Walk group is singled out for praise in MP’s House of Commons speech
ORGANISED walks continue to be one of the area’s most popular sports – groups like East Cheshire Ramblers offering ‘big health and well being benefits’.
This is according to Macclesfield MP David Rutley, who singled ECR out for special praise in the House of Commons.
“It is clear to all of us involved with the outdoors that a vast blue and green gym outside is available to all of us if we just make that extra effort”, he told MPs during a debate earlier this year on ‘Participation in Sport’.
The accolade, which was duly reported in Hansard, was mentioned by ECR chairman John Edwards at the group’s packed annual general meeting in Macclesfield recently, which heard that membership had increased to 631 during the 12 months ending October 31 and had remained stable for the last two years following a consistent decline.
Paying tribute to the ‘army’ of officers, project leaders and ordinary members who had helped to make the last 12 months such an ‘outstanding success’, Mr Edwards summarised ECR’s last 12 months as follows:
Seventy leaders planning, recceing and guiding more than 260 walks each year.
Forty one footpath inspectors surveying and reporting upon 1,293 paths in the group’s area.
Twenty maintenance volunteers putting in a total of 533.5hrs work to keep paths, bridges, stiles and access points open and repaired.
More than 30 members creating and implementing a varied events and social programme, including weekends away in Shropshire and Snowdonia, a week sightseeing in Moscow, meals out, coach trips, a sweepstake, a hoe down, gliding evenings, bowling tuition, an ecology talk, three mine visits and six Christmas lunches.
Other highlights included the re-launch of ECR’s new website, ramblerseastcheshire. org.uk, and its regular walking column in the Macclesfield Express, both of which were helping to publicise the variety of walks available and attract new members. “Although I have been a member of ECR for 30 years, it is only in the past year that I have truly come to understand and appreciate the amazing organisation we are part of,” Mr Edwards added.
“It is very gratifying that ECR has been praised by our local MP and even been mentioned in Hansard.”
●● ECR members gather beside White Nancy on Kerridge Edge, Bollington