Newsletter > Newsletter archive > December 2020

December 2020

We wish you all the best for 2021
2020 has been a difficult year but we hope you have found some pleasure and escape in the outdoors. We are very grateful for all the support and the kind messages we have received during the year. We would especially like to thank our walk contributors and the many members who have sent us updates on the walks. We expected there to be a lull in new walks but actually our authors have been finding 'hidden treasures' close to home and have been finding the time to submit them.

We trust that 2021 will eventually lead to better things. In the first few months of the year we will be working on an update to the app. Some of it relates to technical changes with Ordnance Survey’s map server and to the Apple and Android operating systems, and we will try to iron out a few fairly longstanding bugs. But we also hope to make some improvements, for instance to simplify the choice of map types for different kinds of walk. It won’t be anything too dramatic - by and large the app will operate exactly as it does now.

HF Holidays Pathways Fund

The HF Holidays Pathways Fund has for many years helped to protect and improve the countryside enjoyed by its guests. The fund receives generous donations from its members and, despite a challenging year, it has ensured that funds have found their way to a number of valuable projects.

£20,000 went towards the reconstruction of the Keswick and Threlkeld disused railway track in the Lake District, which was badly damaged during Storm Desmond in 2015. This was the largest donation ever made from Pathways Fund to a single project; a 5 year multi-million plan spearheaded by The Lake District National Park Authority to replace the trackbed and several bridges washed away during the storm. You can imagine the force of the floods when you see the size of the bridges that were swept to the bank, as in the photo above.

Further donations were made to Moors for the Future Partnership, which started work on a high-quality footpath restoration scheme on the Great Ridge in Edale, helping to reduce the impact that footfall and erosion has had on the popular walking route. And another grant was made to support the re-opening of Smardale Gill Viaduct in the Upper Eden Valley. The permissive path over the top of the iconic viaduct had been closed for a year to allow work to upgrade its hand-rails.

Finally, HF Holidays partnered with Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust earlier in 2020 to plant 1500 trees in and around the Yorkshire Dales. The trees have been planted to create a unique area in Ormsgill Woodland in Malhamdale, which is in close proximity to HF Holidays' country house, Newfield Hall.

Single things are better?
Simplification has become something of theme during 2020. Blipfoto is a project we discovered recently which allows members to upload just one picture a day to create their own online photo journal. Having started in Scotland way back in 2004 it found itself in administration in 2015 and then bought by a community-owned company in 2016. Since then it's gone from strength to strength. It's free to join and submit your own day-by-day pictures, complete with a note or comment if you wish. You may even find the one a day restriction quite liberating.

Author Alastair Humphreys has been promoting the benefits of ‘microadventures’ for some time now. With lockdowns forcing most of us to venture much closer to home he has started a challenge to explore just one map centred on his own home. Ordnance Survey has been offering a custom map of 20x20kms centred wherever you want for quite a few years now. We have one for our home in Cumbria and it’s packed with footpaths, hills and valleys galore. Alastair’s, by his own admission, is much less immediately appealing as he lives in a city, so his ‘A Single Map is Enough’ project should be quite illuminating to follow. It might just inspire you to do the same.