With all the news and gossip about Coronavirus, we, the voluneteer organisers of the Festival wanted to set out our position regarding this problem here. Of course, this may well change and may well change rapidly, but watch this space for all updates.
As we stand today (15/03/20) ALL walks in the Festival are ON. We consider walking in the open air to be one of the least risky activities around. Groups of walkers are, in sports events terms, small. Most walks will have around 20 people on them. The open air is not a high-risk environment. We would ask anyone with declared symptoms to refrain from attending the walk. If you have to cough or sneeze, please make sure you carry tissues or handkerchiefs with you and dispose of/launder them according to current guidelines. If you are in a high 'at-risk' category, then we understand if you do not wish to attend. If the government advises everyone to 'stay at home' then this will result in a review.
We discourage hand-shaking and hugging, but that, of course, should be at each individual's discretion. Please respect the wishes of the person you were about to shake hands with or hug.
If a walk-leader falls ill, then we will try to find a replacement. However, this may result in short-notice cancellations, for which we apologise.
That apart, all walks are ON until some higher authority (Council or Government) tells us they can't be.
Thanks for understanding and let's hope the festival is still a success despite the current climate. Let's spread some good news around for a change. And don't forget the benefits of walking in the release of seratonin. This 'happy hormone' may well keep us sane through the coming difficult time. The Ramblers are still walking - let us keep going too. https://www.ramblers.org.uk/volunteer-zone/coronavirus.aspx
Guy Singer & Chris Shepheard