A cold sunny day led to near perfect walking conditions when Lions from Balsall Common, Birmingham Sheldon, Shirley, Kingswinford-Stourbridge and Warwick joined almost 2500 other Festive Walkers for Knowle & Dorridge Lions Festive Walk from Baddesley Clinton NT House on 27 December.
‘We had to apologise to those walkers unable to park at the property who had to walk to the start of the walks’, said organiser Lion Ute Smith. ‘We were really disappointed when we were unable to use the overflow car park at Baddesley, due to muddy conditions, which meant more car loads of walkers than ever were turned away. Many of these then found alternative parking and walked to the start.’
The parking difficulties certainly did not affect walkers generosity with approaching £11,000 being donated for Prostate Cancer UK, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice as well as local causes
As has become a tradition about a dozen runners started off for the 9 mile route at 8:30 as the Lions had brought the walks start time forward to 9:00 in the hope of encouraging walkers to burn off the Christmas pud earlier. This together with the ideal walking conditions encouraged more walkers to take on the longer 9 and 6 mile walks, the 3 miles being more popular with the late starters.
‘We have a great relationship with the National Trust at Baddesley Clinton and they helped us throughout the day but they do have strict rules like not allowing us to park cars on the drive or in fields off the drive. We searched hard with them for a solution this year but local landowners were unable to help and we were unable to source such a great venue with more parking,’ said Ute. ‘Next year will be the 25th consecutive year for our walks at Baddesley Clinton and it will be a shame if we cannot accommodate everyone wishing to take part.’
Photo: One group of walkers setting off from Baddesley Clinton House on 9 mile walk