Clare Balding is with a group of young LGBT+ ramblers who meet once a month to explore the green spaces close to Manchester. Run by The Proud Trust, the outdoor adventures group is for 18-25-year-olds and is designed to combat social isolation and build both confidence and physical fitness. They always meet within striking distance of public transport and, today, are starting on the Chester Road in Stretford which is a mile from Trafford Park station. From there they walk partly along the River Mersey to Chorlton Water Park. It’s a local nature reserve which was created during the construction of the M60 motorway, when gravel was excavated and the resulting pit flooded to create the lake.
Please scroll down to 'related links' for information connected to the walk location and The Proud Trust.
Location Producer: Tom Bonnett
(Producer: Karen Gregor)
Ricky Ross and Lorraine Mcintosh of Deacon Blue in Fife
Clare Balding is joined by singers Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh of the band Deacon Blue to walk one of their favourite coastal routes in Fife. Starting at Elie they walk along the beach passing through the village of St Monan's ending in the picturesque fishing town of Pittenweem. Ricky and Lorraine have been married for over thirty years and perform together as part of the band, as well as having their own careers in broadcasting and acting. They say the secret to their enduring relationship is doing things together as a couple and sharing the same interests, one of which is walking. One of their favourite areas to walk is the East Neuk in Fife reputed to have some of the driest sunniest weather in the UK because of its sheltered position between the Rivers Forth and Tay.
Producer: Maggie Ayre
Going Dutch in Dorset
Clare Balding joins a unique family ramble in Dorset. She is walking from Osmington Mills to Weymouth with Simon Waley and his three Dutch sons-in-law. They are here, from their home in the Netherlands, for a three day hike along a stretch of the South West Coastal Path. Simon is British; he met and married a Dutch woman and moved to the Netherlands more than twenty five years ago. They have three daughters and each met a Dutch man. For the first time, Simon – a very keen walker, who regularly comes back to the UK – is bringing his three Dutch sons-in-law to experience long-distance British trekking. He says the culture of walking is very different in the Netherlands where every square inch of land has a specific purpose, there aren’t many public footpaths, and agricultural land is out of bounds. When people do walk, it’s usually in huge, organised groups along a network of rural roads. Simon wants his family to experience both the freedom of British walking and the unique delight of youth-hostelling, something they haven’t done before.
Producer: Karen Gregor
Going Wild in the West Country
Clare Balding walks with sisters Georgina and Rebecca - both mothers of young children - who started a group called Go Wild Go West to help inspire other young families to get out and enjoy the outdoors. They have happy childhood memories of exploring and adventuring in nature and are concerned that children today are losing touch with the thrill of walking and playing outdoors. They take Clare on a circular route around from East Harptree in North Somerset. It's a walk designed to delight and entertain the children who build a den, climb trees and find a rope swing along the way. The children are free to roam and explore with the mums a safe distance behind.
There are more walks and ideas for days out on their Facebook page GoWildGoWest
The walk is from East Harptree Woods up Smitham Hill and down Harptree Combe
Producer: Maggie Ayre
Proud, Resilient & Native American in the UK
Clare Balding meets a group of native American women who live and work in the UK. A sense of isolation and homesickness led them to the Rainmaker Gallery in Bristol seeking connection with other indigenous people. They now meet regularly. Clare joins them on a walk around Henley in Arden in Warwickshire and hears how despite different tribal affiliations, the common cultural and spiritual backgrounds they share bring great comfort to them thousands of miles from home. Leandra Nephin is from the Omaha tribe of Nebraska and grew up on the reservation there. Sarah Sense is a Chitimacha artist who met her husband while she was exhibiting her work at the Rainmaker Gallery in Bristol run by Joanne Prince, while Stephanie Pratt is an academic and art historian from the Dakota Crow Creek tribe. Melinda Schwakhofer is Muscogee Creek and through her artwork is attempting to reconnect with her culture from her home on Dartmoor.
The walk: Start Henley in Arden Centre ending Preston Bagot Church. Distance approximately four miles OS grid reference SP151660
Producer: Maggie Ayre