New Member

Welcome to the Bentham Footpath Group

We are so glad that you have joined, or are interested in joining, the Bentham Footpath Group – Welcome!

We understand that joining a new organisation where everyone already knows each other, and seem to know how everything works, can be a bit daunting. So this page aims to help you get the best from us by clarifying a few frequently asked questions. If there is something on your mind that we don’t cover here, just ask: Ask anyone in the group – or if you prefer, use the contact page  – that way we add your answer to the site and improve it.

Questions about our walks . . .

No. Do as many or as few as you wish. Some members make pretty much every walk, whilst some are rarely seen. The important point is that all are welcome.

No. Just turn up at the Lairgill car park to negotiate a car share.

Yes, or course. Meet us at the Lairgill car park in High Bentham where we sort out car sharing. If you are new to the group, please call the walk leader to let them know you will be there.

Take the Clapham Road out of Bentham and it’s the carpark on the left behind Springfield – not the one in the village centre. There’s a helpful map on the home page. Click here to see it.

Yes . . .  but some thought is needed. It’s your responsibility to make sure you know where the walk starts, and that you get there at the right time. We can’t keep everyone waiting if you get lost or are delayed, so you run the risk of missing us. In addition, parking may be at a premium, so car sharing from the traditional Lairgill start is much preferred.

The Group aims to be as inclusive as possible, and the walks are aimed at generally fit people who are confident to walk in variable conditions. If that’s not you right now, we would suggest that you start by doing a few local strolls on your own to build your stamina until you are happy walking 4-5 miles in less than 3 hours. Then pick a shorter walk to join us for the first time.

All the upcoming walks are detailed on this website, in the Bentham News, and on noticeboards in both High and Low Bentham. Feel free to telephone the walk leader before committing to check how challenging the walk is.

Don’t worry it’s not a lecture – all it really means is that one of our members has walked the route beforehand to ensure that they know the way, that they have checked that it is safe, that stiles are secure and that we know where to park and so on. Every now and again, a walk leader, or other member, will point out something they find interesting and offer some words of wisdom. There is no guarantee that wisdom is actually involved, you do not need to take notes and there is no test!

Yes, please do. We aim to make everyone welcome. They don’t need to join, and you don’t need to notify us before hand.

Yes. We always walk as per the timetable. If the weather is extreme – an amber or red weather warning for example – we may change the route or shorten a walk, but nobody in the group can remember a cancellation. Even if the forecast for the next day is much better, the logistics of rescheduling are too complex, so we go ahead.

Yes  . . . but at your own risk. Please make sure you have what you need – inhalers for example. We think it would be polite to mention to the walk leader anything that may affect the rest of the group, but we respect your privacy.

Questions about membership . . .

Yes – we think that’s a good idea.

No. That’s not necessary. Some members want to share their favourite routes, some don’t want that responsibility – it’s your choice.

Why not walk with us a for a while and get a feel for how things work and see if you want to contribute.  We all remember that our first walk as leader was daunting, so we will always help you and be supportive

Yes of course. We generally drive to the start of the walks, but we aim to take the minimal number of cars, so car sharing is something we do at every walk. Just join us at Lairgill and find a lift. A small contribution for petrol is polite. The Home page has a section on petrol dobnations. Click here to see it.

The group is about the walks, and every walk is a social event in our opinion.

We also meet a couple of times a year at an “AGM” and “Business meeting”. Attendance is entirely optional. Food and drink will generally be provided by members. We do have an annual dinner. All are invited,  and most members attend. Obviously, there is a cost associated with that.

Yes! It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to present fresh walks and manage the group. As you settle in as a member, offering to lead a walk would be a welcome gift. Beyond that, the group has a small committee, and fresh there input is always welcome. Come to the next AGM and join the discussion.

The annual subscription currently stands at £5 per family payable October 1st. 

No. There are no concessions – we  believe that the cost is already low enough to enable anyone to join. Offering concessions would increase admin and overheads.