What Members Should Know

Welcome to the Wee Binnian Walkers, often called `the social club that walks’

Membership

To become a Wee Binnian member, you must be over 18 years, have a level of fitness suitable to the demands of the sport and who accept the aims and objectives of the club.  All new and current members complete an application form each March and pay the annual fee.  Membership fees are currently as follows:

Full £25 or equivalent in Euro

The closing date for the membership renewal  is the 30th April and membership will be deemed to have lapsed if the fee is not paid by 1st May.  From May onwards non paid-up members will be charged the casual walker fee.

 

Casual Walkers

Non members, may participate provided you are properly equipped, in up to two walks in any year as a casual walker without becoming a member, after which you must join the club to continue walking with us.  This might suit walkers from other clubs, potential new members and friends of members.  The fee for causal walkers is £4 or €6 per walk.

 

 As a member of the club you can participate in:

  • a local annual walking programme with two walks a month in the Mournes and the Cooley Mountains followed by a drink in a local pub.
  • away trips throughout the year to other walking destinations/other festivals (usually at 17th March weekend and last week end in October and at New year)
  • the three day Wee Binnian Annual Walking Festival, (usually in September each year)
  • other social events as appropriate (usually the Christmas Dinner and the Blister ball on the last night of the festival)

 

Trips organised by the Club are advertised in the Newsletter and spaces are available on a first come first served basis. They are open to all paid up members and are sold as a package. They are all dependent on and organized with voluntary effort. Trip dossiers with joining instructions and what to bring requirements will be circulated prior to each event.

 

The Wee Binnian Newsletter is issued on a monthly basis and gives information on the two walks in the current month and news about other upcoming events.  It is available to view on the website at any time.  You are advised to recheck details prior to coming on walks as the newsletter may be updated in the case of poor weather etc.

 

The Wee Binnian Walkers actively promotes non-political, non-sectarian and non-discriminatory behaviour and any breaches of this will be considered as serious and will be dealt with as such by the committee according to the grievance procedures of the club. Similarly anyone who is involved in anti-social behaviour or who brings the club into disrepute may be censured, suspended, or have their membership rescinded by the committee.

 

Risks

Hill walking is an adventure sport and in common with all forms of mountaineering, carries inherent risks of personal injury.   Participants should be aware of and accept these risks.  Those taking part in our club activities do so at their own risk and are responsible for their own actions and involvement.   Members are encouraged to acquire personal accident insurance where appropriate, to cover for loss of earnings due to injury on the hills.

 

Regarding personal equipment – see DRESS CODE

 

Check the weather forecast for the Mourne Mountains or the Cooley Peninsula: BBC Weather , RTE Weather

 

Choosing the Most Suitable Walk for You

When walking with the Wee Binnian Walkers for the first time, you are asked to walk in the Grade C walk. This will give you the opportunity to access the pace, height and length of walk against your level of fitness and preference.  Each grade is open to all members, subject to fitness level, irrespective of age or gender.   Refer to the Walk Classification chart.

 

Training and Development of Leaders

The club’s policy is to promote the development of leaders and is renowned for its commitment to safety and emphasis on leader training.  All leaders are fully trained to recognised standards and have a current Rescue Emergency Care (first-aid) certificate.  The club runs regular renewal courses for leaders in micro navigation, night navigation and first-aid.  The club also runs its own Basic Navigation courses which are open to all members.  Those with an interest in becoming leaders are encouraged and sponsored to do so, through the internationally recognised ‘Walking Group Leader Award’ and ‘Mountain Leader Award’.

 

Leader’s Role

Members should know that leaders are volunteers who pay the same membership fee and who give of their expertise and time for the benefit, enjoyment and safety of all in the club.  Leaders take this role seriously and members are encouraged to discuss with the leader, any concerns they have which effect their enjoyment of the walk. Walkers too, have a responsibility to look after themselves, especially as they gain experience. Walkers are asked to cooperate with the leaders and to accept their advice and instruction during walks. Support Your Leaders.

 

Please adhere to the `Leave No Trace’ principles

The seven principles at the heart of Leave No Trace are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Leave what you find
  • Minimize campfire impacts
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of other visitors

 

UK and Ireland authorities are currently adopting ‘Leave No Trace – principles of outdoor ethics’ and the Wee Binnian Walkers are proud to welcome and embrace the new guidelines.  These three words leave no doubt about the message.   ‘Leave No Trace’ will replace the ‘Country Code’ and offer a broader set of values to cover all aspects of outdoor activities. Please consider these issues, not only on club walks and outings, but in all your outdoor usage. But in the meantime remember – Leave No Trace.

 

Share Lifts Where You Can

Parking: Very limited parking is available in most mountain car parks. The Club asks that all members share lifts and pool cars? Members are asked to meet in Bridge Street Car Park in Newry which is just outside the gates of Buttercrane Shopping Centre (opposite side of road to The Quays) and pool cars from there, departing at 10am.  Alternatively, you could arrange to meet in Donard Car Park in Newcastle and then drive on to the starting point.

 

Member Initiatives

In addition to the Club activities arranged by the Committee, Wee Binnian Members organize Social Events; away weekends to other walking destinations, skiing trips, fundraising social events for charity and sponsored walks.  These, however, are not club events, not covered by club insurance and are subject to the Club policy on fundraising.  However they are a very important aspect of the social potential of the club and much supported and enjoyed.

 

Behind the Scenes

The business of the club is conducted by a committee of 12 members elected annually at the AGM.

The committee supports membership, represents leaders, organizes leadership training, walks, trips away and the festival, manages communication through the web-pages and newsletter and ensures that membership fees and sponsorship are well-spent.   All this requires an active, enthusiastic and skilled team of members making up the committee.

 

Annual General Meeting

The AGM is usually held in March each year after the Sunday walk.  It takes about an hour and all members are encouraged to attend.

 

Complaints

Any member wishing to bring any issue to the attention of the committee may raise it informally with a member of the committee or if they choose submit it in writing to the secretary who will have it tabled at the next scheduled meeting.  In this case the decision of the committee will be notified back to the member in writing.

Please refer to our policies as specified in our Club Policies section.

For further information, please contact our club secretary, the contact details for whom are available from our Who’s Who section.