste will eventually end up in our oceans.” – British Mountaineering Council.

Photo: Koyesh Miah

In the coming months the group already has plenty of interesting walks to take part in, starting with a Pathfinder walk in the Peak District on Sunday 12 May where they will be looking for historical crashed aircraft. All are welcome but children must be accompanied by an adult relative. This is followed by the Fairfield Horseshoe on Sturday 18 May and the Kentmere Horseshoe on Sunday 23 June, both in the Lake District. There are spaces on most walks but if any walk becomes fully booked the group will make this clear on the events section of their Facebook page.

If you would like to become a volunteer with the group get in touch with them on Facebook and likewise if you would like to get your boots on and go walking with them check out their events section where all of their upcoming walks are listed. Most are suitable for all ages and abilities but each individual event will state if there are challenging peaks or trails to take into account.


Main photo: Sandra Taylor