Derbyshire Heritage Walks Derbyshire Heritage Walks (Adrian Brown)
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On March 12th, due to the constantly evolving situation concerning the Covid-19/coronavirus pandemic, we decided to suspend all walks until at least April 19th. With the further extension of the national lockdown announced on April 16th, we extended that suspension until at least May 24th.

Although the official government guidelines released on March 23rd enforcing the closure of many businesses and other locations did appear to permit us to continue to offer some walks, provided that proper social distancing is enforced, we decided that, as a socially responsible company, we were not willing to risk exposing our customers, staff, their families, friends and neighbours to a serious infection that could have signifcant health implications for them. Even following the guidelines on social distancing and handwashing on the walks, a significant risk still existed for both our customers and staff due to the need to use public transport to access many of our walks. Additionally, a number of the walking routes that we use were temporarily impassable due to illegal obstructions of public rights of way by landowners in misguided attempts to try and stop the spread of the virus. Additionally, the requirement to stay local made it difficualt for the majority of our potential customers to reach the walk locations, as we receive very few bookings from government special advisers and their families who may want to stop off for a walk on their way up to County Durham.

Now that the lockdown regulations have begun to be eased, it is possible for us to begin to offer walks again, subject to a number of limitations. The most significant of these is that, 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. This limit has, regrettably, forced us to temporarily increase the price of some walks in order to maintain financial viability. Once we are able to increase the number of places we can offer on each walk, the prices will begin to return to their former levels. It will also be necessary to maintain proper social distancing on the walks where possible. As this may not be possible in all instances, we strongly recommend that all customers make sure that they 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. We also recommend that customers bring their own hand sanitiser with them, as we are unable to supply masks and hand sanitiser to customers.

We are also breaking with our usual policy of recommending that customers use public transport whenever possible in order to minimise the impact of our business on the environment. Instead, 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. As soon as it is safe and practical, we will return to our usual policy of promoting the use of public transport to access our walks, but for now public safety and preventing the spread of the virus must take precedence.

All customers who already have walks booked have the option of either rescheduling their booking to a later date or cancelling their booking entirely and receiving a full refund including their deposit. We would prefer if possible that you reschedule to a later date, as 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 tough times. Walk dates for the period up to the end of October 2020 are already listed, and we will be adding further dates to the end of the year as soon as possible.

Please note that all walk dates should be regarded as provisional, and there is the possibility that some may need to be cancelled at short notice if a local lockdown is imposed on the area concerned. Therefore, before booking, please contact us via e-mail and we will be able to inform you if we believe that the walk in question will actually be able to go ahead on the date advertised. If a walk does have to be cancelled due to a local lockdown, you will have the option of rebooking or cancelling as detailed above.

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...


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