The annual report for 2016 was posted to members and agreed by them at the AGM in February 2017. A full copy is available here to download (pdf fil 425Kb).
A good barometer in measuring the strength of any Association, is the number of members on their register. When I became involved with our Association in 1976 there were 92 ordinary members. This year there were 340 ordinary members. This growth can in part be explained by walks being arranged on four days a week whereas in 1976 only Saturday walks were available and some evening walks in the summer. In addition the number of people walking are mainly retired. The Association always relies on members volunteering to take part in the affairs of the Association. If you consider you may be able to help in this way, please contact our secretary.
I have attended three committee meetings and listened to the amount of work undertaken on behalf of our membership. In the following reports from officers you will be able to judge for yourself the variety of matters taken in hand. In particular the County Council have agreed for us to produce and distribute the new publication of the Leicestershire Round guide booklet.
Brexit, the most repeated word in the media this year, may have significant impact on monies available in future years for the maintenance of cross field paths. The Common Agricultural Policy has a payment scheme to reward farmers when they keep their paths open and accessible to the public. We may well ask will the UK government fund a similar scheme for farmers, thereby ensuring our cross field paths are kept clear of crop encroachment, following any exit from Europe?
Many of you will, I am sure agree, the National Forest has had a major impact on the scenery of North West Leicestershire. The scars left by mining have been transformed into woodland areas to walk and explore. This year celebrates twenty-five years following the governments support for its creation. 8.5 million trees have been planted.
In September, Ted Guy passed away. Ted was a committee member for a few years, 1985-87 and walked regularly on Saturdays. Some of you may recall his New Year day walks when before the start of the walk, members were treated to home cooked mince pies and mulled wine.