Leicester & District Ramblers

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Recently the AGM of Leicester and District Ramblers was held in Newtown Linford. Our meeting was preceded by a choice of a four, six or nine mile walk.

This year we were honoured to be addressed by our guest speaker Dr Jack Matthews from the Charnwood Geopark, who gave us a fantastic whistle-stop tour of the antiquity of Charnwood Forest.

In the 1950s a number of ancient fossils were unearthed of which one, Charnia, has given its name to a variety found not merely in our backyard but also worldwide. In its beginnings Charnwood was part of Avalonia an ancient continent 60 Degrees south of the Equator including most of Britain, Ireland and Newfoundland – 600 million years ago. The very oldest rocks have their genesis as the result of a volcanic eruption that is vaguely near Whitwick and was formed in the Pre Cambrian era. Then came the Cambrian age, its most famous rocks found in Swithland slate. By the advent of the Permian era – 260 million years ago we find Charnwood, now near the Equator, part of the Pangea supercontinent; a desert environment. This is evidential by aeons of dry sand, blasted by the wind to form the current shape of the hills.

This was a most absorbing presentation delivered entirely without notes and with much enthusiasm. We were privileged to learn a great deal about the very ancient rocks and their geology here in our home county of Leicestershire.

Amongst other highlights was the opportunity to reflect upon the introduction of four mile Tuesday morning walks, Saturday morning walks and a seasonal selection of car free walks utilising buses and trains to mitigate our carbon footprint.

For 2024 we will run two midweek and two weekend coach rambles with Evesham and Castleton already amongst the selected destinations.

Finally, although we already offer more walks per week than any other walking organisation in the county, we are now looking to roll out a pilot programme of eight to nine mile walks which address the gap between our six mile morning and twelve mile all day walks.

For full details of all of our activities please visit our website or go to our Facebook page: Leicester and District Ramblers, Footpaths, Fitness and Friendship.

David Wheeler

(Publicity Secretary)