Essex Area Ramblers

Welcome to Essex Area Ramblers

Essex Area is one of fifty nine similar county organisations that co-ordinate the needs of the various Ramblers Groups established within each County and also to help collate and disseminate information to and from Ramblers Central Office.

Essex Area Ramblers has nearly 5000 members divided into 19 Groups. These Groups also provide programmes of led walks which are open to all their members. Members can also join walks organised by Ramblers Groups across Britain all at no charge.
15 of our groups run weekly programmes of up to five walks plus coach trips, holidays and social events. The walks vary in length from 4 - 12 miles and suit most peoples' abilities although we have three Groups, known as Friends, which specialise in shorter walks. Younger walkers in the age 18-35 year range may prefer to join our Hike Essex Group, which provides regular walks and emphasises social events.

Our Aim is to promote walking as a means of enjoyment, exercise and social contact. We are also active in ensuring that our legacy of footpaths remains open for all walkers.

John Dowding Memorial Walk - Sunday 18 October 2015

The John Dowding Memorial Figure of 8 Walk starts at 10:15 from the Kelvedon Pay and Display car park behind the Conservative Club (Not the CO-OP Car park) in Kelvedon. Grid Reference TL 8615 1871, Post Code CO5 9AA. The morning walk will include "John Dowding's Bridge". Luch Stop - choice of pubs in Kelvedon or recreation ground for sandwiches. Public Transport - 10 minutes walk from Kelvedon station; half-hourly bus number 71 runs along the A12 passing through Kelvedon.

Joint Walk Leaders - Mags Hobby and Katherine Evans, the past and current Essex Area Footpath Secretaries. Contact 01376 570156.

21 years to replace a footbridge

John Dowding was Ramblers Essex Area Footpath secretary for over 25 years, probably from the time that the Essex Area was created in 1985. He was involved with the RA Southern Region from the late 1950s - before Essex Area came into being.

John's day job was as an industrial / analytical chemist. John was passionate about public rights of way and worked tirelessly for the Ramblers dealing with the multitude of varied issues, problems and disputes that an Area Footpath Secretary encounters. Mags Hobby, who knew John and followed him as Essex Area Footpath Secretary remembers him as a conscientious colleague with a dry sense of humour who always enjoyed a glass of cider. John was not a "group walker" but walked alone. Nonetheless, John inspired first Mags Hobby and now Katherine Evans to follow in his footsteps as Essex Area Footpath Secretary.

John lived on eastern edges of Witham - within walking distance of the station. In the late 1990s, he moved to Nayland - which was less convenient in some ways as John never had a car. John died on 15 August 2008. So over half a century of footpath work!

The morning route of the memorial walk will include "John's bridge" over the river Blackwater.

John campaigned for this "missing" bridge from 1986 to it's installation in 2007. The bridge on footpath Kelvedon 30 / Great Braxted 19, which passed through Ashmans Farm, had not existed since the 1950s - or even earlier. It was formally reported as missing in January 1986 by a member of the Colchester Group. Eight years later, in 1994, the erection of a replacement footbridge had made it to the top of Essex County Council's list - only to be abandoned on cost grounds. John then served a Section 56 notice on Essex County Council. With a change in land ownership and the need for Environment Agency approval, it was 2007 before the bridge was finally erected on a diverted route. John walked it in October 2007 just after it had been installed.

Reporting path successes - lets have Essex success stories

In order to measure the success of Ramblers volunteers in unblocking, saving, and newly-recording paths, we would like to hear of all your path successes.

The easiest way to let us know about Ramblers successes on the path network is using the form below on the link below.

It is important that we only count a path success once the outcome of any process is known. For example:

The path has been unblocked at the point that the practical work takes place, or the public-interest diversion is in place, and the path is walkable

The path has been officially 'saved' at the point that the extinguishment order is rejected, or prior to that, the pre-order consultation decides that the path is needed

The path has been newly-recorded at the point that the Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO) has been confirmed

Each path counts as one success - whether it is the clearance of some brambles, the erection of 20 waymarks, or a 10-year campaign to get a path added to the map. The successes will be categorised and weighted when we report on them.

Click here to record path success.

There have only been two successes recorded in Essex and we are sure that there have been more.

Click here to see map of successes across the country.

ECC interactive map - now updated and working

This is an interactive Map of Public Rights of Way and is for general purposes only. It is not the statutory Definitive Map which is held at County Hall. District, borough, town and parish councils must also keep copies for their particular areas. The Definitive Map and its associated Map Modification Orders must be referred to in the case of any specific legal query or dispute. In law the Definitive Map provides conclusive evidence of the existence of any Public Rights of Way shown on it. This interactive map does not. For enquiries pertaining to land transaction related matters or for any legally related enquiries, professional interpretation of the map is required and must be referred to the Definitive Map Office, Essex Highways, County Hall, Chelmsford.

You have to tick the box in the corner to switch on our "layer" of Public Rights of Way. You can zoom to your area of interest and then switch the layer on. Then click on a path to bring up the number. You can also now select footpaths, bridleways and byways separately which helps some users.

Click here to view the map.

Hadleigh to Stratford Legacy Walk

This 75 mile walk was designed by members of the Essex Area Ramblers to provide a lasting legacy for the 2012 Olympic Games. The route starts near the Hadleigh Mountain Bike Centre and makes a meandering route across some of the most beautiful parts of Essex to the White Water Centre near Waltham Abbey. From here the route heads south to Stratford and the main Olympic Stadium.

Copies of the booklet are available from Norman Berry 01279 724 624 price 2 plus postage 1.34 first class 1.14 second class or e-mail Norman Berry.