What to bring?

You need good walking boots with ankle support and adequate sensible clothing (including waterproofs but excluding denim). A small rucksack or day pack for carrying food, drink, spare clothing, etc. For full day walks and longer morning walks (typically 6+ miles), you must bring adequate fluids to drink and a packed lunch, even if the walk description mentions a pub/cafe stop. For afternoon/summer evening walks, you should bring a drink and perhaps a snack.

Winter: gloves and hat are essential as well as waterproofs and warm layers such as a fleece. The weather can change quite quickly during the course of a six hour walk.

Summer: carry extra water and some sun cream. A brimmed hat is very handy too. Remember the British summer can be inclement so think about bringing waterproofs and something warm to put on in case the temperature suddenly drops (it has been known to snow in June in the Peak District)

We recommend that you bring a first aid kit with you and any medication you may need.

You may also want to have in your rucksack some form of identification and the contact details of someone the walk leader can get in touch with in the unlikely event of an emergency

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Who are we?

We are the Sheffield 40s Walking Group and we are a part of Ramblers. We share an appreciation of the beauty of the outdoors whilst reporting any problems relating to blocked or poorly repaired footpaths and stiles.

We are a group based in Sheffield and the surrounding area and we cater for the 40 plus age bracket. The group was formed in September 2007 by our former chairman Pete Feetham as a spin-off from the outrageously successful Sheffield 20s and 30s Group. We now offer a walk every Saturday and two every Sunday, subject to having enough available walk leaders. See the Walks page for up-to-the-minute details.

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What sort of people go on our walks?

Our members love walking, appreciate the countryside, care about keeping footpaths open whilst having fun and socialising. It is amazing what you learn on our walks!

See the pictures on the Galleries page. People like that go on our walks...!

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Do I have to live in Sheffield to join?

Absolutely not! Although we are based in Sheffield we have members from many of the surrounding counties as well. Basically, if you can get to the walks then you can join us.

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Do I have to be in my 40s?

No! Although we are technically a "40+" group, you can show up whatever age you are. As long as you have a younger frame of mind you should fit in.

At the other end of the scale, if you are under 18 years old you need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

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How do I book on to a weekend away?

As well as running regular weekend walks we also organise weekends away to places such as the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. Accommodation can vary from basic bunkbarns to luxurious chalets and there will be a variety of walks on offer depending on walk leader availability.

Our weekends tend to sell-out almost as soon as they hit the website so to be fair, we offer first refusal to actual members of the SWG40s group according to the most recent membership list we hold supplied to us by The Ramblers Association. Spare places are then offered to non SWG40s members provided they are members of The Ramblers Association. Please note that if you have recently joined us, or you have transferred your membership to us from another group, or there has been a lapse in your membership, your details can take a month or two to show on the records we receive from The Ramblers.

When booking, please include your Ramblers membership number with your payment. Cheques should be made payable to "Sheffield 40's Walking Group" and members should write their name and Ramblers membership no's on the back of the cheque. You will be advised where to send your cheque once your provisional place is confirmed. Your place will only be guaranteed after full payment has been received.

If for any reason you cannot go on the weekend once you have booked it, please get in touch as soon as possible.

Please note that once you have booked and paid for a weekend, it is non-refundable unless someone else can be found to take your place. The reason for this is to prevent the group from making a loss on the weekend as we have to book and pay for the accommodation, etc., in advance and generally cannot change the numbers once booked.

You will need to make your own travel arrangements for the weekends and members sometimes use Facebook to share lifts. Sometimes you will need to bring your own bedding and towels, plus food for breakfasts, packed lunches and evening meals. We try and book a pub meal for the Saturday evening whenever possible. Don't forget to pack your walking gear and boots! Once you are booked on, you will be sent full details about the venue, proposed walks and eating arrangements.

The weekend walks will be led by walk leaders from the group who volunteer their services. Although they are competent hill walkers, they have no special training and they may not know the area. As with all our walks, we make every effort to ensure they are safe and enjoyable but by the very nature of walking, it is not risk free and sometimes the unexpected arises. Participation is at your own risk and you are responsible for your own safety. In particular you are responsible for ensuring that you are fit enough to undertake the walk and that you have adequate food, equipment and first aid with you.

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What happens if I am unhappy about something?

Obviously we want everyone to have a good time when they are with Sheffield 40s. People should feel comfortable, safe and relaxed. As such, we follow the Ramblers' Code of Conduct. We can't reproduce the whole Code here but to paraphrase, 'we expect members to be welcoming to all, positive, sensitive to the needs of different communities and environmentally responsible' - which is what Sheffield 40s members are!

If in the rare eventuality you feel that you are unhappy with the behaviour of any fellow members towards you, please contact the Committee, however, please note we can not get involved in personal matters or disputes.

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What sort of walks do you do?

We offer a range of walks of varying lengths, amount of climb and quantity of bog.

Most of our walks end in either the pub or a tea shop!

Saturday walks are usually from 6-12 miles. Sundays we offer two walks, usually one from 6-10 miles and one from 12-15 miles. In the summer walks tend to be a bit longer than in winter, when the days are shorter.

Each walk is graded so you can get some idea of the length and difficulty of the walk beforehand.

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Once I start, do I have to come on every walk?

No! You can turn up as often or as infrequently as you like.

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Do I have to join before coming on a walk?

No! You are welcome to come along and try us out on a couple of day walks, but if you want to keep coming after this you will need to join the Ramblers Association. This is for insurance purposes and also because they fund the group via a contribution from central funds. Note that you must be a member of the Ramblers Association to come on weekends away. Again, this is an insurance requirement.

If you are already a member of the Ramblers Association it doesn't matter if you have already specified a different group, or didn't specify one at all, and you don't need to do anything more to join us. But if you do end up mainly walking with us, rather than your old group, we would be grateful if you would "change your allegiances" to us.

Click here for more on how to join Ramblers

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How often do you go walking?

We walk every Saturday and Sunday and also put on midweek evening walks during the summer. We also put on several walking holidays each year. See the Walks page for details.

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Where is the next walk?

Please see our walks calendar for details of upcoming walks:

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Who leads the walks?

We have a fantastic dedicated team of volunteer walk leaders and without them the group couldn't function. If you would like to lead a walk and be part of this team please email the group at sheffield40swg@gmail.com.

The leaders reccy the walks, search for the hidden gems in the countryside as well as which tea shops or pubs to enjoy an 'apres walk' drink in! They are knowledgeable and will make you very welcome.

Please note that for insurance purposes, all our walk leaders must be Ramblers Association members.

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Do I have to tell you that I'm coming on a walk?

Yes - please text the walk leader on the day before the walk to let him or her know that you are coming. Also let us know if you have any special requirements or if you are bringing lots of people. Please check our website on the day to make sure that nothing has changed.

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Do I have to be super fit to come on a walk / what if I have a medical condition?

You don't have to be super fit - but please make sure that you are fit enough to undertake the walk you intend to join. If you're unsure of your fitness level, try a short and easy walk first: it's much better to find a walk a little too slow and easy than to make yourself miserable and exhausted.

If you have a medical condition you may wish to let the walk leader know and make them aware of any medication that you may need to take in an emergency. They will always treat this information in the strictest confidence. Please bring your medication with you and it may also be advisable to carry some form of ID and information about what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Most Ramblers' walks are off-road in rural areas. Please have suitable footwear and clothing for the walk you intend to join, and bring some food and drink, even if the walk includes a pub or cafe break. Walk leaders may refuse to accept participants who in their opinion are inadequately equipped or unfit. When in doubt, contact the walk leader in advance.

For your own and others' safety please abide by any advice and the instructions of the walk leader. Though walking is inherently one of the safest outdoor activities, no activity is completely without risk and it is your responsibility to behave sensibly and to minimise the potential for accidents to occur.

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How do I get to the start of the walks?

We try to provide walks which can be reached by public transport and if a walk leader knows you are on a certain bus/train from your text message then they will wait for you.

We encourage people to share and offer lifts. Remember to ask/offer well in advance of a walk as not all our members use the internet daily. Once you come on a walk and get chatting to people members tend to link up and organise lifts for future walks.

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Are children allowed on walks?

Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Most of our walks are not suitable for younger children, but any strong young walker is welcome.

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Can I bring my dog on the walks?

If a walk is dog friendly, it will have a little dog symbol against the walk indicating that dogs are allowed.

Registered Assistance Dogs are always allowed, but please be aware that the nature of the walks through the countryside will usually make it very difficult for the partially sighted, even with an assistance dog.

There is a local group in Sheffield that specialises in walks for the partially sighted: www.sviwg.co.uk/

Please notify the walk leader that you will be bringing a dog with you when you book onto the walk.

Dogs will have to be on fixed leads (2m max) at all times and you (not the walk leader) will be responsible for keeping your dog under control.

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I took some great photos on a walk - can you put them in the photo galleries?

We are lucky to have some hugely talented photographers in our group and new members tell us that the galleries pages are often the main thing that attracts them to join the group. Therefore we want to display photos that show the group doing what it does best; loving walking, appreciating the countryside, having fun and socialising.

We have an online system to quickly and easily submit batches of photos for the website. The info about how to use this is at the top of the Galleries page.

Photos are checked before being posted live on the website - usually that takes a day or so, but occasionally it may take a few days.

Guidelines for inclusion of photos onto the SWG 40s website and our facebook pages

If you would like your photos to be included on the website, or you want to post them on our Facebook page, please follow the guidelines below:

  • Group shot photos are very welcome.

  • Photos that show group members having fun/being a bit silly are especially welcome.

  • Please be sensitive to the fact that some people may not wish to be photographed, or may not wish to have embarrassing photos posted on facebook or the website - if in doubt, ask before posting.

  • Please provide the pictures in full resolution, or at least 2048 pixels wide if possible - we have to resample them in several ways and the better the original the better the final result.

If you don't want your picture on the website/facebook, please let the walk leader know at the beginning of the walk. Also, if you see a picture on the website/facebook that you are unhappy about, please contact the Website Editor or any of the committee on the group e-mail with details of the photo in question.

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Are you on Facebook?

Yes! Search for Sheffield 40s Walking Group and ask to join the group. The Facebook site is for members to talk about the walks or weekends away or any issues related to our favourite pastime - walking!

We have no plans to go on Twitter!

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The website/Facebook is very public, what about privacy?

As we use the Internet for some of our communication there are issues regarding privacy. The website and Facebook can be viewed by anybody (although you have to join the Facebook group if you want to post anything on the group wall). We publish photos of walks on our 'galleries' page and our Facebook pages so if you do NOT wish to be photographed you must advise the walk leader on your walk. If you see a photo on the website/facebook you are unhappy about, please contact the website editor or any committee member with details.

Members also need to use their common sense when adding information to Facebook (e.g. personal details) and must bear in mind that it is the public 'face' of the 40s Group. Please do not include anything that may be offensive as this will be removed.

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Oh no I've got to the end and you haven't answered my question!

Why not drop us an email then? Our email address is sheffield40swg@gmail.com

If you want to talk to a committee member just email the group with your telephone number and one of us will call you back.


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