Kathy McLean, Chair
This article is from Signpost 68, Spring 2103
Lighter evenings have been a welcome change after what has felt like a long winter and early spring of lockdowns and restrictions. I hope, like me, you are enjoying the chance to walk in the evenings and also being able to travel further to explore our wonderful network of footpaths. Our programme of inspections was interrupted due to suspension in line with guidance for much of the last year but recommenced recently and the excellent work done by all our PROW inspectors is increasing. I am sure many more faults and issues will be spotted requiring repair and actions to be taken but this is exactly in line with our purpose.
In April I was delighted to chair my first Annual General Meeting. Of course this was a virtual meeting but it was great to see so many people attending. The overall reports for the Society are very positive and we seem to be expanding all the time. Despite the restrictions the work has continued and the increase in both membership and inspectors is a testament to the importance of rights of way and the hard work undertaken by our volunteers. The AGM is a good chance to hear and read about some of the work which goes on including our signposts and the improvements funded by the Society. One of the things we agreed at the meeting is to do more to increase the diversity of our membership. All Trustees agree that ensuring we are accessible to everyone is a key part of our work. I hope we will be able to report progress over the coming months.
One of the features of PNFS over the years has been a programme of walks, both short and long. I am very pleased to welcome the restart of the walks, more of this later in Signpost and on the website. I hope to be able to join some of these and I would recommend that you do when you can. Outdoors is a great place to meet fellow members and explore parts of the countryside which may be unknown. I love bird watching and whilst out and about it has been fantastic to hear the increase in bird song. Our first swallows appeared on 30 March and have been with us ever since on our local walks but now we have willow and sedge warblers, whitethroats and black caps to name just a few.
Every voluntary society has to have a leadership team, we are no different. Trustees are appointed to ensure the Society runs in accordance with the Charity Commission requirements and fulfils its aims. We currently have six Trustees, including myself as Chair, and are keen to increase that number. Please look out for our advert in this issue of Signpost and do ask us about the role if you think you have something to contribute. We would welcome your interest.
I hope you stay safe as lockdown eases. There is no doubt that walking has been a great source of relief and exercise for so many over the last year. Thank you for helping us maintain the vital footpaths.
Next: Trustees Wanted
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