With the easing of lockdown now permitting organised outdoor activities for small groups, we are now accepting private bookings for most walks, subject to availability and changes in the coronavirus regulations and guidance. If you would like to book a walk, please e-mail us to enquire about availability.
It will not be possible for scheduled group walks to return until at least May 17th, when the "Stage three" part of the plan for getting out of lockdown allows for groups of up to 30 to gather outdoors. Once it is officially announced that such gathering are to be permitted, we will publish a limited programme of scheduled walks. This will not be as comprehensive as our usual programme of walks, as we know that there will probably still be many people who will feel more comfortable with a private booking, so we intend to leave plenty of space in the calendar for such bookings. As a result, the published programme will only feature our most popular walks.
In order to stay within the published regulations and keep everyone safe, it has been necessary to make a number of changes to the way we operate. As the situation evolves and the regulations change, it may be necessary to make other changes in the future. The main changes we have already made, and that are in force for bookings made at this time, are as follows:
- In order to comply with the current regulations and their limit on social contact, we can only offer a maximum of five places on each of our walks, and all of those people MUST reside in the same household.
- Prior to the start of each walk, all customers will have their temperature checked.
- All customers will also be required to confirm that they have not experienced any of the accepted warning symptoms of Covid-19 at any time within the 14 days immediately prior to the walk (high temperature, a new continuous cough or changes to senses of smell or taste). They must also agree to inform us if they experience any of these symptoms within 14 days after the end of the walk.
- The guide will avoid physical contact with customers unless required in an emergency situation.
- Social distancing of 2 metres distance will be maintained on all walks whenever possible.
- As this may not be possible in all instances, all customers must bring a face mask or other facial covering with them to use where social distancing may not be possible due to restricted width of paths, etc. Face masks may also be necessary to access facilities such as public toilets.
- All customers must also bring their own hand sanitiser with them, and use it each time after touching gates, stiles, etc, and at other times where needed.
- On our urban walks, where the guide spends much more time face-to-face with customers, and it is sometimes harder to maintain social distancing of 2 metres, the guide will wear a clear face shield at all times. Not only is this more comfortable for the guide than wearing a mask, it also means that their mouth is clearly visible to anyone who needs to lip-read.
- In a break with our usual policy of encouraging the use of public transport in order to minimise environmental damage, we are temporarily recommending that people use private cars or other personal transportation in order to minimise the possibility of spreading the virus through close contact on public transport.
- To make it easier for people to drive to and from the walk in their own vehicle, we have extended the route of the Ashford-in-the-Water to Bakewell via Lathkill Dale walk so that it both starts and ends in Bakewell.
- Due to coronavirus-related operational difficulties, we have temporarily suspended the Industries of Monsal and Miller's Dales walk.
Please note that these are only the changes that we have made up to now, which reflect the official regulations and guidelines in force up to April 2021. It may be neccessary to revise these existing changes or introduce new ones as new regulations and guidance are announced.
Thanks to the changes we have made, we have been granted the Visit England "We're Good To Go" mark. This means you can have confidence that we are following the current government and industry guidelines regarding Covid-19, and are subject to random checks to make sure that we are complying with the guidelines.
If a walk booking has to be cancelled for any coronavirus-related reason by either party, you will have the option of rescheduling to another date, transfering your booking to another walk, or cancelling and receiving a full refund including your deposit. We would prefer if possible that you reschedule to a later date or transfer your booking to another walk. This is because all bookings paid for via PayPal are subject to a transaction charge, and this is not refunded to us when you cancel. This means that for each cancelled booking we lose money that, as a small local business, we really need in these extremely tough times. Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any travel or accommodation losses incurred as a result of cancellation by either party. We therefore recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you for any losses incurred as a result of cancellation of or changes to your booking.
Away from the walks, Derbyshire Scenes photography and Pooneil Corners T-shirts are both still very much active and ready to serve you. However, the photographic lab that we use for producing the Derbyshire Scenes photographs is working very restricted hours on a skeleton staffing level, and can only provide standard prints up to 18" x 12" in size. As we do not hold large stocks of prints, this means that effective immediately we can only supply standard prints up to that size, and it may take much longer than usual to fulfil orders.
So please take a look at the available walk dates, and drop by the Derbyshire Scenes and Pooneil Corners websites, and help support small local businesses through the toughest times any of them have had to face for almost a century.
And remember the government advice to stay alert because, as Spike Milligan once reminded us, this country needs more lerts...