Dadima’s Countryside Walks and Talks: 2022 Programme
Here’s the new programme of walks by inspiring Chilterns Conservation Board Member, Dr Geeta Ludhra, who leads the fantastic free walking group, Dadima’s. Dadima’s walks are designed to change the narrative of the countryside and create a welcoming space for people from diverse backgrounds to walk together, share stories, and enjoy a connection with nature.
Dadima is the Hindu noun for paternal grandmother – and indeed the walks aim to be intergenerational, inviting children, grandparents and people of all generations to join in. Dadima’s countryside community walks enhance health and wellbeing in many ways, and the group values the inspiring connections made with diverse people across all walks of life.
Dr Geeta Ludhra outlines the thinking behind these walks:
“When we protect and respectfully engage with natural landscapes, Mother Nature showers her kindness in abundance -through nourishing our minds, bodies and spiritual senses. Being in Mother Nature brings my soul to life and roots me to the wise teachings of my ancestors; I feel part of her, in awe of her, and honour her.
“Through every footstep over the Chilterns countryside, I create special memories -alone and with diverse communities. Walking is my form of gentle activism, as I create a space that I never saw or felt part of, and slowly change the narrative. I hear new stories, notice new beauty, and put modern-day life challenges into perspective.
“As a South Asian Hindu woman over 50, I have found new peace, joy and rootedness, in and through Mother Nature. In Hinduism, the 5 elements: akash (space); vayu (air); agni (fire); jal (water); Prithvi (earth), nourish our senses and shape who we are deep down. Being in nature gives me a sense of courage, peace and freedom, things I never felt growing up. When I see communities enjoying Dadima’s walks, I know that Mother Nature is smiling upon us, laughing with us, and protecting us -through her wise elements.”
Whatever your reason for joining a Dadima’s nature walk & talk, we hope that you experience a sense of kindness, joy, and connection with nature, one which leads to a curiosity to learn and engage more. The focus of our family-run social enterprise, Dadima’s CIC, is three-fold:
Connecting families and communities across generations, encouraging intergenerational dialogues to share knowledge, wisdom & cultural heritage.
- Connecting with nature and exploring the great outdoors for good mental, physical and spiritual health (connecting with nature has become a huge focus of Dadima’s work over the last 4 years, increasingly during the pandemic).
- We encourage a love and respect for Natural landscapes/Mother Nature, as we want to leave a beautiful legacy for our future grandchildren and generations. We promote The Countryside Code, as Ambassadors for Natural England.
- Encouraging a healthy lifestyle through home-cooked heritage recipes –we promote cooking from scratch, like our grandparents and ancestors did (for context, Dadima’s heritage cookbook (2016), marked the starting point of our social enterprise).
Dadima’s Countryside Walks and Talks: The 2022 Programme
Theme: Noticing Nature. Take three pics, share one (I will upload your pics to my social media page, if you are happy to share). I’ll explain this simple theme at the start of the walks. Meet-up point is the usual (see FAQs section).
- Friday 18th Feb (10am-12.30/1pmish). Flattish 10km, some incline up the Chiltern Hills. Coffees in Lewknor afterwards if anyone wants to. This walk falls during half-term week, so bring the children along.
- Sunday 27th Feb (10am-3pmish). Approx 15 miles. Bring a packed lunch with you on this walk. This is a higher intensity walk, more suitable for adults. We will start at our usual meeting point, and then walk along the Ridgeway into Watlington (across Hill Road), onto the Watlington Hill Walk. This walk is featured in The Guardian’s historic Winter walks, and includes some hills. Please be mindful of the length and some hills. Always consult your GP if you feel unsure of your physical health.
Theme: Share a nugget of interesting nature wisdom with fellow walkers. On this walk, I’d like you to come with an interesting fact about nature in its broadest sense. I’ll encourage you to talk to others about it so that we share our knowledge – it can be a fun fact, or maybe something you’re just curious about and want to learn more. Meet-up point as usual (see FAQs section).
- Friday 11th March (10am-1pm). Approx 10km- Coffee stop off at the end if you wish to.
- Sunday 20th March (10am-1.30pmish OR 3pmish end). Approx 10km, or 15km, some inclines included but not too intense.
- Please note that this walk is differentiated in distance, so you can leave after approx 10km or 15km, depending on your time commitments and ability. We will start at the usual meeting point in Lewknor, and walk through Aston Rowant and along part of the Ridgeway. When we head back towards our starting point, some of us will continue along the Ridgeway into Watlington, Hill Road and back again to add some extra distance/challenge. This option provides flexibility for walkers.
- Sunday 24th April (10am- ends at 12.30ish or 2.30ish). Approx 10km
- This walk starts from the usual Dadima’s meeting point at the Lewknor layby – see FAQs section.
I have differentiated the walk at 2 levels again – you can leave at the 10km point (We’ll guide you back to your start point), or continue for an extra 10km along the Ridgeway into Watlington (most people tend to leave at 10km). A few people asked for longer walks so I adapted my programme to accommodate. Note: End times can move a little depending on pauses, pace and talk times. This walk will include some moderate incline during the first 10km, up the Chiltern Hills.
NB: Meet-up points vary in May, so read carefully under each walk.
Theme 1 (08.05.22): Early Morning Birdsong with Jon Mason, the Early Birder.
Theme 2 (22.05.22): Reading the Natural Landscape with geology experts Professor Clare Warren and Dr Anjana Khatwa.
- Sunday 8th May: 6.15am arrival, for a 6.30am sharp start.
- This walk must be booked on in advance, over email or social media direct message.
- Max 20 spaces, so only book on if you are serious to attend (if this walk is over-subscribed, Jon has kindly offered to do a part two at a later date, TBC). Walk length estimated 6.30am-8.30amish. This will be followed by breakfast/coffees for anyone who wants to join us. This walk is led by Jon Mason- see @theearlybirder on Instagram for his stunning nature work. I love looking at Jon’s page in the mornings, as it always brings me great joy about the magic and beauty of nature. Huge thank you Jon for offering to share his expertise with Dadima’s walking community.
- Email/message Geeta on social media to book a place: Gludhra@gmail.com
- NB: Meet-up point: Whiteleaf Cross Car Park, Peters Lane, Monk’s Risborough, Princes Risborough HP27 OLH.
- Route: We will follow a circular route through the woodland, listening to birdsong and identifying different species. We will walk down through Brush Hill nature reserve for coffee/breakfast afterwards in Princes Risborough, if you wish to join.
- Please bring: Binoculars if you have them.
- Sunday 22nd May (10am-1.30/2pm, depending on pausing for discussions).
Theme: Reading the Natural Landscape
- Usual meeting point as per FAQs section. Approx 10-12k
- Friday 17th June, 10am start -1.30pmish (depends on stop-off and pace).
See more details on social media IG @educatinggeetachilterns beforehand.
- Route and Directions to Meeting Point:
Use postcode HP14 3XT. We will meet in Ibstone which is a couple of miles from Stokenchurch. Coming from Stokenchurch direction you will pass the Chilterns Fox Inn HP14 3XT on the left hand side, and shortly after that (approx 200m) you will come to a large grassy common on the right hand side. There is an informal roadside parking slot alongside the common, so please park there. We will start walking in the small hill-top village of Ibstone, which is on the edge of the Wormsley Estate, where Red Kites were first introduced.
- Route and Directions to Meeting Point:
- We will walk across the common and through beech woodlands, across a sweeping valley and alongside a wildflower meadow, all the while enjoying beautiful views. We will see some of the traditional brick and flint houses of the Chilterns, and a church with a very special tree! Our refreshment stop is at the half way point, the Barn at Turville Heath, also known as the no-car café (we need to book spaces at this cafe, so you will need to book ahead with Geeta via email firstname.lastname@example.org -or direct message on social media – I will need to pay a deposit for this).
- Walk Leaders: This walk is co-led with Annette Venters. Annette works for the Chilterns Conservation Board, and her role is to encourage a diverse range of people to connect with the Chilterns through recreational activities, festivals and volunteering. Annette lives in Watlington and loves walking, cycling, exploring the local area, and finding great local produce and characterful cafes for cake and chat! We want this walk to feel soothing and a gentle space to connect and talk during a beautiful time of year.
Theme: Look what’s there! Noticing nature and bringing it to the attention of others. On this walk, I’ll encourage you to look around and bring something special to the attention of a fellow walker. I’ll introduce the activity before we start walking. Meet-up point as usual (see FAQs section).
- Sunday 26th June (10am-1pmish)
Theme: South Asian Heritage Month ‘Saris, Salwaars & Boots: Samosas, Chai & Chutney’
Meet-up point as usual (see FAQs page)
- Sunday 24th July (10am-1.30pmish – end time depends on discussions)
- This walk will be a very special one, linked to migration stories, South Asian his/herstories and cultural wisdom/heritage in a range of diverse ways. I will write a follow-up blog which will be inserted here as a sublink. Walkers can bring vegetarian Indian snacks to share if they wish to, but no pressure (I will bring something to share). This will not be a powerwalk as such, but more of a casual reflective stroll where we will pause at regular points, and chat/listen to poetry, sharing of special artefacts, signposting special history books, food sharing, singing a special song/bhajan etcetera. The creative possibilities are endless and I hope that you will consider joining in a supportive way – to share or simply learn and listen. If you wish to share something on the walk, do email me asap. You can read more via the South Asian Heritage Month website.
August - October
Some themes and locations are still TBC, but note the dates below for your diary:
- August (Sunday 21st Aug) Theme and location TBC
- Sept (Sunday 25th Sept) Theme and location TBC
- Oct (Sunday 23rd Oct)
Theme: Sustainable Diwali Floor Rangolis.10am start-1pmish. Usual meeting point (see FAQs section)
This will be co-led by me and artist Kuljit Jutla. Kuljit’s work is inspired by fractals in nature, and she has been a keen walker in Dadima’s community over 2021. This walk is perfect for families & children who want to explore more sustainable art creations through nature. Diwali is a special celebration and time of year for my family, with universal themes and educational lenses for children to learn through. At Dadima’s, we are keen to to make cultural celebrations more sustainable and family-orientated. Kuljit’s Instagram page is: @kdotjdesign if you want to see some of her work.
Date: Sunday 20th November, 10am start.Theme: Burnham Beeches Autumnal WarmthDescription: This Autumnal walk is approx 7km and set in the gorgeous setting of Burham Beeches, Farnham Common, Slough. It is being led by two of Dadima’s regular walkers, Narinder and Pali, who know this area very well. They have planned the route so that we mostly walk on pathways, with three moderate inclines (nothing taxing at all). This walk is suitable for families so a perfect way to get outdoors on a Sunday morning. The colours are stunning at this time of year and great for nature photographs too.Parking, meeting point & weblinks: Park either in the paid carpark at the main entrance (close to where we will start the walk), or there is limited free parking in some of the surrounding residential roads. There is a cafe in the main car-park and this is where we will meet as a group at 10am sharp, for a brief introduction from the lead walkers. Walk leaders will arrive a little earlier to meet and greet walkers.Weblinks: Burnham Beeches – Woodland TrustClick ‘Show location on Google map’ weblink above for location and Beeches Eco cafe link (easy to find).Food/clothing: Please wear suitable clothing to suit the weather conditions on the day, and shoes that protect your ankles and prevent slippage. Bring a light backpack with any essentials as needed for a couple of hours. As walk leaders, we always bring a first-aid kit and some basics. There are cafes nearby, and we often visit to have a post-walk social if people are free/keen to join us.
Coming soon in January 2023
New Year’s Day 2023 Ridgeway, Watlington Hill walk: 10am-1pmish.
Theme: Chai, chat and walking reflections.
Meeting point: 10am sharp at the Lewknor layby (see FAQs section for meeting details).
We will walk along the historic Ridgeway The Ridgeway – National Trails (flat walk) and up to Watlington Hill for the beautiful Chilterns views.
Approx 8km max, at a moderate walking pace. There will be some incline after the flat Ridgeway, but we will take it at a slow and steady pace. Geeta will share a short reading on Watlington Hill to encourage some New Year reflections around nature. Any questions, do email Geeta on email@example.com
Contact Me: Social Media & Email address
Use one of the ways below, to contact me about the walks or other related matters. When contacting me, remember that this is a non-profit social enterprise, and run in the interest of bringing people together. I will do my very best to reply asap, within the challenges of home and family life.
- Instagram: @dadimaschilternswalks (Linked to @_dadimas main page)
- Facebook: @_dadimas (I am not very active on facebook atm, and will try and share more in this space).
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
11th Chilterns Walking Festival – booking open!
We are delighted to announce the 11th Chilterns Walking Festival will take place 20 May - 4 June. Book now!
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