Meet the committee of 2021/22!

New year, new committee! Read on to meet your committee members for 2021/22.

Chair – Grant

Why I joined the BWs: I joined the BWs to get out and explore an area which I had not walked before, since I’m based in Oxford and to improve my fitness whilst making new friends.

My favourite place in Berkshire: Definitely anywhere around Goring and Streatley, it has such wonderful hills and some excellent country pubs for a refreshment.

My favourite place in the country to walk: Most definitely the Lake District and discovering those smaller and less well known places like Elterwater and Esthwaite Water.

My top tip for new walkers: Invest in a good pair of socks which provide cushioning & temperature management but are also right for the season (thicker in winter, thinner in summer).

My responsibilities: To make sure that each committee meeting is planned effectively, conducted according to the constitution and that matters are dealt with in an orderly, efficient manner. I also am there to support the other committee members to bring their ideas to fruition.

Membership – Tom H –

About me: I’m Tom and I’m now the Membership Secretary. I’ve been in the Berkshire Walkers for seven years. When I joined, I’d just moved to Reading for work, and wanted to meet new people and explore the area. I’ve enjoyed walking in many parts of Berkshire since then, but my favourite would have to be the West Berkshire countryside around Aldermaston and Woolhampton. Further afield, I love the South West Coast Path, especially Cornwall. Away from walking, I am a keen swimmer, enjoy pub quizzes, watching sport, and learning about American history.

My tip for new walkers: Don’t worry and take things in your stride! You will likely surprise yourself with how much you can do. Apart from a good pair of boots, you don’t need any special equipment to start.

Ordinary member – Gabi –

About me: I joined Berkshire Ramblers as I wanted to meet new people that love to walk outdoors as much as I do. Since my first walk, everyone has been friendly and welcoming. I was surprised to discover new paths that I would never find on my own! So far, my favourite place to walk is Pangbourne circular, but I’m still a newbie and looking forward to more walks.

My top tip for new walkers: Get a good pair of waterproof walking boots 🙂

My responsibilities: As an ordinary member I support anyone within the BW committee and keep things running smoothly.

Ordinary member – Steve E –

About me: I’m Steve and I joined the group a few years ago after being told about the Ramblers by my parents. I’d suffered a years-long period of chronic pain, which had affected my ability to work and my mental health too. I’d lived in Reading a few years but didn’t have a car and didn’t generally go out walking in the countryside. Joining the group introduced me to some great new friends and areas to explore, planned by enthusiastic walk leaders. I also liked how generous members were with offering lifts, which I’ve tried to repay in pints!

My favourite area in Berkshire: Probably in West Berkshire, around Bedwyn, Kintbury and Hungerford (North Wessex Downs). You can explore ancient woodland, wide open fields and even the occasional big hill with spectacular views – like Inkpen Beacon. This area also boasts some fantastic small villages and pubs!

My advice for new walkers: Buy a pair of sturdy trail shoes and a waterproof top if you can, and if you attend during the winter walking boots as well. Also, don’t feel guilty about bringing lots of cake, sweets and snacks in addition to water and your lunch – I find I need a sugar boost at unexpected moments on many walks.

My responsibilities: I’ll be helping out the primary committee roles with ad hoc organisational and administrative tasks, including writing some of the weekly members’ emails.

Publicity –

Why I joined the BWs: I originally joined the BW’s as training for doing the 3 peaks – been and done them years ago now and I’m still here!

My favourite place to walk: The Brecon Beacons in Wales – beautiful scenery. 

My top tip for new walkers: Talk to people on the group walks. Its the best way to meet new people and find out more about the group.

My responsibilities: Being Publicity Officer for the group means I get to share the wonderful activities and walks that the group does with lots of people!

Publicity – Sophie W –

About me: Of all the committee members I am the newest to the group, having joined after the third lockdown. I joined the group as I recently moved to Berkshire and I wanted to get to know the local area and also to get into rambling.

My favourite place to walk in Berkshire: I don’t know just yet! (Maybe that can be my goal for 2022?)

My favourite place in the UK to walk: The Seven Sisters in East Sussex.

My top tip for new walkers: Join the Ramblers and just go for it! You only learn by doing and everyone in the group is very welcoming and supportive.

My responsibilities: My role is that of Jason Junior (JJ); I assist Jason and organise the paparazzi (sometimes I even take photos myself).

Secretary – Natasha –

Why I joined the BW’s: To meet new people and having grown up on a dairy farm I love the countryside.

My favourite place to walk in Berkshire: Pretty much anywhere along the Thames (or somewhere with a big hill).

My favourite place to walk in the country: Cornwall.

My top tip for new walkers: A sit mat will be the best couple of quid you ever spend.

My responsibilities: Organising committee meetings and taking minutes.

Other facts: If you’re lucky you’ll get to try some of my baked goods on a walk!

Social events – Andrew K –

About me: I joined the BWs to get out and explore the local area, as well as meet like-minded walkers. My favourite place in Berkshire to walk is the area of the Chilterns around the Thames Path is both picturesque and easy to reach. My Favourite place in the country to walk is the New Forest which is lovely – I used to visit it a lot when I was younger.

My top tip for new walkers: Good boots are a must. You need boots you can trust to keep your feet dry and in good shape, so you can go walking in a range of conditions without worry.

My responsibilities: As Social Sec it’s my job to make sure that plenty of fun socials and activities to do with the group outside our usual walk calendar! Whether it’s pub/restaurant trips or bigger events like theatre/water park visits, I make sure that things get organised and advertised.

Walks co-ordinator – Zak –

About me: Having been a keen walker for many years, I joined the Berkshire Walkers and the Ramblers in January 2018, shortly after moving to Reading as a way of both exploring the area and making new friends, and the group has been very enjoyable in both respects. Having been on the committee as Membership Secretary for much of that time, I’ve now moved to the role of Walks Coordinator, which includes soliciting walks for the programme, trying to ensure we have a good balance and variety, keeping them up to date on the calendar, and encouraging and advising walk leaders new and old. I also regularly lead walks myself, and am Ramblers Area Secretary for Berkshire.

My favourite places to walk: My favourite walking in Britain tends to be in more remote and mountain areas like the Scottish Highlands, and so some of the events I enjoy most with the group are our longer trips away. More locally, I tend to be drawn to the hillier bits of our area – within the county that’s mostly West Berkshire, or just outside the county in the North Downs or Chilterns.

Website – Shannon –

About me: I joined the BWs after the first lockdown, and I’ve enjoyed getting out walking and meeting everyone 😊 Being on the committee has been great fun – I’m now the website officer, and I’m hoping to give our site a revamp this year! I have a lot to learn, so please bear with me if things go wrong! I enjoy a good debate 📣, trips to the cinema 📽🎬 and exploring new places 🏞🌋🏝.

Treasurer – This could be you! –

We are currently seeking a replacement treasurer to replace Jack who is stepping down from the committee. We’ll be circulating a bit more detail about what this committee role entails in January so if you have a read and like what you hear, please reach out to the Chair / Secretary on how to join the committee in this capacity.

Interim CaretakerJack – I’m the guy who manages the money side of things for the group. I’m also one of the group’s younger members and known for my love of steam trains, whether it is going on them or watching them pass by! Outside of walking, I play the drums and I also love a good musical!