Over the past few weeks, safety has yet again been the focus of my walking challenge.
The recent reports of people heading into the UK’s hills ill prepared for what is ahead of them have been alarming.
These stories have encouraged the Walk Fife team to reassess our workshop programme for 2019 and as a result we will be working hard to include some workshops that we think will help people prepare themselves thoroughly before heading out for a walk in the hills or countryside.
News of one of these additional workshops will be announced in a upcoming podcast with another being revealed at a later date.
It has been really interesting (and alarming) to see how many people consider themselves hill-ready when in the hard light of day they are actually woefully equipped both in the equipment that they carry and in the skills they have learned. Hopefully our workshops will be able to address these issues and enable more people to safely head out into the hills.
Walking old trials
In week 44 I headed out to some trails that I used to walk often and hadn’t visited for a while. One route in particular stood out and it is a variant of one shared with Walk Fife by one of regular contributors Andrea.
The Cameron Reservoir & Bankhead Moss Circular is a 10km route that takes in the reservoir, the hamlets of Radernie and Lawhead, the village of Peat Inn and the little nature reserve of Bankhead Moss and makes it way back to the Cameron Reservoir. While the day I chose was wet, the walk was really relaxing after a hectic few days at work.
The reservoir is stop off point for migrating birds and when I arrived the noise was amazing as flocks of birds arrived departed with the regularity of a busy bus station. This perhaps a ideal route for those who enjoy observing birds. You can find out more about this route by visiting http://www.walkfife.com/maps-routes/cameron-reservoir-bankhead-moss-circular/
Week 45 saw me head to one of my favourite wee hills in Fife. Benarty Hill has been mentioned several times on our website and through our podcast thanks to the wonderful Sleeping Giant Pathway which connects Lochore with Loch Leven.
While this is a great route to wander, the hill actually has a number of different routes across it where you can enjoy some magnificent views to the North into Perthshire and to the South across the Kingdom of Fife.
I had a few hours to kill one afternoon so decided to explore some of these trails. Many of the older established trails that can be viewed on older maps of the area have been destroyed by recent forestry work but there are still some of these paths that have escaped and provided some easy going and rewarding walking.
You can find out more about this route by visiting http://www.walkfife.com/maps-routes/benarty-views/
The past few weeks have been good but I still feel far away from completing the challenge even though I am actually nearly there as at the end of week 45 I have managed to rack up 3476 miles which is approximately 87% of my 4000 mile goal. Trying to keep the positivity high is going to be essential for me to keep going especially walking at night and I am sure that I am going to be able to do this and gain the many more miles I need to reach my target.
Next week will see some big changes for myself as I switch jobs and routine. This change in career will give me more free time and enable me to take on my next challenge of achieving my mountain leader certification alongside some other outdoors qualifications which will hopefully enable me to play a more pivotal role in the future development of Walk Fife.
If you have any questions about this challenge or anything Walk Fife related, then please drop me a email at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message me through my twitter account @SDMakin.
Catch up with you again next week.