Hello and welcome to the Belfast Dynamos hill walking group. I'm Andrea McKernon (Morrow), a journalist from Belfast.
The purpose of this group is to bring people together on lifestyle walks to enjoy Northern Ireland's beautiful landscape.
We meet for a few hours, walk a path or hill, smell the flowers, see the sights and amble along getting to know each other. Our membership includes dog owners and we are dog-friendly. However some walks will not suit dogs (sheep, farmlands) and you will be notified.
Women especially should join this group as it's run by a woman and you have the opportunity to walk routes with a group in safety. We only walk as fast as the slowest person. Average fitness is fine. Walks will be varied in addition, so you can choose level walks at first if you are unsure about hill walks.
With our emphasis on social interaction and combatting loneliness and isolation in Belfast, we often go for a coffee after our walks. If you are unemployed or recovering from depression, please see membership costs below.
It costs £20 a year to become a member of this group.
Each walk then costs £1.
The cost per walk for non-members who have not paid £20, is £6.
Guests of members pay £6 for each walk.
Ways to pay:
You can pay cash on your first walk or:
You can pay your £20 by bank transfer to: Ulster Bank
Unemployed people pay £1 per walk and are exempt from the £20 subscription. So if you're out of work email me in confidence to avail of free membership.
I also waive the £20 subscription fee for people recovering from depression. Again, email me in confidence.
ESSENTIAL KIT: Good sturdy boots/shoes designed for countryside walking and wet/cold weather are essential for joining the group so please invest.
I will refuse anyone who turns up ill equipped. Trainers are not suitable. Post up on the group if you'd like to borrow shoes, poles, coats etc. Many members will have extra kit and may be your size. Charity shops are good for kit also.
Please read the Frequently Asked Questions below, which will probably serve to answer any of your queries. It's quite an independent group, but if there's anything else you need to know that isn't dealt with below, feel free to email me through the group.
Am I fit enough for the walks?
We do various grades of walk from the novice building up their fitness levels, to the seasoned hill walker.
These walks are only for adults.
If you have a medical condition ie diabetes, allergy etc please make the organiser aware in confidence.
Dogs are very welcome in this group.
You must be 18 to join. The group is not suitable or designed for children.
What if I change my mind about attending a walk?
That's no problem! We don't keep tabs! Just update your RSVP. There's no need to write apologies, or explain and no need to text or call me as I need to keep my phone free for people who are lost or running late. However if you are involved in car sharing, make sure you notify your fellow passengers/driver.
For reasons of common courtesy to fellow members, pseudo profile names or numbers in place of a name will not gain online admittance to this group, so join up using the name your mother gave you.
How do I get to the meetups?
It is up to members to make their own way to the meetups.
The best way to get to the walk locations is to download the Meetup app on your smartphone. Once you have that, when you tap on each meeting location, the app will go to map directions and just like a satnav, will bring you from your door to the Meetup.
No smartphone? There are corresponding detailed instructions and a location map of the venue supplied in details of each walk posted on the desktop site.
Members who don't drive or who car share usually post up where they are coming from and get transport organised with drivers in the group. You can arrange then to tip your driver. For longer journeys it's at least £5.
Please don't organise lifts or offer lifts unless you definitely intend to go on a walk.
Please use your usual worldly discretion when organising lifts or communicating on the site, and be careful of publicly posting your phone, address, car details. Every member can be emailed privately through the site so do that instead when organising transport.
Big fat NOs
No advertising of any shape or form is allowed on this site either through profile names, profile blurbs, on greetings bars or discussion forums, through the email facility or any other means. Walking it is and walking it stays thanks very much.
We message each other with courtesy, kindness and goodwill at all times. Please respect this very important rule. Anyone posting inappropriate messages, harassing, trolling, triggering, making misogynistic, racist or sexist comments will be dealt with by me (by removal/reporting to PSNI).
Please don't engage in online exchanges with trolls (they will get your email address if you reply) - report them to Meetup or me with evidence.