Walk yourself better

News of a couple of riverside walks taking place in the near future is top of the agenda this week.

NEWS of a couple of riverside walks taking place in the near future is top of the agenda this week.

Firstly, local medical herbalist Elaine Cole will be leading a walk along the riverside from Molesey Lock towards Hurst Park, East Molesey, at 11am on Sunday, February 6, where she will explain how you can pick your own herbal medicines. Walton-based Elaine, will set out the healing properties of wild plants and weeds, talk about herbal folklore and discuss wild plant food recipes.

For example, did you know that birch can be used to thicken hair or, as an essential oil, to alleviate rheumatism? Mistletoe can lower blood pressure, while ‘lichen’, known as ‘old men’s beard,’ which hangs from tree branches is a natural antibiotic.

A second walk along the same route is already booked for Sunday, March 13 and further walks are planned in April and May – for dates, visit www.botanicamedica.co.uk.

The cost is £6 per person and the walks will last about an hour and a half. Dogs are welcome. For bookings and details of where to meet, please call 01372 470 990 or e-mail info [at] botanicamedica.co.uk or visit the web site.

ANOTHER walk takes place on Sunday, February 13 – this time aimed at raising money for the River Thames Boat Project, which aims to provide life-enhancing experiences for a wide range of disadvantaged groups including disabled ex-servicemen and young carers. These groups get to go aboard the charity’s specially-designed and equipped boat, the Richmond Venturer, which cruises up and down the Thames introducing the wonders of the river to a wide range of people.

A group of more than 50 supporters are aiming to raise £5,000 by taking part in the sponsored walk along a six-mile route through Bushy Park, Hampton Court Palace Gardens and the Barge Walk along the Thames.

There are prizes for the youngest walker and for the walker raising the greatest amount of sponsorship.

For more information about the walk or to register or donate, visit www.thamesboatproject.org/sponsoredwalk.html.

PERHAPS there’s a reader out there who can help Peter Bailey, the secretary of the Sunbury and Shepperton Historical Society, who is compiling a book charting what went on on our stretch of the river during the Second World War.

Peter’s already amassed a lot of information but he has heard a rumour that some of the Mulberry harbours – the big concrete caissons that were used to land troops and equipment after D-Day on the Normandy coast – were actually built around this area. Can anyone verify that? If so, please drop me a line at mortsmith [at] trinitysouth.co.uk or give me a call on 01932 561 111 and I’ll be glad to pass the information onto Peter.

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