Farnham Walking Festival -
Following the announcement, (17/3/20) by the Ramblers GB that they have cancelled all group walks, we feel we have no alternative but to cancel the Farnham Walking Festival for 2020. The Ramblers closed all walks until at least 31 May. Although theoretically, we could have kept their walks after 1 June open for now, there is no certainty that this enforced closure would have ended then, and the work involved in reorganising walks for after that date with no guarantee they would be allowed was simply too much.
As for the other, non-Ramblers walks, despite the desire to keep some hope alive for future 'normality', in response to the Government's pleas for social distancing, the volunteer organisers have decided to cancel the entire event.
At the moment, all self-guided routes, potential monthly walks and other activities have been transferred to www.FarnhamWalker.co.uk Please refer to Guy's website for more details. No firm decision has been made as to the future of these walks. However, following the Rambler's lead, all his walks are cancelled to at least 31 May.
You can read the Rambler's statement here - https://www.ramblers.org.uk/volunteer-zone/coronavirus.aspx
The future of the Farnham Walking Festival is now under discussion. If you would like to get involved in a postponed event in the autumn or one in 2021, please make contact via email@example.com.
A personal statement from Guy Singer
It is with the deepest regret that I have to tell you that due to the Government's recent announcements and a decision from Ramblers GB to cancel all group walks, Chris S. and I feel we are forced to CANCEL the FARNHAM WALKING FESTIVAL.
You can read the Rambler's announcement here - https://www.ramblers.org.uk/volunteer-zone/coronavirus.aspx - I have reproduced the current advice below.
ADVICE UPDATED 03/04/20
"Government advice issued on 23 March 2020 remains in place. To limit the spread of Coronavirus, people should stay at home except for:
Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible.
One form of exercise a day – for example, a walk, run or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary.
"If you are in a household with COVID-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate at home. Those aged 70 or older and those with pre-existing health conditions that put them at increased risk from COVID-19 are particularly advised to practice social distancing. Please see Public Health England’s guidelines on social distancing.
"If you choose to walk as your form as exercise, please use the following guidance in order to stay safe.
Stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily.
You should only go outside alone or with members of your own household.
Keep at least 2 metres (6ft) apart from anyone outside your household at all times.
Gatherings of more than two in parks or other public spaces have been banned and the police will enforce this.
If you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air.
Take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors.
"All Ramblers walks and social activities have been cancelled until at least 31 May."
As a result, I have cancelled all Farnham Walker group walks in my programme at the moment. However, I will reinstate group monthly walks and may even consider running some of the previously planned Festival walks as my walks at later dates when the situation eases. If you're interested in knowing more about these, please visit www.FarnhamWalker.co.uk and subscribe to my mailing list there. Feel free to email me on my new email address - info@FarnhamWalker.co.uk - if you have any questions.
On a personal note, I have to announce that sadly, for my own reasons, I will no longer be working with the Farnham Walking Festival; all my efforts will now be concentrated on small group walks with Farnham Walker. If you are interested in getting involved in organising a future Festival, please contact the organisers via info@FarnhamWalkingFestival.org.
As they say, one door closes, another opens. Don't lose heart and don't give up a love for the outdoors. I'm certainly not going to stop walking in the long term and I hope to see some of you out there as soon as we're allowed.