Cath and I led a walk for Pennine Prospects’ Walk and Ride Festival. We met the group, who had all arrived by public transport at Hebden Bridge railway station. Quite a few of those who had booked in didn’t turn up which was a shame as I’d had to turn several away. One was ill and had let us know.
After introductions, we did a bit of map setting and map symbols and then set off. We went up to the mobile phone mast and then brought in a bit of the terminology – handrails, attack points, tick off points. We did some observational legs and talked about measuring distance on the map. Then we looked into measuring distance on the ground and practised a bit of pacing along a 100m stretch. It was quite a short walk along Pinnacle Lane and across to Kilnshaw Farm, then up to Erringden Moor, skirting the edge of Broadhead Clough Nature Reserve and then back to the station via Wood Top.
When I’d prepped the walk on Thursday evening, admittedly I did go quite fast and it took me 2 hours and 20 minutes, but with stopping for input and breaks and setting off quite late from the station, it took us 6 and a half hours! I’d allowed for it to be double time but this is a learning curve for us too and now we know to triple it or to make the distance a bit shorter in order to get the teaching points in.
I also know now that we need small prizes of sweets or energy bars and must remember to get some of these, also some spare compasses. We used laminated printed maps from Memory Map which were ok, but harder to see all the detail so I need to look into that, it may be just that we need the “real” map out a bit more. The route was ok but we did cross the moor and that was quite hard underfoot so I’ll try to avoid that in future unless that’s what people specifically want. We are also going to revisit how we teach the compass skills bit but this was very much a beginner’s day and it’s not possible to do everything. A lot of the skills are practice, practice, practice. Must ask the participants if they are ok about having their photos online too.
Our group was lovely and they all said they would like to do some more so Cath and I are thinking about how to do that and when and what. I’ve got an idea for a route and just need to go and walk it to see if it’s suitable. The ages ranged from 9 to 64.
We were very lucky with the weather, it had promised to be horrid but ended up being fine all day although a bit chilly up on the moor.
Thanks to all the group, and Cath of course!
Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.