More than walking

Thinking of joining us? Meet our member Stephan

Posted on Updated on

Since Cranfield University’s Walks  formed in April 2011 many students participated in its activities, which enabled them to discover the UK’s extensive network of footpaths and enjoy and appreciate beauty of the UK’s countryside. If you are a new student coming to Cranfield University and thinking of joining, hear from our existing and past members about their experiences  of being part of the society:
Stephan and Sissi
Stephan and Sissi enjoying a walk

Today I am talking to  Stephan. Hello Stephan! Tell us something about yourself. I studied for a PhD in Welding at the former School of Applied Sciences.

What were your 3 favourite Cranfield University’s Walks events and why? Peak District -> A good experience to get sweaty in the snow, Hadrian’s Wall -> A very nice view and great community working together, Grand Union Canal -> met my current girlfriend (and future wife) on this walk.

What walking boots and other walking gear  did you have that you found indispensable during the walks? My boots are from Timberland; additionally I wear a pair of winter socks (against rubbing). Depending on the walk’s length, terrain, and weather, I would also bring along Pressure Point Foam Padding (foot), blister plaster, a torch, a whistle, waterproof trousers and jacket, minimum three layers (T-shirt, pullover, jacket), anti-mosquito spray, sunscreen, some emergency plaster and disinfection pads. When going for a walk I always bring along a bottle of water, fruit and something savoury to eat. And a lot of endurance and readiness to have fun together.

What did being a member of Cranfield University’s Walks mean to you? To me, it still means having a lot of fun with people I’ve never seen before. Getting together in a group and trying to achieve a common goal. I (we) will soon be back for one of the future walks organised by the society.

Why would you recommend anyone at Cranfield University to join the walking society?  You join a society which is run by students. So it relies on you having to organise one thing or two, but this is the joy of it. The walking society makes you socialize with unknown faces.

Thank you, Stephan, nice talking to you. All the best in your future endeavours and keep in touch!      

Visit our Membership page on how to join Cranfield University’s Walks.

 

post by @CUwalker

Thinking of joining us? Meet our member Sarah

Posted on Updated on

Since Cranfield University’s Walks  formed in April 2011 many students participated in its activities, which enabled them to discover the UK’s extensive network of footpaths and enjoy and appreciate beauty of the UK’s countryside.   If you are a new student coming to Cranfield University and thinking of joining, hear from our existing and past members about their experiences  of being part of the society:
Sarah, our president extraordinaire.
Sarah, our committee member extraordinaire.

Today I am talking to Sarah. Hello Sarah. Tell us something about yourself. I am just entering my final year (eek!) of a 3 year PhD in Engineering Photonics (in what!? you say, pretty much light based engineering).

What was your role in the walking society? I was president last year, overseeing the events and making sure the society was running smoothly. This meant that I was involved in every aspect of the society from website and Facebook posts, to budgeting for trips and grant applications. I’m a big fan of hiking so organised a number of hiking weekends to the national parks, as far away as Scotland! However I have also really enjoyed attending and organising local walks around the area, seeing beautiful areas such as Olney and Woburn deer park.

This year I will be returning to my previous position of treasurer that I held in my first year so I will be in charge of the purse strings again!

Congratulations! You have won an award at the latest Cranfield Students’ Association awards 2013/2014! I was really honoured to receive the Individual Contribution award. I am heavily involved with both the walking society and circuit training, two of the largest student societies on campus, and so I got to interact with a large number of students at Cranfield University.

What were your 3 favourite Cranfield University’s Walks events and why? As I said I am a big fan of hiking and I think my favourite walk was, as with Belén, our trip to Lake District. On the second day we crossed the sheer ridge of Striding Edge on our way to Hellvelyn. The weather was brilliant so we had a fun scramble along this edge and were rewarded with spectacular views on the top of Hellvelyn in all directions (and a bottle of wine that a certain Italian had brought with him to the summit!).

Local walks, I really enjoyed the tour of the 15th century St. Marys church with Reverend Gill followed by some yummy cakes at the picturesque Marston Vale forest centre where we had lovely views of Stewartby Lake and its sail boats.

The final walk I really enjoyed was the joint walking society and chess society walking where we walked to the Carrington Arms and held a chess tournament. Our walking society members got lots of tips about chess and the chess members got to explore one of Cranfield’s lesser known public bridleways. It was a really fun day with pints, burgers and friendly competition!      

What walking boots and other walking gear do you have that you found indispensable during the walks? The boots I have are Asolo, quite light but with good ankle support. Other items that I have found useful include full set of waterproof gear (waterproof NOT showerproof), a good backpack, that has an air back (contains a metal frame to allow a gap between back and bag) and two sets of straps so weight is distributed evenly. For weekend hikes, hiking poles are very useful to reduce impact on knees. Then finally, layering, lots of lighter layers provide good insulation but easy temperature regulation.

What did being a member of Cranfield University’s Walks mean to you?  I love the diversity of where we go, from seeing the hidden gems around the area to scaling the highest peaks in the national parks. But most importantly it’s the social aspect of the activities, you can attend one or many events and you feel welcome every time. You have time to chat with so many different people and indeed, the majority of my best friends at Cranfield University I have met through the walking society.

 Why would you recommend anyone at Cranfield University to join the walking society? As I said before, for the friendliness of it, you have an instant group of friends who are up for exploring! Getting involved on the committee is a great way to gain organisational skills, as well as meeting the locals…. and we do have a free lunch or two here and there!!

Thank you, Sarah, fab talking to you. Keep on walking and all the best in completing your PhD!

Would you like to get involved in running the walking society in the academic year 2016-2017?  Get in touch! Visit our Membership page on how to join Cranfield University’s Walks.

post by @CUwalker

Thinking of joining us? Meet our member Belén

Posted on Updated on

Since Cranfield University’s Walks  formed in April 2011 many students participated in its activities, which enabled them to discover the UK’s extensive network of footpaths and enjoy and appreciate beauty of the UK’s countryside.   If you are a new student coming to Cranfield University and thinking of joining, hear from our existing and past members about their experiences  of being part of the society:

Today I am talking to Belén. Hello Belén! Tell us something about yourself.    

Belén at Loch Moidart, Scotland
Belén at Loch Moidart, Scotland

I did an MSc by Research in New Product Development. I was a student at the former School of Applied Sciences.

What was your role in the walking society? I was the voice of the society!-), I was its Social Media Officer. I was in charge of keeping people updated of the society’s events through our website and social media networks. This involved chasing people to give me an accurate description of any upcoming event so I could then advertise it, updating the society’s calendar, from time to time posting pictures… I also helped to organise events and I led a couple of local walks. I started as a Photo Editor for the society, encouraging other students to take lots of pictures during our walks whilst taking quite a few myself, updating the society’s photo gallery and organising our photo competitions

Congratulations! You have won an award at the latest Cranfield Students’ Association awards 2013/2014! I was honoured with the “Muddy Boots” award for my work for the society as a volunteer committee member.

What were your 3 favourite Cranfield University’s Walks events and why? It is difficult to choose, above all among the weekend hikes, but I think that the trip to the Lake District was very remarkable: The first day we did a bike ride descending Whinlatter Forest, England’s only true mountain forest. The next day we conquered the snowed Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England, and one of the peaks of the Three Peak Challenge. And the last day of the trip we walked, climbed, and crawled along crags towards Helvellyn, which gave us amazing views.

I quite liked the guided walk in the historical Stowe gardens in Buckinghamshire, with its unique Palladian Bridge, as well.

But even closer to Cranfield University there is Aspley Woods near the town of Woburn Sands: one of the few proper areas of woodland/forest around Cranfield. In autumn the display of colours of the beech trees is pretty spectacular.

What walking boots and other walking gear do you have that you found indispensable during the walks? I wore my old walking boots when we climbed Snowdon in Wales. We walked for about eight hours in horrible weather (wind, rain, hail…) and from minute nine my feet were totally soaked. At the end of the walk I couldn’t even feel my feet, they were just like frozen rocks hitting the ground with every step. Now I have got a pair of brand new Vibran boots. I don’t think it is a known brand, but they feel as comfortable as trainers and for the moment they are waterproof. I firmly believe that good  socks are almost as important as good boots, at least during the winter walks. Since the Wales experience I don’t spend less than £10 on a pair of  good walking socks.

A good waterproof coat is also essential in England. Apart from that, during last year I acquired other useful gear such as gloves, a hat, a buff, gaiters

Last year I learned the hard way that inappropriate gear can turn the best walk into a nightmare and a tough hike into hell. Invest in a good gear from start – that is my advice!

What did being a member of Cranfield University’s Walks mean to you? Getting involved in the walking society was with no doubt one of the best things I could have done whilst being a student at Cranfield University. It was a great way to get some outdoor exercise, to get out of the campus, to explore its surroundings and the UK at large. But even more importantly, thanks to the walking society I met a lot of awesome people. A big chunk of my friends from Cranfield belongs to Cranfield University’s Walks.

Why would you recommend anyone at Cranfield University to join the walking society? Because if you like what I like, the walking society has everything to offer! It enables you to be outdoors, exercise, and socialise. What is more, if you get involved in the society as a committee member, this will help you to develop quite a few useful skills such as planning, budgeting, leadership, team working, etc. Not joking. I very successfully used my experience of being a committee member in the competency questions of job applications and interviews. This led me to be offered a place on a graduate scheme with Rolls-Royce.

Thank you, Belén, really enjoyed talking to you. Keep on walking and all the best in your future endeavors!

Would you like to get involved in running the walking society in the academic year 2016-2017?   Get in touch. Visit our Membership page on how to join Cranfield University’s Walks.

post by @CUwalker

Thinking of joining us? Meet our member Victor

Posted on Updated on

Since Cranfield University’s Walks  formed in April 2011 many students participated in its activities, which enabled them to discover the UK’s extensive network of footpaths and enjoy and appreciate beauty of the UK’s countryside. If you are a new student coming to Cranfield University and thinking of joining us, hear from our existing and past members about their experiences  of being part of the society:
Peak District trip: having a lunch (Victor (standing on the right)
A lunch break during the Peak District

trip: (Victor (standing on the right)

Today I am talking to  Victor. Hello Victor! Tell us something about yourself. I studied Master of Science in Medical Diagnostics at the former School of Health.

What were your 3 favourite Cranfield University’s Walks events and why? The Peak District trip was the most amazing, especially the part where we had to push Nicola’s car up the hill in heavy snow for over 2 miles. The next day’s walk on the snowy ranges of hills was also spectacular. The trip to Castle Ashby was exciting because we had new members joining a few oldies for the trip. We had one of the most amazing strolls along the lake and into the forest before having an evening tour of the castle. The Great Barford-Bedford walk along the river Great Ouse on a rainy weekend across the medieval bridge was also amazing. It was my first time I went to Bedford, visiting as a newbie in the country.

What walking boots and other walking gear  did you have that you found indispensable during the walks? Most of my walking gear were from the brand Karrimor. The boots were ankle high, waterproof and very light, making them ideal for any sort of trekking. I also had a waterproof coat to keep me warm especially during the winter walks.

What did being a member of Cranfield University’s Walks mean to you? The walking society was like a second home to me as it offered me a chance to make valuable networks and learn about other cultures. The times I spent with other members was quite important because it allowed me to share ideas and information with fellow members. This is a society full of people who love and care…..Sarah, Johnny and Kristina just to mention a few.

Why would you recommend anyone at Cranfield University to join the walking society? I would greatly recommend new students at Cranfield University to join this society because the experience is quite breathtaking. It not only provides a great weekend away from the tedious academic and research work, but also provides an opportunity to spend time with ‘strangers’ and get to know them better. I made a lot of friends during my association with this society, most of whom have been helpful in certain ways. The value of joining this society is priceless.

Thank you, Victor, great pleasure talking to you. All the best in your future endeavours and keep in touch!      

Visit our Membership page on how to join Cranfield University’s Walks.

 

post by @CUwalker

Thinking of joining us? Meet our member Vikas

Posted on Updated on

Since Cranfield University’s Walks  formed in April 2011 many students participated in its activities, which enabled them to discover the UK’s extensive network of footpaths and enjoy and appreciate beauty of the UK’s countryside. If you are a new student coming to Cranfield University and thinking of joining, hear from our existing and past members about their experiences  of being part of the society:
Vikas with Cranfield students in Lake District
Vikas and fellow students enjoying the views in the Lake District

Today I am talking to Vikas. Hello Vikas! Tell us something about yourself. I was an MSc student in MSc in Computational and Software Techniques in Engineering,

What has been your role in the walking society? A little bit of everything actually. An enthusiastic participant primarily. But I also the web editor in chief for a while. Organized a couple of walks too.

What have been your 3 favourite Cranfield University’s Walks events and why? Definitely the 1st would be the trip to Lake District. It was one of the most beautiful places I ever visited. EVER! Getting wet in the cool and crystal clear water of a waterfall in Lake District is something I can never forget! 2nd goes to All Hallows Eve Walk ,  along  with the pumpking carving party organised prior to the walk. A walk in the dark  through Forest of Marston Vale! Angela from Lodge Farm prepared for us specially some yummy scary cakes. It was very unique, first time I experienced celebrating this tradition. 3rd would surely be my hike in waist deep snow at a spectacular place called Peak District. ( Ah! What a trip it was. The one memory I will always hold on to here would be the slide down the Devil’s ladder. Felt like a kid on a slide but what we really did was to slide down on the frozen mountain side for over 30 ft.)

What walking boots and other walking gear do you have that you found indispensable during the walks? Definitely North Face! But any good water proof shoes with a good grip is good enough. For, as long as you are not wet and cold, you will really enjoy walking.

What did being a member of Cranfield University’s Walks mean to you? Those were some of my best times  in Cranfield [University].     

Interestingly, during my 2nd walk, which was to Cranfield village, one of my shoes literally fell apart. A committee member whisked me promptly into the nearest outdoor store near Bedford so I could buy new shoes. It is a priceless memory for me. (That little gesture of commitment and care, inspired me to become a committee member of this amazing society)

Being a member, I took part in almost all the walks that year. It helped me to see some of the most beautiful places in England.

Why would you recommend anyone at Cranfield University to join the walking society? Cranfield University initially could be a lonely place. Not knowing anyone, as a new student. Unable to travel much due to limited public transport readily available… An extraordinary University no less. But honestly, it is quite isolated. But once you join the walking society, all this will change. It is your get away pass out of Cranfield. You will get to see some amazing places, which you might otherwise miss out on, if you are coming from abroad just for one year of intensive studying. And most importantly, by joining Cranfield University’s walking society, you will make friends for life. Just remember, KEEP WALKING!

Thank you, Vikas, really nice talking to you. All the best in your future endeavours and keep in touch!      

Visit our Membership page on how to join Cranfield University’s Walks.

Interested in being the walking society’s committee member extraordinaire for the academic year 2016-2017? Get in touch.

post by @CUwalker

Thinking of joining us? Meet our member Jing

Posted on Updated on

Since Cranfield University’s Walks  formed in April 2011 many students participated in its activities, which enabled them to discover the UK’s extensive network of footpaths and enjoy and appreciate beauty of the UK’s countryside.   If you are a new student coming to Cranfield University and thinking of joining, hear from our existing  members about their experiences  of being part of the society:
jing shi
Jing hiking in the Lake District

Today I am talking to Jing. Hello Jing! Tell us something about yourself. I’m a PhD student in process system engineering in what was Cranfield’s School of Engineering (renamed to School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing (SATM) as part of an ongoing change management programme).

What has been your role in the walking society? I used to help to organize local walks with Paul, a keen rambler from Cranfield village. He was very kind and offered to lead local walks now and then (once per month in 2013-2014) and I assisted him to take care of other things (walk posts, emails, transport etc.).

Congratulations! You have won an award at the latest Cranfield Students’ Association awards 2013/2014! The nomination read “Well done, Jing, great to see you gaining confidence and becoming a walk leader and an events organiser.” I won the award of “Bee’s knees” of the walking society in the academic year of 2013-2014. I am   happy to get this unexpected award. I am also happy that I’m improving from the activities.

What have been your 3 favourite Cranfield University’s Walks events and why? My favourite walks include weekend hikes in the Lake District and Snowdonia National Park, which are challenging but with amazing views. My favourite local walk is the one around Woburn deer park, in which you can see several different herds of deer in a very beautiful landscape.

What walking boots and other walking gear do you have that you found indispensable during the walks? Yes, waterproof boots and clothes are indispensable! Both my walking boots and clothes are Karrimor which I bought from the Sports Direct shop in MK center. The walking boots were less expensive and OK for not very wet conditions. But they proved not waterproof in very wet conditions!  Besides, a pair of walking poles really helps in mountain climbing during weekend walks. I have a pair of walking poles  by Trekrite that I bought from Amazon: they have survived very hash conditions such as mountain climbing in Scotland

What does being a member of Cranfield University’s Walks mean to you? Being a member of Cranfield University’s Walks opens the door of the UK’s landscape for me. I think I would have never walked around so many amazing places without joining the walking society. Also, it is an opportunity to go adventures. During weekend walks, you experience funny things, difficult challenges and warm helps from other members.

Why would you recommend anyone at Cranfield University to join the walking society? I think  joining the walking society means that you can enjoy beautiful views, enjoy talking with people during the walks, or be happy organizing your own walks.  Also you can challenge yourself in weekend walks!

Thank you, Jing, really nice talking to you. Keep on walking and all the best with completing your PhD studies!        

Would you like to get involved in running the walking society in the academic year 2016-2017?  Get in touch.

Visit our Membership page on how to join Cranfield University’s Walks.

 

post by @CUwalker

Thursday 28th August 1-2pm – Meeting about next year – we need you!!!

Posted on

The majority of you are probably breathing a sigh of relief having handed in theses last week. We are now beginning to welcome the new students and starting to think about next year. Sadly a number of our committee and organisers are leaving Cranfield and so the future of our society is in question.

Picture1

 

I have chatted to a number of you who said you would be willing to help out next year. And so I am hoping to hold a meeting with interested members (both current and prospective – that means you new students!!) to chat about what we want to do next year. And so I am hoping to hold a meeting this Thursday 28th August from 1-2pm in the CSA lounge to have a brainstorm session.

Of course no meeting is complete without tea/coffee and cake from Angelas Lodge Farm so if you are planning to come can you let me know so I order enough cake. Email walking@cranfield.ac.uk

If this time is inconvenient for people I can change it. Please please come along as we have had such a successful year this year it would be a pity for the society to disappear.