History of Salesbury Exploration Group


The School Exploration Group Salesbury (SEGS) was originally started back in 1985 by David Smalley and Rena Morris, two of the teachers at Salesbury C of E Primary School, in the Ribble Valley to the north of Blackburn in Lancashire.

Initially the walks were linked to environmental studies being undertaken by the children at Salesbury School. Consequently on the first walk, in June 1985, which was along the Ribble Way from Salewheel Woods to Edisford Bridge in Clitheroe, there were 18 children and 3 teachers.

Very soon the parents of some of the participating children asked if they also could come along. This was agreed, although the original aim of taking pupils from the school unaccompanied by their parents, but supervised by members of the teaching staff, was maintained.

This situation continued with an ever-increasing popularity of the walks. For example a walk on Grindleton Fell in November 1990 attracted 75 people, 3 of whom were teachers, 6 were children under teaching staff supervision and 66 were walking as part of 24 family groups.

Following this walk the group's aims and modus operandii were reviewed. It was agreed that the emphasis of the group would be towards "families" associated with Salesbury School walking together. Although for the time being a small number of unaccompanied pupils from the school would still be allowed to attend the walks under teaching staff supervision.

By 1994 it was appreciated that effectively no pupils wished to come on the walks who were unaccompanied by their parents, or who were under the supervision of friends' parents. The decision was made therefore to complete the change to a "family" walking group, whilst maintaining the close linkage to Salesbury School.

From September 1994 this policy was implemented and in January 1995 the name of the group was changed to "Salesbury Exploration Group", to reflect better the new emphasis.

The Present Group

The present group comprises a wide range of people all of whom have, or have had, close links with Salesbury School. Typical attendance at one of our walks will therefore include families with children currently at the school, members of the teaching and non-teaching staff, governors and (perhaps most encouragingly) past parents, pupils, staff and governors. Some of the having walked with the group since the late 1980's.

Some facts and figures

Since June 1985 the group has organised around three hundred walks. These have been in Lancashire, North and West Yorkshire, Cumbria, North Wales, Shropshire and Derbyshire.

Members of the group have spent enjoyable weekends away together staying in a variety of Youth Hostels.

The walks have been devised, reconnoitred and led by a changing team of volunteers over the years.

The best attended walk to date was on 8 January 2000 around the village of Downham. 83 people we counted across one of Lancashire County Council's most splendid footbridges, accompanied by 6 dogs!