Newsletter > Newsletter archive > January 2023

January 2023

Ancient practice of commoning in the 21st century
A three-year initiative, which will end in summer 2024, has been exploring nature recovery, flood management and carbon sequestration through centuries-old farming practices on common land. The ‘Our Common Cause: Our Upland Commons' project has brought commoners, landowners and communities together on upland environments in Dartmoor, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the Shropshire Hills. The 25 organisations involved include the National Trust, RSPB, National Park Authorities, National Farmers Union and a number of Wildlife Trusts.

Midway through, the National Lottery Heritage Fund supported project has seen action taken to restore mires and ancient waterways, investigate old monuments, survey important butterflies, birds and trees and tackle invasive plants.

Commons Stories is a collection of some forty articles, videos, audio streams and photographs from upland commons across England. It has been put together by writer Harriet Fraser and photographer Rob Fraser, with contributions from commoners and other experts. The stories reflect commoning practices and some of the challenges of building sustainable futures for people, nature and landscape in these special places. It is well worth a browse.

Inntravel's top walks for 2023
One minute you're on a beautiful coastal path, walking beside the bluest of seas, and the next your route is taking you inland, through silver-green olive groves and rich, red-hued fields. But where can you find such diverse and captivating landscapes? On Inntravel's self-guided walking break in Puglia, one of their holidays to watch for 2023.

So, which other trips made the list? Towards the top is the Inntravel Camino - the iconic pilgrimage trail, but with a twist. Rather than follow the most commonly trodden path to Santiago, Inntravel lead you along the quieter and more picturesque Portuguese Way, to pass through charming riverside villages, the magnificent city of Pontevedra and the RĂ­as Baixas region, where wine-tasting opportunities abound. Inntravel have also picked out some excellent accommodation, so, unlike most pilgrims, you stay in a series of high-quality hotels: from boutique rural hideaways to city Paradors.

Hand-picked accommodation is a feature of all Inntravel walking holidays, as are comprehensive route notes which guide you from A to B, and fill you in about places of interest and local culture along the way. For holidays with more than one hotel, luggage transfers are also included.

Whichever trip you choose, it always pays to book ahead - both to secure your preferred dates and itinerary and to lock in your holiday price. Inntravel have shared all their recommendations for 2023 on their website, so why not head there to start your planning?

What's on your feet
This month the experts from Mad about Mountains talk about socks...which are becoming ever more technical.

Generally speaking, socks should keep your feet warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. They should also provide cushioning and support, be reasonably durable and protect the foot against friction and blisters. Feet are pretty sweaty things so fabrics that offer wicking, moisture and temperature control will be a much better choice than some old cotton gym socks! On top of that socks should fit snugly, with no wrinkles, lumps, rubbing seams or pressure points. If they don't, blisters will likely be the result.

Technical sock makers have their own special blends of fibres to suit different activities and one pair of socks will not cover every requirement. Blended fibres of polyester, nylon and elastane (Lycra) are used to offer support and compression, while other blends help with wicking and cooling, and some provide a level of odour control. Consider sock length too - low cut, mid height or over-calf - as longer ones may offer extra compression or shin padding. You would probably want more padding for backpacking with heavier loads, and less for light hiking. For extra warmth look for more merino or new wool content.

Mad About Mountains offer a good range of different socks and particularly recommend Lorpen for walking and hiking.

Joy Boldero

We are very sad to announce that one of our very early contributors, Joy Boldero, has died at the age of 84. Joy and her husband Charles painstakingly recorded dozens of routes around Norfolk, many of which they had already written up for local newspaper, Eastern Daily Press, but which of course they had to re-walk in order to take the photographs and record the positions that the Walkingworld format demands. Charles was working on walking guides right up to his death in 2011 and Joy, in her no-nonsense way, carried on the task.

The couple lived in a remote cottage with a succession of Labradors, often captured in the walk photos. Both Joy and Charles were tireless campaigners for keeping public footpaths unobstructed and open. Every part of the country needs people like them. We will work hard to make sure that their walks continue to be updated and available to enjoy.