Thursday, 2 June 2011

Devils Bridge Walk

Starting grid reference: SN 740/770
Bothy grid reference: SN 773/790

11.3km total
575m ascent & descent

One of the best things about being involved in Milestone Activities is you get to share your favourite experiences with everyone!
A few weeks ago, my business partner, Simon and I had set off for Devil’s Bridge, Aberystwyth. We’d heard there was a great bothy nearby and wanted to see it for ourselves but finding it proved something of a challenge.
Devil’s Bridge is a gorgeous and much praised piece of landmark folklore, but a lot of the hills around there, which afford specular views down onto the waterfalls and out into the surrounding mountains, remain largely un-travelled so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to us to find that almost no one knew the secret of this well-kept, beautifully situated bothy, nestled in hillside.
A few weeks later we were back! The walk itself isn’t a particularly hard one. Although there are five small mountains to climb, the highest being 495 metres, the actual journey only took us only 3 hours on foot to arrive at the bothy. We wanted the walk to be fun, challenging and a positive experience for everybody who came along and as always; that’s what we got!
The whole group got stuck in with helping one another, and if one person was flagging somebody in the group would stay back with the person. That’s the thing with Milestone walks, we all try and stick together – some people walk faster, some people walk slower, but the enjoyment comes from camaraderie of the walk and the team you have by the end of it.
Once at the bothy everybody got stuck into their chores, finding wood for the fire was the first job, so that everyone could enjoy a well-earned cup of coffee and prepare for dinner. While five star restaurants may offer the best of all foods I can promise you, nothing tastes better than good food after a good walk.
The good food that night was in the form of our famous stew. We came across our stew recipe quite by accident and while I can’t divulge everything - you just can’t beat beef stew made with fish stock - you must try it, although it has to be made on an open fire, with a cast iron pot.....There is no other way to make a stew....and once you have eaten stew this way, you will always want to eat stew this way.
There’s no better way to meet and make friends, share experiences and stories and enjoy the wonders of the great outdoors than on a Milestone walk. And whether it’s a relatively easy one, as this was, or something a little more adventurous, these are the memories that last you a life time… and the friends as well.
After dinner, as the sun went down behind the hills where they say the Devil once

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Bronze award in National Navigation

About NNAS:
The National Navigation award is a personal award scheme for all ages.
Training and assessment consists of uses a variety of maps to help you navigate around. By using this skill you will be able to enjoy more of the countryside, plus by attending the course you will hold a reconised personal performance award.

Six members of the Venture Out project attended the NNAS course run by Milestone Activites. There were a variety of abilities, but all in all everyone learnt enough to navigate themselves on their walks.

The course took part in 5 sessions, 4 half days classroom learning and 1 whole day out in the hills.

The objective of the course was to learn: Orientating maps, taking a bearing, checking the distance travelled, Timings on travel, looking at the features on the map to the actual ground and planning routes.

We delivered the course with the feedback from the participants and with this in mind we delivered a fun and achievable course. The feedback from the participants at the end of the course was supreme!

Click on flickr for more

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Woodland Explorer Bushcraft

Wildspirit Bushcraft has originated in Switzerland, and slowly made its way over to this country. School children in Switzerland are sent on forest school weeks during the half term to be educated on the great outdoors — forest are also an excellent place for children to explore, and use up excess energy. Research has shown that people who are anxious can reduce their anxiety within 3 minutes of being in a forest environment. The Japanese call this Shinrin Yoku.

On the weekend of the 20th and 21st Claire Harris from Milestone Activities took 16 teenagers to Merthyr Mawr where they experience Bushcraft survival skills with Richard Rees from Wildspirit Bushcraft. The children were shown skills that they would need if they were in a survival situation.

They first question that was asked by Richard was “what would you do first in a survival situation? — Look for water, build a shelter, forage for food or make a fire?” Most people said look for water, but was that the answer? No it was make a fire.

As well as being shown how to make a fire – which was very interesting, and the children with the most determination really set their sights on getting this to work, the children were shown knife skills, and how to work with a knife. It was surprising how many didn’t know how to use a knife properly, but once shown they were away. They made flints for the fire, made whistles, and many other instruments. There were 3 boys out of the whole lot, who just spent hours and hours carving wood. It was fantastic to see them all enjoying themselves in such a simplistic way.
Among other things the children were taken on a tree identification walk, and food foraging walk. Richard made this so interesting — with his eagerness to pass on the information, his knowledge and motivation the children were enthralled.

Over night the children either slept in the hammocks that they had put up, or in the Tipi’s. All the food was simplistically cooked over the fire, we had beef stew for lunch, corned beef hash for tea, and a full English breakfast.

Feedback from the children and some of the parents was fantastic. The parents couldn’t believe how enthusiastic and tired the children were coming home. Some parents would like to book their children’s next birthday party with Milestone Activities. The children’s feedback was enthusiastic also — they found the weekend very interesting, and it was great to run around in the forest, using the knives, and building the fires.

As you see Bushcraft is not only great for your health as we eat healthy but simplistic, we are active, using the great outdoors and an added bonus which not all activities can boast about is that Bushcraft is fun and educational which is great for your health and well-being.

Monday, 21 April 2008

New website

Welcome to the Milestone Activities Blog. We aim to use this blog as a temporary holding area for our website which is currently being developed. You can use this blog to keep up-to-date with the latest events, activities or news from Milestone Activities.

If you'd like to send us your contact details, we will contact you as soon as the main website is live.

To book an activity please contact us at:
Phone: 01443 224117
Mobile: 07920 422230

Glamorgan Women's Food and Farming Union (WFU) April Meeting

The April meeting opened with a taster session of Nordic walking by one of our members Claire Harris. This has become a very popular way of exercising. We all picked our poles and stretched our muscles mostly our laughing ones!

We marched up and down the car park trying to get technique and not assault each other as the poles were attached to our hands.

We then knuckled down to get the hang of it and did a 10 to 15 minute walk in the nearby wood. Julie got the hang of the technique but was excused the walk as she had just had a knee op, she retired to the golf club to look after the minute book.

Everyone enjoyed Claire’s tuition and the taster walk, although I must admit my arms were aching a little after and perhaps we should have done this last month after the dessert tasting!

Following the walk we re stretched our muscles not forgetting Claire’s favourite stretch!

If anyone is interested in Nordic Walking please contact Claire:
Phone: 01443 224117
Mobile: 07920 422230

Hope to see you all at the Conference.

Next months talk:
Food labelling by Bridgend Trading Standards
May 7 at Whitehills Golf Club
Phone: Sally: 01656 783149

An introduction to Nordic Walking

This video provides a useful insight into the activity of Nordic Walking