Social Events

As well as a busy work schedule, we also have social events throughout the year including walks for charity and for fun, theatre trips, quizzes, and the annual Christmas Party.  We also combine weekend social trips with conservation work: last year we spent a weekend working at a cider farm in Herefordshire.


2016 (400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's death): Stratford to the Globe, total 146 miles

6 weekends during year, spring, summer, autumn with overnight camps to complete whole route.

Minibus transport and backup.

Anyone fancy it? Contact Shane.



BCV members assisted Saxon Hill School staff and parents with a strenuous non-stop London to Brighton challenge walk over the weekend May 12th/13th.  Three teams of six wheeled and carried Shaun (left), a student at Saxon Hill and veteran of many BCV expeditions, throughout the day and night in his all-terrain buggy over the 100 km (62 mile) route from Richmond Park to Brighton Racecourse, in a time of 26 hours and 41 minutes.

Shane has put together an audio slideshow of the event on You Tube.

It was part of a national fund-raising event, with around 1300 challengers raising money for over 100 different charities.

Team Saxon Hill are aiming to raise £10,000 in sponsorship from the event for their Community Café.  This is an ambitious new project to build a new kitchen and community café which will enable their students to develop catering and hospitality work skills while providing a café service to the local community.  The students have a wide range of physical and learning disabilities, and the project will give them a fantastic opportunity to develop their skills for working life.  Sponsorship will be gratefully received on the school's Just Giving site.

Links:  London2Brighton Challenge    Saxon Hill School


Our BCV long-distance walk in 2010 was a relatively unknown route called the Samaritans Way (devised by the Bristol Ramblers) which runs from Bristol to Lynton, a distance of 100 miles. The walk took us through a wonderful variety of landscapes including rolling hills, rivers, woodland and moorland, and lots of pretty villages and towns along the way. And of course copious cider stops as most of the route is in Somerset. (May/June 2010)

More photos and links

Start of the Samaritans Way, Bristol

Washlands to Walton walk


BCV led a river and canal walk as part of the 2010 National Forest Walking Festival. Our walk was a 10-mile circular route from Burton's Trent Washlands, following the River Trent as far as Walton bridge, then crossing the A38 to Barton Marina for a lunch stop. We returned along the Trent & Mersey Canal towpath, through Branston Water Park and Branston Golf Club, back to the Washlands.  Along the route we revisited many of the projects that BCV have done over the years. (May 2010)

More details and pictures

Lawrence's podcast


Once again we based ourselves at the Greenway campsite at Drybrook for our training weekend in preparation for the annual long-distance walk. Excellent food as always; unfortunately the weather wasn't so good, and an almost 18-hour spell of continuous rain resulted in huge pools of water forming in some tents. At least the rain did hold off during the walks, which included a hike from the campsite to May Hill and back. (May 2010)

Walking towards May Hill


Our New Year walk started in Coton-in-the-Elms and took us on a 10-mile circular route through several of the villages in and around the Mease Valley. Although the walk was flat, there was plenty of variety along the route including ancient farmland, woodland and some fine village churches. The only setback was that the planned pub in Harlaston was closed when we got there, but fortunately there happened to be another hostelry in the next village a mile further on - The Black Horse at Edingdale - where we were warmly welcomed.

Crossing the River Mease near Edingdale

Mease bridge near Edingdale

BCV members enjoyed a cider-making weekend at Broome Farm in the heart of the Herefordshire countryside.

The format of the weekend was simple: picking, camping, pressing, panking and drinking, athough not necessarily in that order!

A fabulous location in which to work, lots of opportunities to try the different skills involved in cider making, a really warm welcome, and plenty of sampling of the end product! What more could you ask for?

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and it may even become an annual event.

More pictures and links


Our popular annual BCV minibus trip to London started with a stroll along the South Bank to stretch our legs, followed by a wander around the bustling food stalls at the award-winning Borough Market, and then culminating in a performance of "As You Like It" at the Globe.

South Bank, London

60 years old
and in need of conservation!

silly hat

Lawrence celebrated his 60th birthday in July with not one but two parties! Here's a few pictures from the second of his two celebrations, at the Old Cottage Tavern, which featured an excellent blues band plus lots of dancing and a few silly hats. A great time was had by all!

Party Party
Party Party Party
Party Party Party

A message from Lawrence:

Many thanks to all the volunteers for all the wonderful presents (greenhouse not shown) and all the help towards my 60th Birthday.

There was a lot of thought and understanding gone into the presents and it was lovely to have the hamper of veg from the BCV allotment (nearly all gone along with the cider). Also apologies for the singing but Shaun enjoyed it.

Cheers Lawrence.

Birthday presents
Matthew, Stuart and Margaret's party


And there was another 60th birthday celebration in August!

Stuart, Margaret and Matthew held a combined 60th/25th/21st party at the Albion Inn - an excellent do with lots of BCV members there.

Margaret and Stuart would like to thank everyone for attending, and for all the cards and presents they received.

Geopark waymark


Our major walk in 2009 was Britain's newest long-distance path, The Geopark Way – a 109-mile trail which runs from Bridgnorth in Shropshire to Gloucester Cathedral, taking us through the Severn Valley Country Park and over the Malverns and the Worcestershire Beacon.  A rich variety of terrain and landscapes, excellent weather, and good cider along the way!

More pictures

End of the Geopark Way trek


We had a bank holiday weekend in the Forest of Dean as part of our training preparations for the Geopark Way trek. We did two longish walks in the forest which served as a good trial for Shaun's new buggy (pictures left & centre, below). We then had a leisurely day on the Monday, stopping at a cider farm and the legendary Gentle Jane's tearoom on the return journey.

Then, as a further training exercise, we did an 11-mile walk from the new National Forest youth hostel.  It was the launch walk for the 2009 National Forest Walks Festival (picture right, below).

Training walk, Forest of Dean Training walk, Forest of Dean Training walk, National Forest

New Year walk, Yoxall
New Year walk

NEW YEAR WALK Sunday 4th January 2009

Our first event of the year was a nice varied 10-mile circular walk starting in Alrewas, and taking us via the edge of Yoxall village and later Fradley Junction.  The walk included sections of the Way for the Millennium (a trail which extends across the width of Staffordshire), the River Trent, and the Trent & Mersey Canal.

The route also took in various National Forest plantations and one or two previous BCV task sites, notably the steps at Jerusalem Hill and our plantation at Milnholme Pingle by the old Yoxall Bridge.  

It was bitterly cold (don’t be deceived by the shorts in the picture!) with sub-zero temperatures for just about the whole day, and the Fradley reservoir was completely frozen over, but at least it meant the ground – normally muddy in places – was good and firm. 

The highlight was the lunch stop halfway round where Lynn and Mike supplied hot soup and jacket potatoes which were much appreciated by everyone.  We also had time to stop later for tea & cakes at the excellent Fradley Junction café (or a beer or two at The Swan for those who preferred).

It was a good turnout of 18 people, and we even had a guest appearance from Mark for the first section, as the route happened to pass his house and Shane managed to drag him out!

Top picture: Setting off from Alrewas

Above: Swarbourn Meadow viewpoint

Right: Canal towpath between Fradley Junction and Alrewas

Trent & Mersey Canal

Group picture, Dales Way

DALES WAY  (May 2008)

Ten members of the Burton Conservation Volunteers, ably assisted by our driver Martin, completed an 82-mile trek along the Dales Way.

The walk starts in the Yorkshire town of Ilkley, and runs alongside the beautiful River Wharfe for the first two or three days, with the odd section of limestone upland along the way.  After a tougher day of 16 miles over the Pennines we soon arrived in Dentdale. The walk then follows the Dee, Lune and Kent valleys, with a few rolling hills in between, giving some fine views of the Lakeland fells in the distance.  The walk finishes at Bowness on Lake Windermere.

Read a day-by-day report of the walk on Shaun’s website.

MAMMAL WALK (Feb 2008)  The latest small mammal walk, on the Shobnall to Horninglow section of the Trent and Mersey Canal, only revealed two animals present in the 39 humane traps laid along the canal path, which was some way short of the success rate of previous surveys.  Maybe it was the bitterly cold conditions, or it could be because we were a little over-generous with the amount of food and bedding material crammed into some of the boxes.  The mammals we did find were both wood mice – one male and one female.  One very encouraging find though was evidence of otters at the Dallow bridge, indicated by remains of droppings around three weeks old.

Wood mouse Wood mouse

LLAMA PANORAMA The 2008 New Year walk was a bit different: a trek with llamas!  After meeting the llamas at their base, and a quick groom and feed, it was off to Catton for a trek around the lovely hillside setting of Catton Park.  Five of the llamas came with us, and with around 20 of us they were a bit outnumbered!  We took turns to guide the llamas. Some of them were more enthusiastic than others – Mustard the baby of the group was less than keen (as mustard) and needed persuasion to keep moving.  We stopped at a nice lunch spot, which also gave the llamas a chance to graze, before returning.  An excellent and unique walk. 

Llama trek