Our Autumn 2020 walks

Covid-19 influenced our Autumn Walks with a vengeance!     

That did not stop us getting out and about, however, and our walks were managed within coronavirus guidelines 6-person rule and NFWI guidance for WI activities.  18 of our members, please note – not all at once, have taken part in one or more walks.   Recruitment of additional walk leaders has gone very well, and sincere thanks goes to those volunteers.

Pier to Aldwick Sage Fancy Dress Hat

Bognor Pier to Aldwick along the beach at low tide was the first walk.  As it coincided with a dress down day at Sage House, one of our WI charities, walkers wore unusual hats and raised £40.00 for their funds.   


Halnaker Windmill walk, on a bright sunny morning, was a tribute to our late member Stella.  The information our walk leaders share about key points on the walks, extended to a reading of a poem, written by Hillaire Belloc, about the similarity of Halnaker Windmill’s dereliction in 1923 to the state of the country at that time.

Middleton to Climping ACWW Walk – with Manuela

The erosion that the last winter’s storms caused at Climping shocked some of us on the walk along the shoreline from Middleton to Climping.   Does anyone know when Climping was spelt as Clymping?   Jan, our main walk leader, had to concede that Climping spelt with an ‘i’ seems to have been around longer than Clymping spelt with a ‘y’.   £41.50 was raised for ACWW, Associated Country Women of the World – we were taking part in Women Walk the World Day.

Pagham Harbour – with Heather

The next walk took us back to Pagham Harbour North Wall to Siddlesham Quay.   Sadly, no one saw the Cattle Egrets, that had recently arrived, with their yellow beaks – however, there was plenty of other wild life to spot, along with some rather tricky puddles!

Now looking forward to the rest of Autumn.   Details will be sent out shortly, and more WI members would be welcome.

Jan Marsden

BRWI 2020 Summer Evening Walks

Bersted Park and Brooks Walk, Old Shripney

Easing of coronavirus lock down gave us an opportunity and we made the most of it!

Our WI Walk Group re-started in June, within Covid-19 guidelines, and managed 10 walks before the evening light diminished.   Exercise, laughter, Jan’s shortbread, warm sunny evenings and conversation proved a successful formula for over 20 of our WI members.

The walks were arranged in or around Bognor Regis, with the exception of the walk to the WI Federation Centenary Oaks Wood at Slindon.   We found pockets of Bognor Regis and its environs, that many of us did not know were there.   We increased our knowledge about where we live and some of its history.   Karen, Mandy, Frances and Sheila supported Jan is taking on the lead for some of the walks.   Here are a few of the special moments:

  • The cross over with the different walk sub groups on the beach, at low tide, on our first evening walk, with arms stretched out to keep our social distance.
  • Jan’s regular sugar fix for every member.
  • Support and kindness, as one walk was a bit further that we were given to believe!
  • The amazing views across Pagham Harbour with its changed landscape since our last walk there.
  • Bells, Mandy’s horse, welcoming us to her home. 
  • Local knowledge about the Barnham Canal, Chalcroft Lane airfield, Felpham Nature Reserve, and the Bersted Man.
  • First Aid Kit used for the first time in 9 nine years – only for a plaster!
  • A Bognorian, born and bred in Bognor Regis, of which we seemed only to have 1 on the walks, reminiscing about old haunts and homes.
  • Non-exhaustive chatter as we mixed and matched while walking along.
  • Sculptures at Bersted Park.

The Walk Group also ventured further afield by Zoom in July.  We took ourselves somewhere even more special for 30 minutes!   Amazing views of the high Himalayas, insight into family and farming communities, and the role of women there.   Thanks to Jane Weston, a friend of Jan’s, for sharing the photographic journey – on paths most of us will not have the opportunity to walk on.

There were so many more special moments during the 2020 Summer of Bognor Regis WI evening walks, but most of all thank you everyone for joining in and making our walks so enjoyable.  

I will miss them, and you!   

Jan Marsden

Jan’s photos are in our photo album. To view them, please click here.

Walk Group back in action!

Bognor Regis WI Lock Down Walks

The corona virus had the potential to take so much from us, which meant we had to think differently.   The walk group was not going to be outdone.   Jan sent the usual gang of walkers, by email each month, photographic memories and notes about 3 walks we had completed over past years:   Graffham Wild Daffodil Wood, Angmering Bluebell Wood, and Pagham Harbour.  However, with the easing of lockdown guidelines, things changed.

We’re out and back together, socially distanced of course!   

Gill suggested a walk to Sue and, within days, Jan had an evening walk organised with military precision and within social distance guidelines. Last Monday 16 members split into 3 groups – 1 group starting from the Lobster Pot at Felpham, and 2 groups starting from the Waverly, at the end of the prom in Bognor, at staggered times.  

The cross-overs were always going to be a challenge – but they worked!    Individuals kept apart and, although greetings and a bit of chat were exchanged, there was no crowd gathering.   Some bought ice-cream or drinks at the Lobster Pot, others devoured Jan’s shortbread, and some had both!   

Sheila, Frances, and Flo

A lovely sunny evening along Bognor Regis beach at low tide, with plenty of space and only a slight breeze, made a perfect evening.   Everyone said how wonderful it was to walk along with others and chat.

Jan Marsden

Autumn Walks


Our Autumn Walks have started with a keen eye on the weather forecast, as October has been generally grey and damp so far! We did, however, squeeze in a bright, sunny walk at Dell Quay where we saw egrets, enormous toadstools and a late summer flower, disproving the chillier days.

Medmerry 3 Oct 2019

The Federation Outdoor Talk and Walk at Medmerry, Selsey, treated some of our members to an excellent guided tour and talk by the RSPB. Unfortunately, one of the days had to be postponed given the amount of rain forecast. An alternative date is being arranged.

Jan Marsden

Bognor Regis WI Walks

After damp days postponing a couple of our Winter Walks, Kingley Vale, in the brilliant sunshine, restored our faith last Thursday (February 14th). The views, the chatter and the early spring weather set the stage for an exhilarating walk up onto the South Downs, through an ancient Yew Tree woodland.

So energised were three of our members, that they took the very steep route up to the top – leaving the rest of the group aghast.   However, not all was lost.   Those less adventurous claimed the best stamina, as they had covered the longer distance!  

We were all rewarded with green heart biscuits to focus our thoughts as it was Climate Change Day.

Future WI walks will include a Ford to Arundel riverside walk, and Chidham Harbour. Sign up sheets will be available at WI.



Summer Walks

Our last two walks epitomised what the walk group sets out to do!

  • Exploring coast and rural areas
  • Exercising for good health
  • Enjoying the company and countryside around us

In jest, we certainly “reached parts that may not have been reached before”, as some of the 14 members over the two walks discovered parts of our area that they had never been to before, got out of breath, awakened muscles that had not been used in a while, and kept the chatter going for several miles!

The high down on the Trundle was awash with wild flowers – including the Rampion, known as the Pride of Sussex flower; the 360 degree views were amazing; the paths and hills stretched our legs and lungs, and the coast walk at low tide exposed the Pagham Mulberry and vast expanses of rock.

Next we will be  walking up Halnaker Hill to see the windmill dressed with its new sails and cap.

Words: Jan Marsden

Photos: Jan and Lynn

Spring Walks 2018

The wet Spring weather proved a challenge – in the 8 year history of our walks rarely had they been cancelled.    This year, a different story – 3 walks were cancelled, and to top that walking in mud baths as bad as they were at Ardingly was a first!

working-party-2018-bramber-beeches.jpgThree of our members joined forces to help with maintaining the footpath in the WI Federation’s wood, Bramber Beeches at Steyning.  Although some might have thought Jan had taken members there under false pretences, everyone contributed to keeping the nettles down with good spirit and enjoyed the wonderful views out across Steyning.

Jan with her cakes at Ardingly walk



Three of us also joined in with the Federation Outdoor Talk and Walk at Ardingly Reservoir, where we were told how clean water gets to taps.   The walk along the reservoir edge was scenic enough, but overshadowed by mud, mud and more mud.




Slindon bluebells, however, saved the reputation of the walk group.   Although not as bright as in other years, the carpet of blue and the small enclave of pink orchids on a sunlit evening was beautiful and worth the wait for a dry patch in the weather.

As we move into Summer our walks continue in the evenings.   We are off to Del Quay for a harbour/marina walk on Tuesday 15thMay.    We are planning to take a walk along the beach to Pagham when the tide is low and go up to Halnaker windmill again, once its restoration is complete.    Most of our walks are “easy” –  although some argue their description is debatable!  The friendship and views are never in question, and are always enjoyable.

Many thanks to all my walking companions.

Jan (words)

Jan and Dinah (photos)


2017 Summer Walks

Walking in the Pub at Singleton May 2017
Relaxing in the Pub at Singleton in May

Dale Park walk August 2017
Dale Park Walk in August 2017

We have completed five walks this summer.   It was the last walk on August 31st however that challenged us!   A hill took a toll on our legs and lungs, bullocks and a bull posed a threat, the night sky was drawing in, a footpath hidden in undergrowth, and a farmer expressed his solution to lost dogs on his land!  Our intrepid WI walkers, however, overcame any difficulties and the evening turned out to be a delight.   The sun shone brightly and we took in the exceptional views over the green slopes of Dale Park at Slindon, all arriving safely and exhilarated back at our cars.

An earlier walk in August, one of our faithful walks up to Halnaker Windmill, was filled with chat, laughter and friendship, enhancing the usual splendid views.   After several years of seeing the windmill fenced off, renovation work has started and the windmill is being returned to its original state with hung tiles covering the brick work.    Let’s hope by next year’s walk there, the windmill’s sails will be reinstated too.

Whispering Tractor ride
Whispering tractor ride

As well as our own WI walks, some members joined in the Federation event at Bramber Beeches and Coombes Farm.   Bramber Beeches is the wood planted in 1980 by our Federation to celebrate 60 years of the West Sussex WI Federation.   As well as a 3 mile walk, there was a tractor ride option to the wood (or nearly to the wood!), a picnic, and entertainment from Whispering Woods a Sussex outdoor choral group.   It was so special, as summer songs were sung in Bramber Beeches where it felt the leaves and trees were joining in as we sang Jerusalem, led by our own Sue Austin.

I thank all of you who join me on the walks and look forward to continuing them through the autumn months – weather, legs and lungs permitting!

Jan Marsden