Peak & Northern Footpaths Society (est.1894)

Our new Membership Secretary - Mel Bale

This article is from Signpost 51, July 2016

Like many people, I first became aware of PNFS through their classic signposts, which my wife and I discovered whilst walking in the Peak District. For years, I would stop and photograph them! When I was lucky enough to retire early, I contacted PNFS to volunteer as a footpath inspector, taking on the parishes of Edale, Derwent, Hope Woodlands, Wortley and Thurgoland.

Earlier this year, Bill Buckley decided to stand down as Membership Secretary and I decided to volunteer for the post. The Chair and Vice-Chair felt that my experience as a systems manager in the steel industry was a good match for the role. I shadowed Bill prior to the AGM, where my post was confirmed. I’ve also been persuaded to be a Trustee. Over the last few months, I’ve been getting to know the PNFS team and also trying to understand the society’s workings. As I learn more, I hope I can increase my responsibilities and make a larger contribution.

It is already apparent that our membership levels may be a cause for concern. Over the last few months, we have lost more members than we have gained. As a society we need to understand our existing membership better and discuss how we might encourage more people to join.

Since retiring, filling my time hasn’t been a problem. It’s a cliché, but however did I find time for work? Like many involved with PNFS, my passion is all things outdoors, including archaeology, geology, natural history and landscape. In fact, I have enrolled on a course at Sheffield University looking at natural and human environments. All being well, I should graduate at 65!

Next: Short Walks Programme

Page title:Our new Membership Secretary - Mel Bale
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