Oakleafe Rambling Club aims to provide a full
programme of Walking with Company through some of the best
parts of south-east England. Our main bases for activities are to be found in the North & South Downs, with the Weald in between.
Oakleafe offers a Walking Fellowship in TWO COUNTIES, to generally explore areas of East Sussex and east of Surrey. We do regularly venture into the west of Kent; & sometimes further afield (West Sussex; Dorset; Suffolk; & Norfolk have all been visited in recent years).
Oakleafe offers a variety of Groups for RAMBLERS and/or NORDIC WALKERS.
Our specialisation for most events : HALF-DAY EVENTS
AND ~~> FRIENDLY DOGS are very welcome on RAMBLES ~ but, with owners usually on a lead. Starting soon in East Sussex ~ a weekly WALKIES4Dog-Walkers event on most Saturday mornings. Briefings for these will be by our new WHATSAPP specific group or similar using facebook Messenger only. We will NOT be issuing email briefings. About 8 folk now signed in for the combination of those two interest-groups. These events will be typically 3 to 4 miles long and either in Friston Forest, Abbots Wood (Arlington), Park Wood (Hellingly) OR occasionally on Ashdown Forest or Pevensey Beach; OR by either the Cuckmere River or River Ouse.
Site Editing Summary :
Our Latest Site Update was undertaken ~ TUESDAY 10th APRIL 2018
FUND-RAISING : Through 2017, with my WALKING 1500-miles (and CYCLING 1500-miles) in
total throughout the year, Nigel (incl. sharing walked miles with the Oakleafe Club membership generally) raised a total of £2,050 for St Wilfrid's
Hospice, Eastbourne ~ via his JustGiving page : www.justgiving.com/fundraising/NIGEL-BENTLEY-WalkLeader
My 2018 Challenge (just the one) : #walk1000miles with Country Walking Magazine : I aim to walk 1000 miles in total in the year BUT exclusively for : our Club events and researches for same; together with walking with private clients. As at 29th March I am just over 207-miles into my 2018-Challenge. I will soon be setting up a new JustGiving page for fundraising towards St Wilfrid's Hospice again, in the process.
OAKLEAFE GROUP PROGRAMMES Simplified to only show EVENT(s) coming up shortly as follows, by Group & date :
SURREY : Caterham
U3A Guided RAMBLE/NW weekly on Monday mornings The Scheduled Events currently : Monday 16th April ... from THE ANCHOR at Hartfield, for a ramble into the outskirts of Ashdown Forest including the POOH STICKS BRIDGE. Monday 23rd April ... for our BLUEBELL WALK (hopefully) into the STAFFHURST WOODS area; and afterwards relocate to THE HAYCUTTER for refreshments. Monday 30th April ... from THE INN on the POND by the Aqua Sports Lakes, Mercers Park on Nutfield Marsh.
Monday 7th May is a BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY ... there will be no Surrey
Ramble group this week. Instead we are offering a three-quarter length
walk to explore areas of the RYE HARBOUR NATURE RESERVE and finishing
off with tea at THE AVOCET GALLERY at Rye Harbour Monday 14th May ... from THE WHITE BEAR at FICKLESHOLE. Monday 21st May ... from close to THE ROYAL OAK on Crockham Hill. Monday 28th May is
a BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY ... and we will attempt another Knole Place and
Parklands ramble from a different venue ~ currently under investigation. Monday 4th June ... from THE FOUNTAIN at COWDEN, to south of Edenbridge.
SURREY SATURDAY AFTERNOON RAMBLES (usually fortnightly) The Scheduled Events currently : Saturday 21st April ~ Event from Earlswood Lakes near Woodhatch Saturday 5th May ~ from the Octavia Hill NT car park on Toys Hill near THE FOX pub Saturday 19th May ~ from lay-by on the A264 near Furnace Woods to the west of Felbridge
EAST SUSSEX FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE events : FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE event : Friday 4th May : from Abbots Wood close to the Caneheath entrance and Old Oak pub, Arlington (Bluebells & Nightingales) FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE event : Friday th June : tba .
EAST SUSSEX WEEKEND GUIDED RAMBLE : Saturday 28th APRIL 2018 ~ Event led by Nigel: from Ashdown Forest parking sites right by A22 just to north of Nutley, en route towards Wych Cross. From there we will explore a new route to the west of the A22.
EXTENDED LENGTH RAMBLES either THREE-QUARTER DAY or DAYWALKS :
SPECIAL EVENTS programmes for the 2018 season
On Bank Holiday Monday, 7th May : we are offering a three-quarter length Daywalk around the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, from the Rye Harbour side of the reserve (where there is a substantial and free car park). Time 11am to 3pm approx ~ and finishing then with a tea at THE AVOCET GALLERY & TEA ROOM, in Rye Harbour.
Our MAY to SEPTEMBER series for 2018 : Our Series Theme for 2018 will be 'WALKING ... SUSSEX CASTLES' Walk 1 on 20th May : HERSTMONCEUX to BATTLE (11.4-miles; 1224 feet : lunch at THE ASH TREE, Brown Bread Street) ; Walk 2 on 17th
June : BATTLE to HASTINGS (13.5-miles; 1260 feet : lunch in Three Oaks area) Walk 3 on 22nd July: HASTINGS to RYE (12.1-miles; 1465 feet; lunch in the Fairlight area). With luck we may conclude here with a tea at FLETCHERS TEAROOMS Walk 4 on 12th August : RYE to BODIAM (12-miles; 885 feet) ; and Walk 5 on 16th
September THE FINALE : BODIAM to WADHURST via part of the edge of BEWL WATER RESERVOIR.
Initial Briefing circulated Wednesday 28th March ~ and thus far one member has booked in to participate in the Series. We will only be issuing the briefing materials for individual parts in this Series to those who have responded to that Initial Briefing. .
EAST SUSSEX Guided WEEKEND NORDIC WALK EVENTS : Saturday afternoon 14th April ~ from THE FORESTERS ARMS at Fairwarp Sunday afternoon 13th May ~ from close to THE STAR INN at Old Heathfield
EAST SUSSEX Guided WEEKDAY NORDIC WALKS : Friday morning 20th April : from Southease Friday morning 18th May : from Church Road in Laughton, near THE ROEBUCK pub
EAST SUSSEX (WEEKDAY) EVENING NORDIC FITNESS Series ~ resuming for 2018 in April. NEARLY THERE. After Seven seasons on a WEDNESDAY evening, for 2018 we will be changing to TUESDAY evenings : thus this Series will be restarting 17th April 2018.
TUESDAY EVENING NORDIC FITNESS event : 17th APRIL 2018 :from High N Over Hill NT car park. TUESDAY EVENING NORDIC FITNESS event : 24th APRIL 2018 :from Seaford Buckle car park TUESDAY EVENING NORDIC FITNESS event : MayDay 1st May 2018 :from Alfriston
CLUB LONG WEEKENDER in DORSET on the ISLE of PURBECK ~ staying near Swanage at the very end of September. For more information ... check near the bottom of this webpage to see the dates and booking details as circulated by email. 15 places plus Nigel leading and his wife. 5 of 15 so far taken up. NOTE : Only one room now available for those who wish to bring a dog to stay in ASH LODGE
This information is included, sometimes with additional detail if time permits, under the appropriate County EVENTS TAB.
We would encourage you to register with our database for the specific location (County); timing (weekend/weekday etc); and type of event that interest you (Rambling/Nordic/Cycling).
Our email Briefings are sent around to those members in the relevant Group database ~ usually about 24 to 36 hours BEFORE THE EVENT. NOTE : At the start of 2017 we completed our OPT-IN refresher for email addresses to be used, so that we have ensured as far as possible, only individual email addresses that WANT to receive briefings from the Club do get them currently. We now issue our briefings only via the MailChimp servers on our behalf, and they hold the physical database for individual groups. Opening records and bounces are all noted carefully on that system. Do make sure that our email address is listed on your Address book, and check the SPAM or PROMOTIONS or similar other 'Inbox'-folders, in case emails are ending up in there. Do then MOVE them into the appropriate inbox! Hopefully your system will then recognise us as a Safe Sender (gradually!). From 1st January we have ONLY been using the new 2017/18 database versions for each Group ~ so if you are not receiving briefings that you are used to seeing, you DO NEED to email us to opt-in!! Do check the page footer final note relating to updating time-details, found below our Copyright Notice for each page.
NOTE : If you usually receive an email for a specific
group and suddenly you have not heard from the Club for a while, please
do let us know!! TEXT to 07930 738034 to request a briefing by mobile ~ if available
Some Pictures recording aspects of recent EVENTS
Last Ramble of 2016 ~ an Iconic View as we explored Cuckmere Haven and Seaford Head
... and from the same walk ~ a different perspective to view the Seven Sisters in perfect conditions
Nordic Walking in the Ouse river valley
WELL-BEHAVED DOGS ~ are Welcome on Oakleafe Rambles generally with their owners on a lead
HERE WE HAVE : ARCHIE ON LEFT, AND SAM, with Nigel, our Walk Leader. This image taken during the Norfolk Long Weekend of October 2015 ~ with thanks to Barbara Wheeler for providing many great Group photographs ... to remind folk of the events.
As a Rambling Club we are perhaps unusual in welcoming well-behaved dogs on our RAMBLE events : with Owners ... usually on a lead.
Or, was that "Dogs on a lead with Well-Behaved Owners ..."?
It is unfortunately the case for Nordic Walking that dogs and poles
rarely mix well, however ~ unless you are walking alone AND if your dog
learns to either walk immediately behind or straight in front!!
Please note, HOWEVER, that we cannot guarantee assistance to get a dog across a stile.
Getting Started ~ Booking In & Meeting Times :
BOOKING IN is IMPORTANT ~ here is why :
Please DO contact us in advance to participate in an event. In
this way we can ensure that you are emailed with the most up-to-date
briefing information : AND, we can judge how best to make any changes
or notify same in the event of need to adjust or cancel an event
bad weather/illness/or very low uptake to participate).
If you have booked in and we have received your Text or eMail, then we will respond to confirm receipt, so that ... you know that we know !!
Occasionally texts take a time to reach us, living as we do in the Cuckmere Valley within South Downs. The
longest delay we have known has been nearly 24 hours ... which could
make some bookings VERY late indeed for us getting to the start or when
deciding about the viability of a particular event.
Event-viability : ... as long as there is a single booking, then we will go ahead with the event ~ usually : although some of those at longer range do make this difficult to always follow.
Having done the research for an event, and prepared website pages,
images etc, and issued an email briefing ~ the one thing that we hate doing
is to cancel the event itself.
MEETING TIMES Unless otherwise stated in our email or web-Briefing pages :
MORNING WALKS generally start at 10 am, meeting at 9:55am ~ ahead of the walk start. BUT : U3A events in East of Surrey usually meet at 09:45, hopefully allowing sufficient time for any refreshment pre-ordering process!
AFTERNOON Walks generally start at 2pm, meeting about 1:55pm, just ahead of the walk start
EAST SUSSEX NORDIC-FITNESS EVENTS, which start at 7pm ~ meeting 18:55 unless otherwise included in our Briefing later in the season (as in last event or two may start at 18:30).
EVENT SUBSCRIPTIONS (pay per walk)
OAKLEAFE is a "Pay-when-you-walk" Club ~ without any Joining Fee or annual Membership Subscription. This is how the Club has developed and grown through the last 13 to 14 years. We have sincerely tried to maintain the walk event subscriptions at a low level, where we can meet overheads whilst maintaining accessibility for all.
The event-subscriptions to participate in Oakleafe Club walking events are set to meet costs arising through : compiling the event briefings; event planning & particularly for previewing new walk sections; and the costs of this website & maintenance thereof, together with our presence through other web outlets (walk4life; facebook; plotaroute; U3A website and so on).
OUR GUIDED EVENT PRICING : simplified from start of 2015 and still valid through season 2017/18 : now standardised generally across our activities, as between Ramble and
Nordic events. ALL HALF DAY events, be they Rambling or Nordic have a standard subscription of £5 per person per event.
All DAYWALKS will be £10 for the whole day, per person per event.
We do offer an occasional "three-quarter" day event where the location or the route demands something extra ~ these will be £7.50 per person per event.
Loan of Nordic Walk poles will stay at a £2 charge per single event for use of a pair of our loan poles. Poles from the Loan Pole Bag are occasionally available for sale.
Our Programme of Walking Events ~ finding out more : A very basic list of immediate events (one from each general series) is included near the top of this HOME page.
Please use the Contact Form to be found under the CONTACT US Tab (top left of page) ~ for more information or to receive our emailed Walk Briefings. However, before you do so, please do explore on this site further, including the ABOUT Oakleafe section. We have included a precis of much information on this HOME page, but there it is expanded.
Finding our more about the Club, our ways and briefing materials, or just new to walking : have a look through the TAB (top left on this page) ABOUT Oakleafe. The first page that opens is long and has lots more information, so do skim through. Hopefully you will find the answer to any immediate questions there. Alternatively, if you still cannot find the answer you are seeking, use the CONTACT FORM to be found by from the CONTACT US Tab and we will do our best to answer fully for you. ALSO : Under the About OAKLEAFE Tab you will also find a tab that covers Walking gear, shoes/boots, refreshment and general Safety on walks. Please do read this.
Follow the NEWCounty-led Event Listings (see the TABS on top left of this page),
separating there between Guided Rambles and Nordic events ~ to find out
more about what is coming up.
Full event briefings are NOT now incorporated on the website, but are emailed out individually to our Club Members who have opted-in to participate in a specific Group. The last refresh of the OPT-IN process for eMail Groups was issued by email during December 2016 to all of those then on the Groups Database accounts. If you did NOT respond to be included in the 2017/18 mailings database, and have stopped receiving mails from the Club, then do please use the CONTACT FORM from the website or email the Club at the usual address ... requesting to be included. You will not have receive any mailings after end of 2016 if you do not OPT IN.
eMail Briefings are now issued for us using MailChimp, and are sent out typically from about 24 to 48 hours ahead of
an event taking place, all being well. These briefings are only put out
close to an event, so that we can first plan and amend having reviewed weather forecasts. We do try very hard to keep the database for each Group up-to-date, so if you wish to stop the mailings, please do UNSUBSCRIBE using the link provided with each mailing.
OAKLEAFE Events and our SPECIAL EVENTS programme 2018
Our overall Club Programme is usually now scheduled from 3 to 6
months ahead ~ where possible.
Event dates on our Plan may yet be changed due to weather, changes at the venue etc : and you will find more information under the tabs : E.SUSSEX EVENTS or E.SURREY EVENTS ... to the top left of this HOME page, especially if you then follow right
through the Menu to locate a specific type of event.
We do try to keep each series of events unique, and
few walks are direct repetitions of those already done. We try to add
some new event each season for variety and as we gradually expand the wider area where we have a good understanding of the topography and pathways.
The biggest struggle we have found during recent seasons (2016 & 17) is the reducing number of suitable pub venues for those that include lunchtime refreshments! This is most especially true in the Surrey area and for our U3A events ~ where we usually try to locate the events not only in areas for the excellent range of walking routes, but also the quality of the subsequent lunch. Many pubs have closed completely; others changed in such a way that they are no longer suitable, or indeed open for meals (especially it seems as more are closing for food or completely on a Monday).
Do let us know what YOU would like to see included.
Our CLUB LONG WEEKENDER 2018 in DORSET ~ staying on the Isle of PURBECK
DATES : Friday 28th September to and including Monday 1st October 2018 THE VENUE : We have 4 Timber Lodges provisionally reserved for us at HERSTON PARK in Washpond Lane, Herston near Swanage. The Lodges offer truly Luxury Accommodation. Our briefing was issued to all club members on the email Lists (over 270 recipients, allowing for several duplications with recipients on more than one database group) on Wednesday 28th March 2018. We have a total of 15 places available at maximum ot participate (plus Nigel & his wife, Carole). Thus far 5 of the 15 places have been taken ~ and we now only have one room left in the timber lodge where Dogs are allowed to stay as well.
MORE INFORMATION REGARDING THE DORSET WEEKEND THIS AUTUMN :
The Club has a provisional reservation now for FOUR (4) Log Cabins or Lodges at a venue close to Swanage in Dorset.
Our reserved dates are : three nights from Friday 28th September to and including Monday morning 1st October 2018.
We have one Lodge where dogs are allowed with those staying there (ASH
LODGE) ~ so spaces are limited for folk wishing to bring their 4-legged
companions (only one room left). Nigel & Carole will be in this Lodge with ISLA.
Each lodge can accommodate UP TO 7 individuals (but that includes either room sharing or double rooms for couples). There
is a Master double in each Lodge, with en-suite; and then two other
bedrooms in each Lodge. Each lodge has either two singles or a double
bed in a second bedroom; and a third room with one single bed and a
single two-level bunk as well.
These Lodges are luxurious and we have now been using them with a variety of groups usually up to twice a year since 2010. The cream on the top is the Hot Tub on the outside deck.
These are a real treat after a walk, and still excellent in conditions
of light rain and snow ... each of which I have personally experienced.
We have costed the accommodation below to generally allow for single occupancy in the second and third rooms in each lodge. Thus,
Accommodation and Walk leadership for the four days of walking (two
daywalks plus Friday afternoon and the Monday morning) at £195 per person.
locally at the Mess Room on Herston Park ~ a bespoke buffet breakfast
for the Club members would be about £9 per person per day.
Other meals will be booked specifically to the areas where we are
walking, covering lunches and suppers. A cash-spend budget for the 4
days would be approx £140 per person (excluding travel to and from
Dorset and also bar drinks, but covering meals, steam rail etc. and very
variable depending on pub and restaurant meal selections)
On the Sunday evening we have a provisional booking at La Trattoria restaurant in the centre of Swanage. We also have a booking at The Greyhound
pub in Corfe for our Monday lunch ... and that would usually be
followed by a Steam Rail journey back from Corfe to Herston Halt before
driving home (rail fares typically about £7 to £8 per person).
We now have a very wide range of walks plotted and walked with various groups in earlier years (including in snows in March 2018)
in the Isle of Purbeck area, ranging from the Corfe ridge, Old Harry
Rocks, Studland Heath and Beach; The Jurassic Coastal Path between
Durlston, Chapmans Pool and west towards Kimmeridge and Lulworth; plus
(recently added) the Arne RSPB nature reserve adjacent to Poole Harbour ... plus the Stoborough and Wareham areas including the town walls of the latter.
The likely Booking Deposit ... to
be called in shortly after sorting out our booking numbers and adjusting
our commitment to the lodges ... will be around £75 per person.
From MAY to SEPTEMBER, our annual Club Daywalk Project Series for 2018
Our Club Daywalk Project in 5 parts~ 'WALKING ... SUSSEX CASTLES' ~ our theme for the 2018 season.
Our MAY to SEPTEMBER series dates and locations are included above.
Our series concludes usually with a special tea
at a suitable venue, and members who have walked each of the 5 events
in the season will receive a Completion Certificate (usually from 50 to 60 miles walked) and those who have completed 3 or 4 sections will receive Participation Certificates.
RECEIVE WALK BRIEFINGS by e-MAIL
Please contact us to receive our E-mailed Walk briefings.
SPRING-CLEANING : We last reviewed the OPT-IN status for our groups' database records between December 2014 and January 2015, and so, during November/December 2016, we did seek fresh OPT-IN commitments from our group Members ready for 2017/18 ... that new database is NOW IN USE.
We do need
to renew this status regularly (we undertake a complete overhaul every 2 years, typically) to validate those who receive emails from us.
The email briefing campaign documents are handled for us by MailChimp, but come out from the usual email account that you are used to. The database for each group (clearly stated which one and your terms of joining) is now securely held by MailChimp ~ we handle directly the OPT-IN invitations each time, however.
If you are on the database and do NOT open the mails
at least occasionally as they arrive, then this is monitored by
MailChimp and in due course (and without warning to us) your inclusion
in the database will ultimately be 'spring-cleaned' away.
you are contacting us to request being included in mailing lists to
hear about our events, please say which specific events and/or Groups
activities you would like to hear about in the future, AND whether you are based in East Sussex or Surrey. Very soon we will have direct links to apply to join the database relevant for each group ~ by county, walking style and between weekdays and weekends
We now plan and monitor our walking events using the VIEW RANGER app that bases its mapping in OS Pathfinder series. Nigel is registered with View Ranger as Walk Leader : with a bit of care it is possible for us to take the routes that we have done and make them available to our members through that app, as well (they are 33 map credits as the minimum amount that View Ranger will accept (about 7 pence currently)
Nigel tracked all of his walking activities through 2016, against the ViewRanger 1000-mile Gold Challenge 2016, based on their app. for smartphone GPS/OS Pathfinder. Having completed the base challenge in mid-July, he continued to record walking activity. His final target for the year 2016 was 2500 miles walked in the year ~ reached on 27th December ~ finishing in 4th place overall at that point (international schedule). That is equivalent to walking John O'Groats to Lands End ... and back ... with a little bit to spare to get back part of the way!
Nigel signed up for the ViewRanger 1500-mile Walking Challenge for 2017, but putting with that also their 1500-mile Cycling Challenge. He has a JustGiving page so that if you wish to support Nigel's effort in these challenges, we are raising money through the year for St Wilfrid's Hospice in Eastbourne ~ details are posted in the heading area of this page ~ as well as via our newly resurrected Oakleafe East Sussex Walking facebook page. Simple donations for the Hospice, rather than fractions of a penny per mile!! Have put a goal on rising at least £1500 for St Wilfrid's Hospice through the year. AS at middle November : 1400-miles completed both for WALKING & for CYCLING.
Already signed up for a 1000-walk challenge in 2018; as have at least two toehr members of the Club so far ~ and in most cases using that effort as a charity fund-raising venture of some sort.
Job Done ~ the ViewRanger challenge leaderboard from 2016 when Nigel (WALK LEADER) completed his personal 2500-mile Challenge Distance for the year ~ as at 27th December 2016.
Over 180 walkers completed the 1000-mile distance
Local Bird Life Sightings ~ www.birdax.com
Sightings recorded generally in areas of our walking events and around our East Sussex base in particular : Year List as commencing from 1st January 2017 and recorded with BIRD@X website (www.birdax.com) ~ currently at 39 species recorded. Last Year ~ from 1st January to end of December 2016 we recorded 123 species in the local areas, including walking trips to east of Surrey, and two trips to Dorset with walkers.