‘Our walks last Monday were a victim of their own success’, said organiser Lion Ute Smith. ‘I was really disappointed to have to turn carloads of walkers away after the National Trust car parks had filled up and we were unable to take full advantage of the overflow parking as in previous years, due to the unseasonably wet & relatively warm weather.
‘We recorded a total of 1742 walkers and even a few runners who set off early all having made donations to our nominated charities (Lily Mae, Solihull Bereavement Counselling Service, Children’s Liver Disease and other local causes). Total receipts on the day were almost £8,000. Most of the walkers had taken heed of the muddy conditions and pulled on wellies or waterproof boots for their walks, with majority settling for the 3 & 5 mile routes and only a small number accepting the challenge of 9 miles of muddy footpaths and tracks. Talking to walkers completing the walks the general view was that the routes were challenging but achievable.’
The Lions were delighted with the turn out and wish to apologise to walkers who had to queue to park their cars and others who parked outside the estate and had a long walk to get to the official start. Ute said ‘We have a great relationship with the National Trust at Baddesley Clinton and they helped us safely move cars from the muddy overflow carpark; but they do have strict rules like not allowing us to park cars on the drive or in fields off the drive. We shall look at it carefully before next year to see what alternatives we can set up for overflow parking and of course hope for better walking conditions.
Anyone unable to walk on the day you may like to download the map and instructions for the walks to follow in drier conditions.
With the mild & wet weather forecast to continue into the New Year it seems the hundreds of charity fundraisers looking forward to walking off the Christmas pud at this year’s Lions Festive Walk on Monday 28 December from Baddesley Clinton NT House will want to ensure they have good waterproof boots for their treks.
Having designed the 3, 5 & 9 mile routes a couple of months ago the Lions will continue to monitor the sign-posted routes over Christmas and post whatever diversions may be necessary.
“We have had all variety of weather over the years from frost & snow to fog & sunshine, but I cannot remember a November & December that has caused the fields and footpaths to become quite so waterlogged,” said organiser Ute Smith. “Whatever the weather does from now on and on the day we are sure that walkers will want to come well prepared for muddy paths and make their Festive donation to our nominated charities and get some exercise on what has become Solihull & Warwickshire’s biggest Festive family charity fundraiser”.
Car parking at Baddesley Clinton House will be limited so walkers are asked to car share as much as possible, and to use 4×4 cars which will be parked in overflow parking as usual.
Knowle Primary Academy pupils have been helping the Lions by creating some wonderful posters for our Festive Walk event.
This year the children from Helen Fulker & Mr Hall’s Year 5 classes posed in the school hall with their posters, before they were handed to Festive Walk organiser Lion Ute Smith and Peter Smith for distribution to various shops and establishments in Knowle, who will display them in advance of the Walk on Monday 28 December.
On Monday 28th December Knowle and Dorridge Lions will be inviting everyone to join in their 23rd annual Lions Festive Walk at Baddesley Clinton NT House. On the Monday after Christmas the year’s walk will raise funds for the Lily Mae Foundation, Solihull Bereavement Counselling Service, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation as well as a variety of other local causes.
“It means so much to us that the Lions have chosen Children’s Liver Disease Foundation as one of the beneficiaries of their fundraising this year”, said Joanna Oldfield, Head of Fundraising. “We hope that families will add the Lions Festive Walk to their Christmas calendar and join us for a great day out and fundraising opportunity.”
“Last year 1800 walkers stepped out in ideal walking conditions to burn off the Christmas calories and donated a record of over £10,000 on the day,” said Lions organizer Ute Smith. “As usual there will be no charge to take part, so add it on your Festive calendar, tell your friends and relatives and bring a car full.
There will be a choice of 3 new sign-posted circular routes – 3, 5 and 9 miles, all passing through wonderful Warwickshire countryside using country lanes, public footpaths and canal towpaths with a pub along the way. All ages are welcome especially if you get your efforts sponsored, but if arranging and collecting sponsorship will be a hassle you might prefer to walk and just make a donation.
“We are very grateful to the National Trust for allowing us to use Baddesley Clinton House and car parks for the 23rd year” says Ute. “There will be free entry to both House and Gardens for everyone when they finish their Festive Walks and walkers are invited to join the Lions for hot mince pies and mulled wine.”
Download a free Registration Form now and bring your friends and relatives along on the 28th.
‘Fundraisers visit Baddesley Clinton House to get in the Festive spirit’