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Walk Castle Bytham and Clipsham How to become a vegan Explore Deene and Deenethorpe The magnificence of magnesium Water ways in your garden Leicestershire’s new cricket boss

! E E FR

ISSUE 81 | MARCH 2019

The great outdoors Incredible local spaces to explore this spring



Get mucky at Rat Race’s Young Mucker

w w w .t h e a c t i ve m a g . c o m

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Publisher Chris Meadows chris@theactivemag.com Editor Steve Moody steve@theactivemag.com Deputy editor Mary Bremner mary@theactivemag.com Production editor Julian Kirk julian@theactivemag.com Art editor Matt Tarrant matt@theactivemag.com Contributors Martin Johnson, William Hetherington, Jeremy Smithson-Beswick, Julia Dungworth Photographers Nico Morgan, Pip Warters Production assistant Gary Curtis Advertising sales Lisa Chauhan lisa@theactivemag.com Editorial and advertising assistant Kate Maxim kate@theactivemag.com Accounts accounts@theactivemag.com Active magazine, The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford, PE9 1PG. Tel: 01780 480789

If you have information on a club then get in touch by emailing editor@theactivemag.com. If you would like to stock Active magazine then email distribution@theactivemag.com. If you would like to discuss advertising possibilities please email advertise@theactivemag.com. Active magazine is published 12 times per year on a monthly basis. ISSN 2059-8513 A Grassroots Publishing Limited company. Company registration number 7994437. VAT number 152717318


Copyright (c) Grassroots Publishing Limited (GPL) 2019. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, or be stored in any retrieval system, of any nature, without prior permission from GPL. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of GPL or its affiliates. Disclaimer of Liability. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the quality and accuracy of the information contained in this publication at the time of going to press, GPL and its affiliates assume no responsibility as to the accuracy or completeness of and, to the extent permitted by law, shall not be liable for any errors or omissions or any loss, damage or expense incurred by reliance on information or any statement contained in this publication. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of the advertising material which they submit and for ensuring the material complies with applicable laws. GPL and its affiliates are are not responsible for any error, omission or inaccuracy in any advertisement and will not be liable for any damages arising from any use of products or services or any action or omissions taken in reliance on information or any statement contained in advertising material. Inclusion of any advertisement is not intended to endorse any view expressed, nor products or services offered nor the organisations sponsoring the advertisement.


“On social media, things are usually at least 25% less #fabulous than they appear” A FRIEND OF mine was telling me the story of her sister-in-law, who has just been skiing. She spent the first morning on the nursery slopes, decided it was far too much hard work and then proceeded for the rest of the week to travel around the mountains, hopping off lifts and cable cars, taking pouty selfies in front of beautiful vistas, expensive shops and great restaurants, all hashtagged to the hilt. Looking at her social media output, you’d have thought she had an amazing week of endless skiing, when in fact she spent several thousand pounds just to show off to her friends about her wonderful life and ‘prove’ she was doing better than them, despite being bored witless and hating it. Social media is a brilliant thing. I think it has some wonderful benefits and can be hilarious, poignant and instructive. But it can be very disingenuous too, and so I tend to apply a rule to everything I see, especially when people are out having an #amazingtime. They are probably having a perfectly good experience, but you can be certain it’s at least 25% less #fabulous than it appears. The food was not as good, the kids were screaming the place down five minutes before, everyone fell out 10 minutes later and the weather was freezing cold and wet, apart from the brief window when the heavily filtered picture was taken. Essentially then, never believe what you see or read on social. Add your own Social Cynic Filter to everything and then enjoy it from that perspective. So don’t worry what everyone else is up to – get out and do your own thing. That’s what our main feature is about this month: exploring #incredible outdoor spaces near us. And if you do feel the need to put it on social media, perhaps do it without filter or edit, under our own #activeunfiltered hashtag on our @theactivemag Twitter feed. We look forward to hearing about your experiences, good and bad! To help shape future issues, we want


to find out more about your interests, activities and hobbies. We’ve created a survey that we would love you to fill out. And as thanks for taking part, we’ll enter you into a draw to win £100. Just visit www.theactivemag.com/ readersurvey

Enjoy the issue





INSTAGRAM theactivemaguk

WEBSITE theactivemag.com

March 2019 / theactivemag.com

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I S S U E 81 / M A RC H 201 9

Contents 28


Great local events for all the family


Easy to make Mother’s Day treats


Focus on water features


Leicestershire vegan group


Get adventurous on Madeira

22 THE FINISHING TOUCHES Fashion and beauty advice


The Bull & Swan in Stamford


Castle Bytham and Deene




How to boost your magnesium intake


Take a break from your mobile phone



Advice on managing fractures


47 PREPARE TO GET MUCKY! Rat Race kids’ event launched


Focus on our talented young players



More wry observations


We meet Leicestershire’s new cricket boss

57 ON YOUR BIKE! A great local ride


How our teams are faring

35 March 2019 / theactivemag.com

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TAKE PART! WIN £100 The Reader Survey We want to find out what our readers get up to, how they spend their free time and where they go. So we’ve created a survey in which we want you to tell us what active thing you do, so that we can tailor the magazine even more to you. To thank you for your time, we’ll enter you into a prize draw for £100. All you have to do is fill out the survey at www.theactivemag.com/readersurvey Thanks!

ActiveLife Explore close to home | Why be vegan? Plus vegan clothing Twilight at Ragdale | Eating out at The Bull & Swan | Will’s Walks Mother’s Day breakfast ideas | Making the most of water in your garden E DI T E D BY M A RY B R E M N E R

Become a fostering volunteer for Wood Green p.39

March 2019 / theactivemag.com

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Active life

The Flying Scotsman returns


HE RENOWNED FLYING Scotsman is flying into our area in the late summer. The legendary steam engine is returning to the Nene Valley Railway at Wansford where it will be in public service for three days, so now is your chance to buy a ticket to travel behind this iconic engine. Tickets will also be available to get up close to the engine; all this takes place in September. Updates, including dates and ticket prices, can be found at www.nvr.org.uk/product.php/58/flyingscotsman

Gap gets an overhaul THE GAP STORE at Springfields in Spalding has had an overhaul. As well as an extensive refurbishment, the entrance door and tills have been relocated. One of the most popular stores at Springfield, there are 50 other stores including Fat Face, Jack Wills, Joules and Marks and Spencer, offering discounts of up to 75% off RRPs. www.springfieldsoutlet.co.uk


Estu offers a personal service ES TU IN ITALIAN means ‘for you’ and is the name Paul Durrant used for his kitchen, bathroom and bedroom design company that he set up 16 years ago. Based in Grantham, the company prides itself on customer service and welcomes anyone to the showroom to view the different ranges. As they say ‘the kettle is on and the biscuits are in the tin’. There is no hard selling, just informative and knowledgeable staff who are happy to answer questions, offer advice and give you time to think and make decisions. They will visit your home with a plumber, find out your wishlist and then draw up a design for your approval. As well as kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms, Estu offers a building service that includes taking internal walls out. They also never subcontract work. www.estu.uk.com Inner Street Business Park, Grantham. 01476 575077


March 2019 / theactivemag.com

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t: 01572 758754 CONTACT 01572 758754 osel@oakham.rutland.sch.uk e: info@oakhamswimschool.co.uk www.oakhamschoolenterprises.co.uk/leisureclub w: www.oakhamswimschool.co.uk OSEL Active Mag Advert.indd 1

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Active life

Tools for Africa THE ROTARY CLUB of Stamford St Martin’s, together with charity Tools for Self Reliance, are collecting good quality tools to send to Africa, along with electric sewing machines. Collection takes place at Morrison’s car park on Saturday, April 13, between 9am and 4pm. The tools and sewing machines will help the recipients from countries such as Ghana, Uganda and Sierra Leone to earn a living and build sustainable livelihoods rather than having to rely on food aid. Ring Geoff Collet on 01780 590309 or 07746 122318 for more information.

Stamford in Bloom


HE TEAM AT Stamford in Bloom has been busy over the winter planting snowdrops on The Rec, raising funds and planning this year’s campaign. Judging will take place in July around a designated route (maps will be available at the town hall and at tourist information in the arts centre). Last year businesses and individuals came out in force to make sure the town bloomed, and the team hope everyone will pull together again this year. They are always looking for more volunteers – find them on Facebook for more details.

Gardens and cake SPRING IS ROUND the corner so the National Garden Scheme in Rutland is springing back to life. Last year the Rutland National Gardens Scheme raised a record £22,763 for nursing and health charities, plus £4,051 for local churches and community projects – an increase on 2017’s figures. The first garden open is on April 7 at Gunthorpe Hall followed by The Old Hall at Market Overton, and remember there is always good cake on offer at all the gardens. Visit the website to find more gardens open in Rutland throughout the summer. www.ngs.org.uk

Make yourself at home THERE’S A NEW café in Stamford – The Stamford Lodge Café – and it really is like sitting in someone’s front room, as that is literally what you are doing! The café on Scotgate is the brainchild of Gemma Larke and Tracy Gordon. Gemma has run Stamford Lodge as a bed and breakfast for nine years with the help of Tracy. They decided to make use of the downstairs space and open a café, serving delicious cakes, light lunches and brunch; and since opening on February 14 have been welcoming many people who are enjoying the friendly atmosphere, pretty surroundings and delicious food. And in the summer, the courtyard garden will be open for al fresco dining.


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Active life BUSINESS

Haatching a plan Tech entrepreneurs Haatch Ventures are launching a fund for local people looking to invest in new technology businesses


T’S NOT JUST mind and body that need to be healthy and active: your money does too, and local entrepreneurs Haatch Ventures have launched an investment ‘club’ for local people to join them in their next round of funding for a number of innovative digital start-ups and businesses. Stamford-based Kiddicare.com founder Scott Weavers-Wright, a partner in Haatch, has already built and sold two major businesses in the last four years and as major shareholder in many others he is quickly being seen as a rising star in the world of tech. Fresh off the back of his latest multi-millionpound sale of retail tech business Elevaate to a Silicon Valley conglomerate, the firm is looking for investors to join him in a new round of funding for innovative new technology companies. Weavers-Wright has been joined by three further local businessmen in Google director

Mark Bennett, Simon Penson, founder of Zazzle Media, a recently acquired digital marketing agency, and Fred Soneya, Weavers-Wright’s long-time business partner. The company, which also runs The Hub digital working space on Wharf Road in Stamford, invests in companies all over the world using expertise gained building up the massive baby and child retail brand. Fred Soneya said: “At Kiddicare, we created this platform with about 20 or so start-ups that were really tech-focused. We looked back at them a few years later and about 10 of those had been acquired for significant sums and yet we didn’t have any equity in those companies when we should have, because we had found them and often been their first customer, and by working with them helping them develop their offering. “So we started Haatch Ventures in 2013 and said we were going to invest in technology and

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help businesses raise money. We’ve made 15 investments in businesses over five years, from Stamford to California, and it’s been really successful. “The idea now is to find people locally to join a fund. We felt a lot of people in the area would like to get into investing some of their money, and so we offer a mixed portfolio of companies, and have a very active role in the businesses we invest in too, to help them grow.” Want to find out more about how you can invest alongside Scott and the team, or have an exciting start-up idea to pitch? Visit https://haatch.com/ventures/ to find out more or email fred@haatch.com


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With its familiar themes and irresistible music, this family-friendly musical is one of the most enduring shows of all time, full of unforgettable songs including ‘Those Canaan Days’, ‘Any Dream Will Do’ and ‘Close Every Door To Me’. TICKETS £34 - £42

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Kilworth House Theatre Kilworth House Hotel

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23/02/2019 09:09

Vegan friendly, nutrient-rich organic fertiliser for all your fruit, vegetables and plants. Natural Grower Products are available to buy online at

www.naturalgrower.co.uk Welland Vale Garden Inspirations, Glaston Road, Uppingham Rutland Water Garden Nursery, Lyndon Road, Oakham Welland Valley Feeds, Market Harborough


HA E P R O H T E L O T T A OPEN AIR THEATRE ings “One of the finest th ” er m m su to do this The Sunday Times

premier “One of England’s nues” alfresco theatre ve The Stage

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Active life

What’s on... Great things to see and do in the region


ASTLE FINE ART is a new gallery in Stamford’s High Street. Artists range from the well known, such as Bob Dylan and Ronnie Wood, to the more local. To celebrate the opening the gallery is hosting an exhibition for local artist Lawrence Coulson and on March 23 he will be painting at the gallery between 1-3pm. See www.castlefineart.com/events for more. The University of Leicester’s Botanic Garden is ushering in the spring with a crocus Sunday event on March 3. Enjoy seeing a magnificent display in the Sandstone Garden in front of Beaumont Hall. The entrance fee will be donated to the Royal British Legion. Entries are open for the Peterborough Cathedral pancake race that takes place at midday on March 5. Teams of four are invited to compete in the relay race which takes place around the Cathedral precinct. Teams are encouraged to dress in aprons or fancy dress with a prize for the best team. See www.peterborough-cathedral.org or call 01733 355315. The Run Rabbit Trail Festival, a new two-day running event, takes place at Marston Lodge Farm in Market Harborough on the weekend of May 11-12. There will be trail runs on offer of varying difficulty, as well as other races concluding with the Thump Half – a multi-terrain half marathon. Visit www.thumpevents.co.uk for a full schedule.

The Cambridge Science Festival, covering a huge range of topics from Alzheimer’s to DNA, takes place between March 11-24. To find out more visit www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk. Singer and songwriter Hozier will be at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall on September 16. Tickets are on sale now at www.hozier.com. Uppingham Choral Society is holding its spring concert on March 30. It will be performing Haydn’s The Seasons and will be accompanied by the Bardi Orchestra. It takes place at Uppingham School Memorial Hall. Tickets cost £10 from www.uppinghamchoralsociety.uk or on the door. A fertility support group has been formed in Stamford. Hosted by fertility nurse and consultant Kate Davies, the meetings will be held at Equilibrium on St Mary’s Street. The group will meet bi-monthly on Thursday evenings. For details email kate@yourfertilityjourney.com.

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Dec Mag.e$S:Layout 1 10/12/2018 14:36 Page 3

Dec Mag.e$S:Layout 1 10/12/2018 14:36 Page 3 January 2019

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Active life


Banana pancakes Make Mother’s Day special! TO GO WITH breakfast, why not make mum a mug of tea in one of King’s Cliffe-based Katie Cardew’s mugs? Prices start at £13.50 (www. kcillustrations.co.uk). Or try locallybased Sophie Allport, where mugs start at £11.50 (www.sophieallport.com). Both sets of mugs will brighten mum’s day. Or have a look at Marigold and Lettice on instagram @marigoldandlettice. This very talented lady makes white chunky china, all of which is oven, dishwasher and microwave safe. You can buy direct from www.marigoldandlettice.co.uk or from Chez Soi in Stamford.

This incredibly simple and quick recipe is the perfect way to make breakfast in bed for mum on Mother’s Day... and you don’t even need to use scales I NGRE DI E NTS Small knob of butter for frying 1 banana 1 egg 1 heaped tbsp self-raising flour Banana and strawberries (chopped) to serve Maple syrup


1 2

Put the banana, egg and flour into a blender and mix for about 20 seconds until smooth.

Melt the butter in a frying pan, then pour two puddles of batter into the pan. Cook for about a minute and then flip over and cook for another 30 seconds. Repeat with the rest of the mixture to make six pancakes.


Pile the pancakes up, drizzle with maple syrup and add the banana and strawberries.

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21/02/2019 15:35

Active life GARDE NING

The beauty of water Garden designer Teresa Kennedy explains how to use water as a feature, and which plants to choose


HAVE A pond, which I love. From early spring to late summer it is constantly changing, showing the wonders of nature. Something happens daily and it’s fascinating to watch. When we think of bringing water into a garden we tend to think of the traditional pond – or maybe a water feature – but there are other ways to incorporate water, whatever size space you have.


Hard-landscaped shallow pools can be part of a scene created in a large garden. A miniature landscape can be made using naturally sweeping curves between pools of water. Introduce a large, monolith-style piece of rock in the foreground, within the first pool. You are trying to recreate the natural environment so think of places such as the Scottish lochs.


A large natural pool with over-hanging foliage, pretty flowers, water lilies, a bridge and if you are blessed with a mature weeping willow, perfect. Sculpt your land if you’re working with flat ground – dig down to mound up.


Sleek modern lines of hard landscaping, such as concrete and wood, work well with water. Low-flowing water dropping over a hardwood ledge into a concrete pool with integrated


The redwing REDWINGS ARE SMALL thrushes which breed in Scandinavia, Russia and Iceland. They winter in Britain in large numbers, arriving in flocks from early October, often migrating at night when a soft ‘tseep’ call betrays their presence as they pass over. A whitish stripe over the eye and chestnut red flanks is what distinguishes them from the similarly sized song thrush. The back is also a darker brown. On arrival they feed on berries and will quickly strip hawthorns, cotoneaster and pyracantha of their fruit. If the ground

seating (use a lily pad for inspiration and translate it into plinth-style seating blocks) is stylish and can work in the smallest of garden spaces.


An absolute favourite of mine; effective in both small and large gardens, the rill provides a channel for water to flow through and can be used to subtly direct a route through your space, almost like a companion joining you on your stroll.


Tactile, fun, cooling, ever-moving; water is there to be touched and played with. Children love being able to dam a flow and build a bridge. A man-made, trickling stream with grassy banks and floaty planting will create a magical natural environment.


All of the following plants will suit a water environment, either planted within it or positioned bank-side: Gunnera – big-leaved foliage Flag iris – tall upright stems with bright flowers Marsh marigold – fleshy leaves, neat bright yellow flowers Water mint – an absolute must; fabulous scent, beautiful flowers, insect haven Hosta – big leaf, tall spike flower, suits borders next to water Fern – any at all, the shape of the fronds works beautifully with water.

Contact www.viridisdesign.co.uk | 07726 334501

remains unfrozen they feed on pasture and playing fields where they find worms, molluscs and other invertebrates. At night the birds shelter in roosts in thick scrub. During freezing weather they often seem reluctant to move to milder areas and take shelter in woods and copses. They may also visit gardens, foraging among leaf litter and taking apples provided by sympathetic householders, often in competition with blackbirds and fieldfares. As the weather eases, before their return migration in March and April, they return to feed on grassland and may be seen in their hundreds in Burghley Park and on the face of the dam at Rutland Water. Terry Mitcham

March 2019 / theactivemag.com

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Meet Leicestershire Vegetarian and Vegan Group Kate Maxim enjoys a vegan lunch at the Prana Café with Amit Gokani, Alan Jones, Ashwin Sudra and Hannah Jukes


ESEARCH BY THE Vegan Society in 2016 estimated the number of vegans in the UK was 540,000. That figure has risen substantially since then as more people opt for a plant-based diet. The main reasons usually attributed to its rising popularity are the nutritional benefits, environmental credentials and animal welfare concerns. Leicester was the birthplace of the original Vegan Society as a local teacher, Donald Watson, set it up in 1944 with a few like-minded animal lovers, coining the word ‘vegan’ from the first and last letters of vegetarian.

Active: How long has the group been going?

Amit It was formed in 2001 by Sue Daniels. We are a non-profit making group run by volunteers. We donate all the money we acquire through our social events to local charities such as the Hillside Animal Sanctuary, Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital in Kibworth, a homeless charity and Together Against Cancer. We hold a

From left: Alan, Amit, Ash and Hannah


social on the second Thursday of every month at Leicester Secular Hall where our aim is to create awareness of the benefits of a plant-based diet.

Is everyone in the group vegan or vegetarian?

Alan No, we have meat eaters too. They come and watch the cookery demonstrations and try the food. We welcome people from all backgrounds and want to form a community so people don’t feel alone and can see what an abundance of food there is on our doorstep. Amit We hold our own vegan challenge in January and a vegetarian fair during National Vegetarian Week at the Guildhall from May 13 to 19. We’ll also have a stall at the Leicester Vegan Fair at Athena in Queen Street on March 23. We do veggie tours around the city to show people where they can eat and buy vegan products. The Good Earth Café is one of the longest running vegetarian cafés in the UK and

Cookery demonstrations are part of a social event that takes place every month in Leicester even large chains such as Ben & Jerrys and Wagamama have come on board.

What are the benefits of veganism?

Amit It’s a healthy and nutritious way of eating as it uses a lot of fresh produce, not processed food, and can be beneficial to help treat diabetes, certain types of cancer and to lower cholesterol. I initially did a vegan challenge for one month and felt more energetic and cleaner as my body didn’t have to produce mucus to break down milk products. I felt leaner too. A vegan diet can be viewed as more environmentally friendly and our view is we can help save our planet by adopting a plant-based diet. As vegans we believe livestock farming is responsible for adding to global greenhouse warming with all the methane gas released from bovine animals. We also believe that the millions of land animals being farmed leads to the deforestation of the planet to cultivate them. When you look at the bigger picture a lot of our animals have been cultivated by man to fit our society and for people to make money out of them.

What about land that’s cleared to grow crops like avocados? And the air miles used to transport them around the world? Alan Some things can be shipped. Coconuts and pineapples can be shipped as they have thicker skin. Also crops like avocados are not

March 2019 / theactivemag.com

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Active life

“Veganism is a healthy and nutritious way of eating as it uses a lot of fresh produce”

Xxxxxx xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxx

The group’s ‘veggie tours’ promote places where people can buy and eat vegan food

highly mechanised so they grow more naturally and their irrigation systems are more low tech. So the amount of CO2 produced flying them could be viewed as less than producing some food locally.

Do you want to see farm animals become extinct?

Alan No, but if we move away from these industries the animals can return to their natural state, and we’d hope for more sanctuaries where they’ll be looked after. We’d like to see an end to large factory farms.

What do you hope for the future?

Alan A vegan society. It would be better for people’s health and there’s nothing you get from meat that you can’t get from plants. The best form of Omega 3 comes directly from

plants. It comes from the algae the fish eat rather than the fish themselves. You can get vegan cheese, yoghurt and milk. It may be more expensive, but vegans think it’s better paying more than eating food knowing an animal has suffered to produce it. Ash I ate meat for 22 years and then watched the documentaries Cowspiracy and Land of Hope and Glory and questioned why I was eating it. For me it came down to taste, convenience and the way I’d been brought up. But in the end I felt something’s life was more important than my taste buds.

Many people feel intimidated by people with placards pushing their views. What do you say to that? Amit We’re a passionate group and we feel that animals have rights. Things have improved but

animals still need our support. Anger does boil over sometimes but I think education is the best way. We associate with groups such as Leicester Animal Rights, Leicester Animal Save and Leicester Vegan Community because meeting like-minded people helps your own journey. Ash With every social movement there will always be strong feelings. We try and get our message across peacefully. I’ve been outside abattoirs where we ask for two minutes of the lorry driver’s time to say goodbye to the animals, and most of them will stop for us. Alan If you know something is wrong then it’s up to the individual to say or do something about it. I personally don’t believe in attacking butchers’ shops. We’re better off getting more people to stop eating meat.

So why do people eat meat substitutes?

Ash People eat substitutes that look, and even taste, like meat or fish as they feel an association with it. These products are often for people beginning their journey. Beet burgers with beetroot juice makes them look like meat. We have seitan fish and chips. Most of us enjoy the taste of meat but we don’t want to eat it. It’s difficult to be 100% vegan, so it’s about causing the least possible harm. www.facebook.com/LeicesterVeggies

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Rutland Farm Park

Family fun for everyone

There is lots going on this Easter

• Easter Egg Hunt • Pet A Guinea Pig • • meet & feed the birds • • Arts & crafts • • Animal watch count day with Roots & Branch Out •

please check social media for Dates, times & more info

Don’t forget to visit our refurbished tea room Rutland Farm Park Uppingham Road Oakham LE15 6JD

Serving breakfast, lunch, coffee & cakes. Using local suppliers and fresh ingredients. GEORGE HALLS CYCLE CENTRE 01858 465507 10-12, NORTHAMPTON ROAD, georgehallscycle@aol.com MARKET HARBOROUGH, www.georgehallscycles.co.uk LEICS LE16 9HE

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Farm Park & Tea Room open Tuesday - Sunday 10 - 4 • Free parking •

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Active life


Sunny days and steep hills Madeira is much more than pretty flowers and wine – think mountain bikes, hiking and trail running


ADEIRA, AN ARCHIPELAGO in the Atlantic off the coast of Africa, is a wonderful place to visit at this time of year – its mild and sunny climate is the perfect antidote to the bleak British winter. In March the daytime temperature reaches 18°C or higher, with nights being a relatively mild 14°C. This means you can enjoy lunch al fresco but the temperature is not too hot for a spot of sight seeing – or mountain bike riding. The island has long been known for its pretty scenery, attractive, safe towns as well as Madeira wine; and now it is reinventing itself for more adventurous travellers. Tourists are making the most of the rugged, volcanic topography with hiking, mountain biking, canyoning and climbing opportunities available, with Go Trail Madeira organising trail running and hiking day trips. March is a great month to do all this, as

it’s not too warm. For the really adventurous there is the Madeira Island Ultra Trail in April that covers 71 miles; but it’s not for the faint hearted as this place is very hilly. Madeira has more to offer than mountains and trekking though. Renowned for its beautiful gardens due to its rich volcanic soils, you can see some spectacular, exotic flowers all year round, particularly in the pretty capital Funchal. Madeira was home to Christopher Columbus and today boasts a very famous son, footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, who the airport is named after. It’s only three hours away on a plane, with budget airlines offering cheap flights.

Madeira holiday experts www.gotrailmadeira.com www.more-travel.co.uk www.jet2.com www.macsadventure.com

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Twilight relaxation Kate and Lisa take a well-earned break after work at Ragdale Hall


HAVE BEEN to Ragdale a few times over the years on various spa days and have also been lucky enough to spend a night or two on occasion. However, one thing I’d never considered was a twilight taster evening straight after work. Ideal for people with limited time to spare, or for those new to Ragdale who want to dip their toe in the water – literally. You arrive at 4.30pm and spend five luxurious hours there, leaving at 9.30pm. Also, it makes you take full advantage of your time, instead of heading to the retreat for a nap… After a hard day’s work in the Active office, Lisa and I arrived to a packed car park but, as the evening wore on and the day guests left, the hall took on a very laid back vibe and we quickly threw off the day’s stresses. We managed to squeeze in one of the last classes of the day: Lisa enjoyed nearly an hour of the candlelight stretch and I was introduced to foam rollers during the roll and release session. I’ve seen rollers on sale but never really

understood the purpose of them. I do now. By using them either before or after exercise it’s a way of giving yourself a deep tissue massage, helping with muscle soreness and improving blood flow. Warning: it hurts, a lot! But it’s pleasurable pain. As my class was 10 minutes shorter than Lisa’s I was able to get in some lengths in the 25-metre pool before she arrived, and then we set off on our tour around the thermal spa. My favourite areas include the colour flow cave and volcanic salt bath. Because of the high humidity in both those rooms, you can literally feel any toxins dissolving. Lisa enjoyed the scented room and thought zone. With the heat, the delicious smell of doused herbs and relaxing music the spa never fails to work its magic on tired, overworked muscles and minds. But as I was to discover, the best was yet to come because, since my last visit, Ragdale has created a stunning rooftop infinity pool. Lisa and her husband had thoroughly enjoyed it on a visit during the summer, but this visit took place on a snowy January evening. With steam billowing up over the roof, it was wonderful to lie back in the dark with underwater massage jets and coloured lighting. After a quick change into our robes we scrambled to the treatment area just in time for me to have a hydrating 40-minute Decléor facial and Lisa to be given a moisturising lavender body treatment. Perhaps because of the cold weather teamed with constant central heating, Lisa’s skin has been very dry and itchy recently,

so being brushed from head to toe to get rid of dead skin cells, then massaged with soothing lavender and tea tree moisturiser followed by a foot massage, put her to rights in no time at all. If that wasn’t enough R&R we then headed to the verandah bar. After a sweet pepper hummus starter, we were offered 10 choices from the menu including vegetarian and one vegan option. Lisa settled on sea bass in a caper and lemon dressing while I went for the rather more winter warming chorizo, chicken and chickpea casserole. Both delicious. We really didn’t need a pudding, but it would have been churlish not to have one, especially as it’s included in the package, so we shared a crème brûlée with fruit compote and a dark/white chocolate mousse with chocolate crumb. After coffee ensconced in a very deep and squashy sofa, neither of us wanted to leave. Ragdale had done its job again. Having just retained its ‘five bubble’ rating from the Good Spa Guide, I don’t know why either of us were at all surprised. We had great fun together and, as Lisa can testify, Ragdale is also a wonderful place in which to spend time with your partner, but as Mother’s Day is approaching I’m thinking it would also be a lovely treat for my mum. The price for a twilight taster which includes a 40-minute lavender body treatment or Ragdale prescription facial; two-course dinner; use of the facilities plus robe hire, is £90 Monday-Thursday; £104 Friday-Sunday. www.ragdalehall.co.uk, 01664 434831

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Active life

And finally... FASHION

Vegan vibes Being vegan isn’t just about what you eat

Tassel loafers £29.50 www.marksandspencer.com


EING A FULLY signed up vegan doesn’t just mean cutting all meat and dairy out of your diet. What about your clothes? Leather is definitely a no-no, don’t even think about fur and a woolly jumper is no longer acceptable. But don’t despair, your wardrobe is not going to be made up of sack cloth and ashes because vegan clothing is becoming a bit of a ‘thing’ and there are now lots of fashion brands that are vegan friendly. Stella McCartney springs to mind immediately. Renowned for being vegetarian friendly, she has never used leather or fur since starting her brand in 2001. But if Stella is out of your price range, head to your local M&S. They are Britain’s biggest shoe retailer, selling 14 pairs of ladies shoes every minute and, to meet demand, have made their synthetic range animal free by bringing out a vegan range with prices starting at £19.50. Wearing vegan clothing can be a bit of an ethical minefield as cutting leather, silk and wool from your wardrobe could mean that you are enlarging your environmental footprint as many vegan labels use plastic- based fabrics. If you shop around and research your brands you can pick the ones that are vegan friendly but also environmentally aware.

Stacia long button organic cotton cardigan £42 www.wearethought.com

Rubicon bag £125 www.mattandnat.com

Vegan suede skinnies £88 www.freepeople.com

Silka black lace up high heel vegan boots £185 www.beyond-skin.com March 2019 / theactivemag.com 23

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“We were immediately enveloped in the warm and welcoming atmosphere�

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Active life


The Bull & Swan, Stamford Maris and Mark enjoy a memorable evening in the company of Badger, Stag and Porcupine at this popular town inn


T WAS 335 years ago in 1684 that John Cecil, fifth Earl of Exeter, started The Order of Little Bedlam – a ‘gentleman’s drinking club’ which met in a Burghley estate building on The Great North Road. His son, the sixth Earl, continued the tradition with each member taking a different animal as a pseudonym, from the majestic Lyon and Tyger (sic) to the rather less impressive Mule and Guinea Pig. Their memory lives on in the names of the nine bedrooms of The Bull & Swan, the handsome coaching inn that served as the first meeting place for the Bedlam Club and is now one of three quirky hotels in The Hillbrooke Group (the others being The William Cecil 200 yards away and The Master Builder’s, some 200 miles away in the New Forest). James, our enthusiastic host, has worked in all three establishments and now leads a young and energetic team in Stamford. “We tried to come here for Sunday lunch once but I forgot to book and it was full,” recalled Mark with an apologetic shrug as we walked in on a damp Tuesday evening. I had yet to realise what a mistake he had made. We were immediately enveloped in the warm and welcoming atmosphere that evoked its long history as a coaching inn but without being fusty: drinkers and diners were already chatting in the candlelight, seated on random chairs and oak settles. The glow of the log burner, low beamed ceilings and portraits of Bedlam Club members all added to the atmosphere of times gone by but on closer inspection revealed more modern touches. A ceiling projector is put to good use showing Six Nations matches, while piles of board games, magazines and books confirmed that this is a place to come and relax away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre. Sinking into our chairs with a premium G&T (from a small but varied list) we perused the menu that mixes gastropub staples with more unusual fare. The seasonal menu (it will change at Easter) uses as much produce from their cottage garden as possible and has recently been extended to improve the vegan offering. Had it been a Sunday, we would have plumped for the roasting pot of either pork, lamb or beef with all the trimmings (£55 for four, £80 for six) but instead chose to start with three dishes to share (£13) from the light bites list. Before going through to our table in the adjoining room, we wandered round the L-shaped bar, soaked up the atmosphere and viewed the old prints and 19th century photographs of Stamford. Parking was definitely less of a problem back then.

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Active life

“The Bull & Swan has been welcoming guests for more than three centuries”

pan-cooked cod with a chickpea and chorizo cassoulet (£18.50) and felt like I’d made the right choice. The generous portion of cod was firm and complimented perfectly by the rich cassoulet. Mark’s pork, chorizo and apple pie of the day (£15) came with a shortcrust pastry lid, smooth creamy mash and green vegetables. Tasty and filling, it was, opined Mark, “the ideal main for a damp winter’s night”. By now we were completely full but, in the interests of this review, Our sharing platter of scotch egg, ox cheek nachos and brie wedges chose to share a bowl of steaming dark chocolate sponge. Thankfully, this arrived promptly and each dish proved to be delicious. The scotch egg proved wonderfully light, the dark chocolate well matched by a vanilla was perfectly cooked, with the egg’s soft yolk oozing over the sage and bean custard. Yet another clean plate returned to the kitchen and we onion case. While Mark waxed lyrical about this he was stunned to discussed plans for the future with James over coffee and biscotti. genuine wide-eyed silence by the nachos. Prompted by his reaction I It was at this point, late on in the evening, that we discovered the (not dived into the pile, smothered as usual in cheese, sour cream and so secret) outdoor seating area next to the cottage garden. Home to a jalapenos but on this occasion elevated from the ordinary by a generous pizza oven, an outdoor cinema and an array of rattan sofas and wooden dollop of shredded ox cheek. It was fabulous, and I urge you to go and try picnic tables, it would be a great place to linger with friends when the one now before the menu changes (it would be great as an weather warms up. accompaniment to a pint of real ale). The brie and cranberry wedges were “We show children’s films on Sunday afternoons but on Thursday and light and crisp on the outside, warm and soft in the middle and provided Friday nights we allow customers to vote for a film on Facebook,” a good interim pudding before our next course. confirmed James. You don’t see wood pigeon much on menus so we decided to share a The Bull & Swan has been welcoming guests for more than three plate from the starter menu (£6.75). Seared on the outside but pink in the centuries and that welcome appears to have seeped into the fabric of the middle, the breast was presented on a toasted building. James and his team are the current brioche slice and was expertly cooked. custodians and the tradition of hospitality Accompanied by a delicate fricassee of wild seems set to continue for many years to come. mushrooms and tarragon it tasted sublime and As we set out into the rain, we dreamed of 24 HIGH STREET ST MARTIN’S, melted in the mouth. coming back in summer to sit in the sunny STAMFORD PE9 2LJ After a short pause (definitely required!) our cottage garden for pizza and an Aperol spritz, 01780 766412 main courses arrived and were accompanied by having first rigged a vote on Facebook in favour glasses of malbec and a white picpol de pinet of watching Mamma Mia. Before then, we’ll be WWW.HILLBROOKEHOTELS.CO.UK/ from a short but interesting wine list (£20-£32 a returning for Sunday lunch – if Mark THE-BULL-AND-SWAN bottle, many by the glass). I’d decided on remembers to book…

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Ifyougo downto thewoods/ farm/river /castle today... As the weather improves, there are plenty of fascinating outdoor spaces and places to explore in our area, with some rather strange and wonderful things going on

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Walk in Cromwell’s footsteps

Nestled amidst 450 acres of rolling parkland on the border of Leicestershire and Rutland stands Launde Abbey, an estate once owned by Thomas Cromwell. Originally Launde Abbey was founded as an Augustinian priory in 1119. During the first 100 years of its existence, a magnificent church was built of which one side chapel still survives. Within this chapel lie treasure troves acquired through the centuries, all of which have an historical placement. Over time, and probably due to the social standing of Thomas Cromwell’s son, Gregory, who is buried here, the priory became elevated in status to acquire the title of Launde Abbey. Seek out the marvellous history of Launde Abbey today as it is open daily to visitors to view the chapel, walk in the extensive parklands or simply wander the gardens surrounding the Georgian stables, including the restored Victorian walled garden. Enjoy morning coffee, lunch or afternoon tea, all homemade, on what was the site of the old Brewhouse. www.laundeabbey.org.uk Tel 01572 717254

Play in a glade Kilworth House Theatre produces and presents large scale professional open air musical theatre and is renowned for its sell out shows. In 2016 it was awarded a five-star Critics’ Choice Award for not just one, but both of its summer productions, and was recently recognised in the national press as one of the best outdoor theatres in the UK alongside Regent’s Park, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Minack Theatre. Built in a beautiful wooded glade close to the lake in the grounds of Kilworth House Hotel in south Leicestershire, the theatre has 550 seats while sail-like canopies provide protection for the whole audience and, unusually, also the stage area. There’s a special aura and magic about open-air theatre on a beautiful summer’s evening and no better place to experience that magic than amidst the magnificent surroundings of the Kilworth estate. To enhance the whole experience, guests have the option of dining pre-show in the beautifully ornate Victorian orangery of Kilworth House Hotel, taking a picnic to enjoy in the spectacular grounds of the estate or alternatively just relaxing pre-show with a drink from the theatre bar. Given such a unique experience, it really is little wonder that this venue attracts more than 60,000 people during their summer season. www.kilworthhousetheatre.co.uk

Find a castle on the hill Sitting proudly on top of a hill, Belvoir Castle is a stunning 19th century country seat, with impressive collections and breathtaking rooms. But it’s not just the castle that’s worth a visit. There are acres of formal gardens, walks through the grounds and a new attraction, the Engine Yard, which has fabulous food, drink and shops. www.belvoircastle.com

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Get sculpted Contemporary sculpture in an historic setting, there’s always a new exhibit to discover at Burghley sculpture garden or an unusual, secluded spot to find among the winding pathways, lakes and trees of the garden. The 2019 exhibition in the sculpture garden will explore the themes of form and function. www.burghley.co.uk

Shakespeare in the sunshine

Throughout the summer (June 11-August 31) the Stamford Shakespeare Company presents a season of plays at the stunning Rutland Open Air Theatre. Described by The Sunday Times as “one of the finest things to do this summer” and The Stage as “One of England’s premier alfresco theatre venues” it really is an experience not to be missed. This summer the company is presenting three plays: one of William Shakespeare’s greatest plays, the Roman political thriller Julius Caesar; the romantic and funny Twelfth Night, a merry tale of unrequited love, shipwrecked twins, cross dressing, mistaken identity and drunken revels; and Noël Coward’s wonderful, supernatural comedy, Blithe Spirit, which portrays the hilarious events of a husband caught between two wives – one dead, the other very much alive. The theatre is situated in the grounds of historic Tolethorpe Hall, where last summer more than 33,000 people experienced the magic of a visit to this unique venue. Enjoy a picnic in the glorious grounds then take your seat, protected from summer showers, and see a stage like no other. www.stamfordshakespeare.co.uk Tel: 01780 756133

Farming fun for all Rutland Farm Park is a traditional family-run farm set in 19 acres of parkland within the town boundary of Oakham. In the park you can see some of the more unusual breeds of animals – These include belted Galloway, Highland cattle; soay, Lincoln longwool, four-horned Hebridean and Ryeland sheep; various breeds of pigs, poultry, water fowl and geese. There are goats to feed, rabbits and guinea pigs to cuddle, miniature Shetland ponies, a shire horse, llamas, donkeys and alpacas. There’s an outdoor children’s play area, ride-on tractors, a playhouse along will a small soft play area in the barn, as well as a Victorian farmyard. The woodland and stream are a special feature too, with the steep valleys of the little river Wreak providing a mini-climate where bamboo, rhododendron, magnolia and ferns flourish. www.rutlandfarmpark.co.uk Tel 01572 722122

On the trail of artists What better way to explore your local area than following the Rutland Open Studio’s art trail? There’s a flourishing community of artists in Rutland and surrounding counties who produce a vast range of artwork from paintings, photographs and prints to sculptures, ceramics, jewellery and textiles and they throw open the doors to their studios every year to the public. This way it gives art lovers an opportunity to see different artists’ work, find out about the techniques they use and the passions that inspire them. Oh, and you can purchase the works too. Some places on the trail will be studios in the artist’s own home, while others will involve a group of artists sharing space in a community hall or gallery. Kicking off with a launch event at Victoria Hall in Oakham High Street from May 25 to June 1, the trail takes place on the weekends of June 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23. While you’re perusing the art, you can discover lots of different villages and exhibition spaces you never knew existed. Pack a picnic or stop off in one of the local pubs or teashops for some refreshment on the way round. www.rutlandopenstudios.co.uk

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Discover waterways

Water adventures don’t have to be trekking across the open ocean in a state-of-the-art sea kayak or boat. Most water-born adventures take place on sheltered inshore seas or inland lakes such as Tallington Lakes. Kayaking is a nice stable way to explore your watery surroundings, in a group or on your own. However, if you want to put your balance to the test, why not have a go at stand-up paddleboarding (SUPing), one of the fastest growing and most popular water activities currently in the world. You don’t have to be an expert in either field to have a go; and you can hire either kayaks or SUPs at Watersports Centre, which offers taster sessions for both; which is the perfect way to gain confidence and get the most out of your chosen craft. For those looking for a bigger challenge, SUP fitness/yoga is becoming a new ‘testing’ way to improve core body strength, balance and fitness. www.tallington.com/water-activities 01778 34 7000

A maze, and more amazing things

Lock yourself out The whole family will enjoy a fun-packed visit to Foxton Locks, situated within a few miles of Market Harborough. Surrounded by Leicestershire’s beautiful countryside, you will experience all that this unique landmark has to offer – colourful narrowboats, the famous flight of 10 locks and the new BoilerHouse virtual experiences. The Grade II listed locks on the Leicester line of the Grand Union Canal are more than 200 years old. They demonstrate how 19th century canal engineers solved the problem of getting boats up and down a steep hill, while at the BoilerHouse you can step back in time using digital trickery and see how the boats travelled in the boat lift. www.fipt.org.uk/boilerhouse 0116 279 2657

As well as the excellent maze, an adventure in itself, Wistow has an impressive turreted hall, and beyond Wistow Church permissive access has been granted to allow the public to walk through the water meadows and historic ‘ridge and furrow’ pastures between Wistow and Newton Harcourt. Wistow Rural Centre with its plant centre, café/bistro, Mediterranean deli, furniture and craft outlets, art gallery and the Inner Wolf pet accessory shop, is a great place to spend a few hours and, in recent years, a charity concert has been held in the parkland to the east of Wistow Hall. www.wistow.com

Fortify yourself The focal point of a walk through the rambling Exton Park estate, Fort Henry is a magical Gothic folly, sitting beside a large lake often adorned with water lilies and lies in the heart of Exton Park. Built in 1788 for Henry, Earl of Gainsborough, Fort Henry can also be licensed for civil marriages and partnerships. www.extonpark.co.uk

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W I L L’ S W A L K

Castle Bytham and Clipsham

ACTIVE INFO According to the sign in the village, former residents of Bytham Castle include Sir Thomas Malory (who wrote Le Morte D’Arthur and gave us the Arthurian legends), John of Gaunt from whom all English monarchs in the houses of Lancaster, Tudor and York were descended; and Henry Bolingbroke (later Henry IV).

The Yew Tree Avenue at Clipsham is the halfway point for this historic walk. By Will Hetherington

Difficulty rating TH E ROUTE

Park outside the Castle Inn in the middle of Castle Bytham and take the footpath which runs up to the right of it. The path skirts around the church and then around the graveyard before you come out into open fields. The path forks here and I took the right-hand option, although both lead to roughly the same place. Go over the fields until you reach the Clipsham Road. Turn right and walk along the road for half a mile until you reach the entrance to Clipsham Wood Park and the Yew Tree

Avenue. There’s a sign on the fence that says the avenue is now being managed by the Clipsham Yew Tree Avenue Trust, supported by the Forestry Commission, to restore the trees to their former glory. Walk down the avenue until you reach the private sign on the gate at the end leading into Clipsham Park with Clipsham Hall visible in the distance. From here turn right and follow the clear path which tracks the fence line for a few hundred metres until you see a clear path to the right which leads back into the wood and then joins the main track back towards the car park and entrance (or you can just explore the woods). Return to Clipsham Road the way you came but don’t go all the way back to the footpath

over the hill to Castle Bytham. About halfway there you will see the footpath and lane leading off to the left. This is Cow Pasture Lane. Head down here for about half a mile until you reach the right turn which then takes you on the path back into Castle Bytham. You will enter the village through Cumberland Gardens and then turn right to get back to the Castle Inn. I was going to stop there but it’s worth carrying on and doing a loop of the motte and bailey castle too. It’s only another 20 minutes or so and gives a good idea of the castle and a different perspective of the village. Take Castlegate down into the village and just before Castle Farm the path goes off to the right and you can loop round the whole castle site and come back into the village on St Martin’s.

Images: Will Hetherington

The view of Castle Bytham and the castle mound from the east

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Active life

The Yew Tree Avenue at Clipsham (left) and Clipsham Road just to the south of Castle Bytham

Essential information WHERE TO PARK Outside the Castle Inn in Castle Bytham.


DISTANCE AND TIME Five miles (including the castle loop)/two hours. HIGHLIGHTS The Yew Tree Avenue at Clipsham and the motte and bailey castle site at Castle Bytham. LOWLIGHTS There’s a stretch on the road and it’s a bit bleak between the villages.


REFRESHMENTS The Castle and the Fox & Hounds at Castle Bytham or the Olive Branch at Clipsham. DIFFICULTY RATING Two paws. There’s nothing difficult (apart from muddy fields perhaps). And there’s a bit of a hill around the castle but nothing serious. THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE Arable fields in the first half. Sheep around the castle. But the dogs will like Clipsham Park Wood and the Glen Brook in Bytham. For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it.

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Walkrite Specialist Foot & Ankle Clinics Serving Cambs, Lincs and Rutland

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• Foot/Ankle Pain

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• Running Technique Assessment

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• Gait Re-Training • Custom-made orthoses

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WALKING & CYCLING FESTIVAL Saturday 18th May - Friday 31st May 2019 www.activerutland.org.uk/walkingandcycling activerutland@rutland.gov.uk 01572 720936

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Active life Expect some pleasant rural Northamptonshire views

ACTIVE INFO Deenethorpe Airfield was built in 1943 and was allocated to the US Army Air Force during World War Two. After the war it became an RAF Recruiting Centre before reverting back to the Deene Park Estate. It is now the site for the proposed new garden village of Tresham, with up to 1,500 new houses planned.

W I L L’ S W A L K

Deene and Deenethorpe Straddling the A43, these two villages make for a good stroll with Deene Park adding some grandeur, as Will Hetherington discovers

Difficulty rating TH E ROUTE

Images: Will Hetherington

I started in Deenethorpe and took the footpath which runs south-east out of the village from a modern housing development just off the southern spur of Deenethorpe Lane. The path goes south-east and uphill across a couple of fields before reaching the northern end of Deenethorpe Airfield. Go round the end of the airfield and just before you get to Home Farm Lodge turn left. You will follow the path away from the farm along a hedge line and come to a short but pretty path through the wood. When you emerge at the other side of the wood turn left immediately and you will soon meet Benefield Road. Turn right and walk along the road for 100 yards until you reach the bridleway to the left. Walk down the bridleway until you reach some farm buildings and then

turn left on to the track to Forest Lodge where you turn left again and walk to the edge of Burn Coppice. Head north along the edge of the wood and the path curves around to the west. But be careful not to take the path which heads south-west back to Benefield Road. From here you head slightly north-west for a mile along a series of field boundaries until you come to the A43.

This pretty woodland path is to the southeast of Deenethorpe

Take care crossing the busy road and then walk down the peaceful lane into Deene. You will see the church on your left and the monument on the hill as you enter the village. Keep going through the village and take the footpath up to Home Farm on the left after the end of the long wall surrounding the main house and one thatched cottage. When you get into the farmyard take the path which leads down to the bridge over the lake and make sure you branch off left after the bridge. There are some steep slippery steps up through the little copse but you can walk around the end of it. This path then heads over the large pasture with views back down to the sprawling Deene Park to the north. The path enters Icehouse Spinney and does continue through the reeds and marshy ground back to the A43. However it’s hard to follow and extremely overgrown so you may have to stay in the field to the south of the fence and cross back over near the road. Cross the main road and walk back into Deenethorpe on the lane and over the little white bridge.

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www innerwolf co uk online and in-store

Healthy from the

Inside Out

A traditional coaching inn Dating from the 17th century, with an open fire, flag-stoned floors and family hospitality, in the heart of a picturesque village, the Collyweston Slater is cosy and welcoming. Great locally-sourced food is our passion, accompanied by real ales and fine wines, and superbly attentive customer service. Only three miles from Rutland Water, there are plenty of comfortable seating areas where you can put your feet up after a day’s activities, and even bedrooms too for those travelling from further afield. With free wifi and easy parking, we’re also a convenient stopover for business clientele and only a few minutes’ drive from the A1 at Stamford, and close to Peterborough, Leicester and Corby too. Open: Mon-Sat 12-11pm | Sun 12-9pm Food: Mon-Sat 12 - 2:30pm & 5:30 - 9pm Sun 12 - 5pm

collywestonslaterpub.co.uk 01780 444288

Active life Essential information WHERE TO PARK In Deenethorpe. It’s not an easy village to find somewhere to park but you should be able to find somewhere to tuck the car in. DISTANCE AND TIME Five and a half miles/two hours. HIGHLIGHTS The idyllic little village of Deene with its grand old hall. Deene church. Some nice open countryside to the east of the A43.


LOWLIGHTS Poorly maintained path between Icehouse Spinney and the A43. No pub on the route. REFRESHMENTS The Queen’s Head at Bulwick.


DIFFICULTY RATING Three paws. It’s a decent stretch but apart from the wet ground between Icehouse Spinney and the A43 it’s pretty good underfoot and there aren’t many stiles. THE POOCH PERSPECTIVE You will have to be careful your dogs don’t disturb the abundant game on this estate but otherwise there wasn’t a lot of livestock on the walk. There is a shortage of fresh water though. For your own safety and navigation make sure you have an OS map with you when you go out walking. You won’t regret it.

Deene Park is a Tudor and Georgian mansion which has been developed and owned by the Brudenell family since 1514

March 2019 / theactivemag.com

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21/02/2019 22:12

Clear Start

Puppy Pack Clear Ridge Veterinary practice aims to help your new puppy settle in as quickly as possible and to help with this very important time in their lives. Take a look at the details of our ‘Clear Start Puppy Pack’. This starter pack caters for all of your puppies needs and includes vaccinations, health assessment, flea treatment, worming treatment, microchip, nurse appointments, information folder and free insurance*. We also offer great discounts off future consults and treatments.

The Clear Start Package covers all of your young puppy’s essentials for three months: • First full course of standard primary vaccinations - We offer Lepto 2 vaccinations. We recommend puppies are vaccinated from 8 weeks of age. The course consists of 2 vaccinations given either 2-4 weeks apart. Your puppy will then be vaccinated against Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo virus and Para-influenza virus and Leptospirosis. Yearly booster vaccinations will then be recommended to maintain immunity. • A general health check - You will have a 20 minute consultation with one of our vets which will enable you to discuss any questions or problems you may be experiencing.

• Nurse consultations - As your puppy grows and develops into a young dog, you are sure to have questions. Our nurses will be there to help and advise you along the way. They can discuss: Diet, weight, suitable play/ toys, behaviour & training tips, exercise requirements, preventative dental care and neutering. • • • •

One worming treatment One flea treatment Microchip 10% off subsequent flea & worming treatment for 1yr • 10% off 1st annual booster vaccination (at 12 months) • 10% off your next consultation • 4 weeks free insurance*

All for just £50.00. For more information or to discuss any part in more detail, please call and speak to any of the Clear Ridge Team at our Stamford practice: Tel 01780 764333 or Orton Wistow Tel: 01733 230000


een r G od t

Wo ng abou k s A t hi et any ing a p own

We offer free pet advice We can help you: find your perfect pet care for your pet improve your relationship with your pet. Call 0300 303 9333 or visit woodgreen.org.uk #askwoodgreen

Wood Green – bringing pets and people closer together Wood Green, The Animals Charity, Registered Charity No. 298348

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Active life PETS

Fostering good relationships Make a difference to a rescue pet’s life when you foster for Wood Green, The Animals Charity


PASSION FOR pets, a willingness to learn and giving time to help Wood Green’s work describes best why fostering volunteers are the life-blood of this charitable organisation. They play a vital role in the day-to-day support for pets in their care. Fostering is a great way to give rescue pets some extra love and respite while they are waiting for their forever home. At Wood Green, The Animals Charity they are committed to giving rescue pets in their care the best attention and environment – but many feel much happier in a loving home. They are currently looking for foster placements for their dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals. The reasons these pets need fostering are usually stress related,

but sometimes also for medical reasons. Mid-wife foster carers for pregnant cats and dogs are also needed. As a foster carer you can provide a safe home for dogs, cats and small pets in need of care, to help them recover from an operation, or from a stressful environment. You will get the satisfaction of spending loving time with a pet, without the long-term commitment, and Wood Green will provide all the necessary equipment and supplies. Although every type of pet needs slightly different things, they are all looking for someone with a space in their home – a room, garden or a quiet area – and in their heart to make a difference to their lives. If you can offer some of your free time to provide loving care and presence, to update the centre carers and to bring the pet in for vet checks when needed, then they would like to hear from you. You will need a love and passion for pets and their well-being, to live within 40 minutes of their centre near Huntingdon and have the ability to transport the foster pet to and from the charity when needed. If you would like to contribute as a fostering volunteer to the charity, visit www.woodgreen.org.uk/how-to-help/foster

From nursery to big school We find out what happens when our trainee guide dog joins its puppy walker ONCE A PUPPY has gone through some testing, and the Guide Dogs organisation decides it will probably make the grade as a guide dog, the pup is sent to live with a puppy walker. All walkers are volunteers and will have a trainee pup for a year. With guidance from a puppy training supervisor, the puppy walker will socialise the pup, introducing it to lots of sights, sounds and experiences that it will need to be familiar with. Trained using positive reinforcement techniques, they are taught basic obedience and best behaviour – i.e, not to chase cats or birds, and to recall immediately. They are also readied for

life as a working guide dog; taught to stop at stairs, find doors, urinate on command so that they won’t cock their leg in harness, and are also groomed daily to get used to being touched. At between 12 and 14 months the young dogs leave their puppy walkers and go to ‘school’. They are now trainees and go to one of four training schools across the country. It costs £56,800 to support a guide dog from birth to retirement, and £48.9 million to run the service. If you would like to become a puppy walker, volunteer, or help raise funds, visit www. guidedogs.org.uk or call 0345 143 0223

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Running Shop Run by Runners Large Shoe Range I Gait Analysis Friendly Service I Clothing Accessories 146A Clarendon Park Road, LE2 3AE 0116 2708447

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21/02/2019 17:22

ActiveBody Calling time on smart phones | Avicenna advice E DI T E D BY ST E V E MO ODY

Mag-nificent Nutritionist Dawn Revens says magnesium is a vital supplement for all athletes, so stock up on those bananas


AGNESIUM IS AN essential nutrient but because the body cannot make it, it needs to be supplied by the food we eat daily. It is involved in hundreds of chemical processes in the body and has particular importance for athletes as it is involved in muscle contraction and relaxation, nerve function, cardiac activity, blood pressure regulation, hormonal interactions, immunity and bone health. The highest levels of magnesium are found in the heart and the brain and so extreme deficiency can be deadly. There is evidence to suggest that magnesium requirements are higher in athletes who are training. I guess that’s not surprising given that it is crucial for energy metabolism and when exercising at high intensity, more is used. Additionally, magnesium seems to help reduce lactic acid build up and therefore reduces the perception of fatigue. Magnesium, like sodium, is an electrolyte which is lost during sweating, so you will need to find a way of topping up your levels during training and racing. If you are deficient in magnesium, energy production can be limited, meaning that the risk of fatigue, reduced power and muscle cramping will increase. If levels of magnesium are very low, then your bone density will be reduced, and stress fractures are more likely to happen, particularly in runners. Now you know how important magnesium is, it’s time for a little self-reflection: are you an athlete suffering from fatigue, muscle cramps,

altered heart rate and lowered immunity? If the answer is ‘yes’ it might be that you are magnesium deficient. If you eat high levels of processed food, you are at greater risk of being deficient in this vital mineral. Let’s take a look at how much magnesium you need, how to find out what your levels are and which foods will help meet your daily requirement and improve your training and racing performance. The recommended daily intake amount for healthy women is 270mg and 300mg for men. There are different recommendations for endurance athletes of 500-800mg/day and possibly higher. If you suffer from any of the deficiency symptoms described above, it is worth having your magnesium levels tested. This can be done with a blood test and is the best way to find out what your magnesium levels are and if you need to supplement them. I would always recommend that you get your magnesium from real food sources before resorting to supplements. Foods which are rich in magnesium and easily sourced are spinach, kale, nuts, seeds, oily fish, avocados and the athlete’s favourite – bananas. If you find you have low magnesium levels and know that your eating habits are poor, you may choose to use magnesium supplements. They are available in a number of formats including tablets, sprays and creams. Be aware that too much taken orally can cause cramping and diarrhoea, which is another good reason to find out what your levels are rather than supplementing ‘just in case’.

March 2019 / theactivemag.com

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asses consu sment ltation

The latest laser and injectable cosmetic procedures performed by fully qualified GP or Nurse Practitioner Laser Treatments Include:

• Laser tattoo removal • IPL photo-rejuvenation • Hair removal • Rosacea & facial redness • Facial & leg veins & vascular lesions • Pigmented skin lesions & sun damage

All in addition to our usual range of Medical Aesthetic Treatments: • Muscle relaxing injections for lines & wrinkles • 8 point non-surgical face lift • Non-surgical 15 minute Rhinoplasty • Volite & Restylane Vital skin rejuvenation • Juvederm & Restylane dermal fillers • Silhouette Soft Thread lifts • Treatment for excessive underarm sweating (hyperhidrosis) • Minor surgical procedures including mole removal & non-scalpel vasectomy

www.glen-edenmedical.co.uk 01476 550056

The Market Cross Surgery, Bourne Road, Corby Glen, Lincs NG33 4BB

The only CQC ‘Outstanding’ rated homecare provider in Stamford, Peterborough & Oundle

Stamford & Rutland:

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01780 480 881 or Peterborough & Oundle: 01733 459 907

21/02/2019 15:34


Plugged in, tuned out How to manage your phone use for more stress-free living. By Lisa Johnston


OBILE PHONES HAVE WITHOUT doubt changed how we live our lives, and many of the tools and applications on them make things easier and more convenient. However, they have also started to affect people’s attention span and alter how we engage in our day-to-day experiences. If you are one of the millions of people who are feeling the pressure from the constant prompts to respond to something on your phone, you may well benefit from adopting some simple changes to the way you use it to help prevent it having any further impact on your well-being. Some phones now have the ability to track and log your phone use and detail how much screen time you are exposed to. This data gathering includes simple metrics around how many times you pick your phone up. Most people would be surprised by how much they are engaging with their phones each day. In the UK, 78% of the population now own a smartphone and check them on average every 12 minutes.  Next time you are about to tap once again on one of your phone apps, pause for a moment to consider why you are doing so. By questioning your motivation, you can start to identify the helpful phone functions versus time-wasting distractions:

control our own happiness and connecting with others plays a huge part in this. So many of us get our phones out whenever there is a brief pause in our life. We are innately sociable creatures, but research shows that we are spending more time connecting with our phones than we are with partners and friends. We need to prioritise ‘unplugging’ more regularly to allow us to be fully present and to be able to cultivate these relationships. Turning off our technology entirely is not an option for most of us, but researchers have found that giving ourselves periods of time to disconnect, or even limiting phone use to specific times a day, can lower stress levels. We can help ourselves by putting our phones in a bag or a drawer during these times to limit the temptation.  Just turning off at night time is not enough. There is a theory about the correlation between the steep increase in sleep problems and the constant distraction provided by mobile phones. We need to create space within our days, otherwise it is likely that thoughts and emotions may surge at night time when we are quiet and not distracted by constant stimuli. Learning the skill of mindfulness can be hugely helpful in connecting with our daily life in a different way and has been found to be a key element in happiness. It is the practice of purposely focusing our attention fully on the present moment, and to accept that moment without judgement. Talking to others about the boundaries on

phone use that you each want to instil creates a higher commitment to each other to try and maintain them. Setting a good example of considered phone use in front of children or within social circles can help model and signal what an appropriate use of a phone can look like. Examples of simple boundaries include: • No scrolling for the first hour of the day or until you are dressed and ready • No phones during meals • No phones after 10pm or in bed (blue light from our phones suppresses the production of melatonin, our sleep-wake hormone) Commit to having two or three ‘no phone’ lunch breaks (go for a walk around a park, meet a friend for lunch or read a book) The ping of dopamine-giving notifications makes them addictive and reduces the control we have on our time. Our phones have the most amazing ability to distract us from the simplest of tasks. We might go to check the time on our phone and end up reading emails or flicking through Facebook, 10 minutes have passed by and how have we moved forwards with our day?  Lisa Johnston is director and co-founder of My Therapist Online, which connects people with the right therapist for their needs. Visit www.MyTherapistOnline.co.uk to register for online video therapy or get in touch at  info@MyTherapistOnline.co.uk

• Are you avoiding work? • Are you taking your attention away from people who would benefit from it? • Are you avoiding an emotion or upsetting situation?  • Are you looking for approval on your recent post, looking for the number of likes and comments it gets?  • What would happen if you didn’t check for 10 minutes? With the prevalence of low mood, sleep problems and anxiety on the rise, the science of happiness has been given a lot more attention. Researchers estimate that 40% of our happiness is under our control and the rest is determined by genetics and external factors in our life. This means there is a lot we can do to

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Open MRI

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Stressed out A change in duration and intensity of activities can lead to stress fractures. Dr Hany Elmadbouh, senior consultant at Avicenna Clinic, looks at how to manage recovery


STRESS FRACTURE is a small crack in a bone, or severe bruising within a bone. Most are caused by over-use and repetitive activity, such as repeatedly jumping up and down or running long distances. They occur over time when repetitive forces result in microscopic damage to the bone, but is not great enough to cause an acute fracture. Bone is in a constant state of turnover – a process called remodelling. New bone develops and replaces older bone. During remodelling, bone tissue is destroyed (resorption), then rebuilt. Bones subjected to unaccustomed force without enough time for recovery resorb cells faster than the body can replace them, which makes the bone weaken and become vulnerable to stress fractures. The most common cause of stress fractures is a sudden increase in physical activity either in duration or intensity, such as trying a new exercise, suddenly increasing the intensity of workouts, or changing the workout surface – jogging on a treadmill as opposed to jogging outdoors, for example. Conditions that decrease bone strength and density, such as osteoporosis and certain long-term medications, can make it more likely to experience a stress fracture – even when performing normal everyday activities. Poor conditioning, meaning doing too much too soon, is also a common cause of stress fracture. The most common locations of stress fractures are the second and third metatarsals of the foot. Stress fractures are also common in the long bones of the lower leg. The most common symptom of a stress fracture is pain. The pain usually develops gradually and worsens during activity and diminishes during rest. There may be a swelling and usually tenderness on applying gentle pressure directly to the site of the fracture. On x-rays, the fracture may not be visible until several weeks later. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) usually can visualise stress fractures within the first week of injury, and can visualise lower-grade stress injuries (stress reactions) before x-ray

About Avicenna Clinic Avicenna Clinic has a range of specialist consultants, an operating theatre for surgical procedures and superior in-house imaging facilities – including state-of-the-art MRI,

ultrasound and X-ray scanning equipment. It can assess and diagnose all cases of acute and chronic pain quickly and deliver comprehensive treatment plans tailored to you.

shows changes. An MRI is preferred in many cases because there is no radiation exposure and it is better at diagnosing different types of bone and/or soft tissue abnormalities. If a stress fracture is not properly treated, the fracture can get worse and eventually it can become a complete break. When stress fracture is suspected a RICE protocol is advised. RICE stands for ‘rest, ice, compression and elevation’. In addition, anti-inflammatory tablets such as ibuprofen can help relieve pain and reduce swelling. The goal of treatment is to relieve pain and allow the fracture to heal. Treatment will vary depending on the location of the stress fracture and its severity, and the majority of stress fractures are treated non-surgically. It typically takes from six to eight weeks for a stress fracture to heal. During that time, switching to activities that place less stress on the bones is advised, with swimming and cycling good alternative activities.

To book a consultation or for more information on treating your pain and explore the other available services to help you, contact Avicenna Clinic on 0330 202 0597.

Some fractures, such those of the fifth metatarsal bone (on the outer side of the foot), take longer to heal and a cast to keep the bones in a fixed position and to remove the stress on the involved leg may be needed. Use of crutches to keep weight off foot or leg until the bone heals may also be used. Some stress fractures require surgery to heal properly, especially those that occur in areas with a poor blood supply. Surgery might also be an option to facilitate healing for elite athletes who desire a more rapid return to sport, or workers whose job involves the stress fracture site. The surgery is called internal fixation, where pins, screws and/or plates can be inserted to hold the bones together during the healing process. To help to prevent stress fractures, start new sports activities slowly and gradually increase the time, speed and distance and stop the activity that is causing pain.

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22/02/2019 14:43

Valentine Fabre, Dent du Géant © Ben Tibbetts



Wednesday 6 March




Thursday 21 March

Wednesday 27 March




Sunday 15 September

0116 233 3111 @demontforthall

demontforthall.co.uk demontforthall

Active Kids


Fin signs for Forest | 24-hour sporting fund-raiser National gymnastics action | Sam gets Wales call-up E DI T E D BY ST E V E MO ODY

Get mucky at the Mucker! This year’s junior Burghley House Rat Race is even muddier and more obstacle-ridden than ever


HE ORGANISERS OF the Rat Race Dirty Weekend at Burghley House in May have released details of this year’s Young Mucker course for kids, and it’s going to be tougher, muddier and more fun than ever! Built within the early stages of the biggest obstacle course in the world, the kids’ version includes some of the adult challenges along with a giant ball pit, space hoppers, hurdles, hay bales, the signature Rat Race giant foam washing machine, inflatables, mud crawl and, of course, plenty more mud. Children between eight and 15 can take part, and their parents can run alongside, although they don’t take part in the obstacles. There are two distance options of three and six kilometres, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling. As well as the race there is a fabulous social weekend to take part in, with a huge event village with lots of children’s activities, food stalls and camping.

The race takes place on May 11 with the start time for kids at 2.30pm, and the event is raising funds for Children with Cancer, with the Young Mucker £29 entry cost including a £5 donation to the cause. The fee also includes a finisher’s medal, T-shirt, Rat Race headband, Pit Stop bar and water at the finish.

HOW TO ENTER Enter via the website https://ratracedirtyweekend.co.uk. Click on ENTER NOW & choose YOUNG MUCKER Camping and extras not included in the race entry price. These are all purchased online in the ticketshop www.ratraceentries.com/ dirtyweekend2019/ticketshop.asp

March 2019 / the activemag.com

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Prep School MULTI-ACTIVITY HOLIDAYS FOR CHILDREN AGED 4-14 Boys & Girls, age 4-13 DARK BLUE PANTONE 294 CMYK: 100c/60m/0y/20k

LIGHT BLUE PANTONE 283 CMYK: 35c/6m/0y/0k

Boarding & Day

Our OFSTED registered Camps, which have been running in the area for over 25 years, Award-winning feeder school to offerUppingham, a wide Oakham, rangeEton, of over 30 fun activities to keep your child entertained in the Oundle, Rugby, Repton & others holidays. Witham Hall, near Stamford withamhall.com

Some of the activities that we offer include bouncy castles, arts and crafts, sports, food making, crossbows, orienteering, computer games and quad biking. All staff are DBS checked and have the necessary experience and training to deliver the wide range of activities we offer. We pride ourselves on the quality of our childcare and our excellent staff ratios.


Peterborough Stamford Oakham We accept payment by childcare vouchers. 2019 PEN M ORNINGS THE PETERBOROUGH 0930-1130 STAMFORD JUNIOR PRIORY11th May • Friday 15th March • Friday BROOKE 10th May • Saturday To register your interest: 01778 590222 or admissions@withamhall.com SCHOOL SCHOOL SCHOOL Easter Camps Easter Camps Summer Camps 8th-12th April 8th-12th April 22nd-26th July 15th-18th April (4 day) 15th-18th April (4 day) 29th July-2nd August May Half-Term Camp Summer Camps MULTI-ACTIVITY HOLIDAYS FOR CHILDREN AGED 4-14 MULTI-ACTIVITY HOLIDAYS CHILDREN AGED 4-14 th st th-19thFOR 28 -31 May (4 day) 15 July Our OFSTED registered Camps, which have been running in the area for over 25 years, Our OFSTED registeredoffer Camps, which running in child theentertained area forinover wide range of over 30 funbeen activities to keep your the 25 years, offer a wide nd th OurCamps OFSTED registereda Camps, which have been running in the area for over 25 years, Summer 22have -26 July holidays. range of over 30 fun activities to keep your child entertained in the holidays. offer a wide range of over 30 fun activities to keep your child entertained in the th July th ndcastles, of the activities that we offer include bouncy artsandand crafts, Some of the activities that we offer include bouncy castles, arts crafts, sports, sports, food making, 8th-12Some 29 July-2 August holidays. food making, crossbows, orienteering, computer games and quad biking.biking. crossbows, orienteering, games and quad th July th-9th computer 15th-19 5 August All staffand are DBS checked have the necessary experienceand and training to deliver the All staff are DBS checked have theand necessary experience training to deliver the wide range of Somewe ofoffer. the activities we offer include bouncy arts andour crafts, sports, wide rangethat of activities weon offer. We quality pride ourselves oncastles, thechildcare quality of ourand childcare nd th th th activities We pride ourselves the of our excellent staff ratios. 22 -26 July August and-16 our excellent staff ratios. games and quad biking. food making, crossbows, 12 orienteering, computer th-23 rd Peterborough Stamford Peterborough Stamford We accept payment byAugust childcare vouchers. Oakham Oakham 19 STAMFORD JUNIOR BROOKE PRIORY THE PETERBOROUGH SCHOOL THE PETERBOROUGH STAMFORD JUNIOR SCHOOL BROOKE PRIORY SCHOOL All staff are DBS checked and have the necessary experience and training to deliver the SCHOOL SCHOOL SCHOOL Easter Camps wide range of activities CampsWeEaster Summer Camps we offer. prideCamps ourselves onSummer the quality of our childcare EasterEaster Camps Camps nd-26th July 8th-12th April 8th-12th July 8th-12th April andApril 8th-12th April 2222nd-26th our excellent staff ratios. th April (4 day) th July-2 nd August August 15th-18th April (4 day) 15th-18th April 15 (4thday) July-2nd 15th-18 -18th April (4 day) 2929th May Half-Term Camp SummerCamp Camps Summer Camps May Half-Term st May We accept payment byth July childcare vouchers. Oakham 28th-31 (4 day) -19 28th-31st May (4 day)Peterborough 15th-19th July 15thStamford 9.30 am – PRIORY 4.30 pm Summer Camps 22nd-26th July JUNIOR STAMFORD BROOKE Summer Camps THE PETERBOROUGH 22nd-26th July th-12th July th July-2nd August (early and late care available) 8 29 8th-12th July 29th July-2nd August SCHOOL SCHOOL th July th August 15th-19 5th-9SCHOOL 15th-19th July 5th-9th August nd th July 12thCamps -16th August Easter Summer CampsCOST - £165 CAMP 22nd-26th July Easter Camps 22th -2612th-16th August nd August th-23rd August 29 July-2 19 th th th th nd th 29th July-2nd August 19th-23rd August 8 -12 April 5th-9th August 8 -12 April -26 payment July We 22 accept by childcare vouchers 5th-9th August th th-16th August th April12 th-18th April (4 day) th July-2nd August 15 -18 (4 day) 15 29 12th-16th August Tel. 868 9.30 am – 4.30 pm01572 (early and late 304 care available)

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May Half-Term Camp Summer Camps Email: info@churchillsummercamps.co.uk CAMP COST - £165 th st 28 -31 May (4 day) 15th-19th July We acceptnd payment by childcare vouchers www.churchillsummercamps.co.uk Summer Camps 22 -26th July Tel. 01572 868 304 Email: info@churchillsummercamps.co.uk 8th-12th July 29th July-2nd August www.churchillsummercamps.co.uk 15th-19th July 5th-9th August 22nd-26th July 12th-16th August th nd 29 July-2 August 19th-23rd August 5th-9th August

21/02/2019 15:34

Active Kids

Students in 24-hour charity lock-in MORE THAN 120 Robert Smyth Academy students took part in the annual 24-hour sponsored sports event, raising more than £2,000 for Headway, the UK-wide charity that works to improve life after brain injury. The students, aged between 14 to 17, took part in 12 different sports on rotation during the 24-hour event, including basketball, uni hoc, rugby, football, netball and skipping. They worked together in teams, each producing their own team name, banner and uniform, which was judged during the opening ceremony by former Leicester City manager Micky Adams and current Northampton Saints first team player Will Davis. The competition for points was fierce throughout the 24 hours with all teams hoping to win. ‘Ice Ice Baby’ finished first with ‘Serves u Right’ second and ‘Two Tyred’ in third place. ‘The Umpire Strikes Back’ won for best team outfit. Mike Scully, head of PE, said: “This was our twelfth year of hosting the lock-in and we have now raised more than £30,000 for a variety of

Fin selected for Notts Forest RATCLIFFE COLLEGE STUDENT Fin Back has agreed a three-year contract with Nottingham Forest. Fin, who is in Year 11, will begin the scholarship programme in July. Fin comes from a family with a very strong sporting background – his father, Neil, is a Leicester Tigers, England and Lions legend, while older sister Olivia moved on from Ratcliffe College last year to go on to join the GB ladies’ hockey team.

charities since 2007. It is a fantastic event that not only helps worthwhile causes but also promotes a sense of team work and togetherness. “It was so impressive to see the efforts the students went to, not only during the event but also prior to it organising costumes and banners, especially those who were able to perform fantastic dances at the end.” One RSA student said: “This year’s lock-in was as enjoyable as it always is and we are grateful to the staff for giving up their own time to run the event, not only for our enjoyment but to raise money for an important charity.” Principal Dan Cleary added: “I am extremely grateful to our fantastic PE faculty who have yet again provided a memorable occasion for students. It is quite amazing that this event has secured more than £30,000 of funding for various charitable causes over the last 12 years. In particular, I would like to thank Mr Scully for his passion for participation in sport and all of his colleagues for their hard work and dedication.”

Kids run the Bank of England… YEAR 12 STUDENTS Freddie Shaw, Elicia Miller, Calum Fryatt and Hugh Dalrymple from the Stamford Endowed Schools won the first Inter-School Target 2.0 Economics Competition. The event saw teams from Stamford, Uppingham and Oundle tasked with forecasting UK inflation over the next 18 months.

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Join us at Stoneygate School for our annual

Easter Egg Hunt


Saturday 6th Saturday 6thApril April || 10am 10am to to 12.30pm 12.30pm (last (last entry entry 11.30am) 11.30am) Complete the your course to (and receive Are you agedaged between 2 and 117 years Are you between 2 and old? Bring family wellies)For more information contact Sarah or Julia years old? Bring your family (and an Easter egg and certificate. and join us in our lovely grounds for our Easter Egg Hunt and refreshments. on 0116 259 2282. wellies) and join us in our lovely Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome to join in the fun! grounds for our Easter Egg Complete the course to receive an Easter egg and certificate. 6 London Road | Great Glen Hunt and refreshments. Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome to join in the fun! Leicestershire LE8 9DJ For more information contact Sarah or Julia on 0116 259 2282.

www.stoneygateschool.co.uk 6 London Road | Great Glen Leicestershire LE8 9DJ

Caring | Creative | Curious | Committed @stoneygateschl

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@stoneygateschool www.stoneygateschool.co.uk

22/02/2019 17:34

Active Kids

Sam gets Wales U20 call-up

Gymnastics and racketlon success at Stamford THREE TEAMS OF gymnasts from the Stamford Endowed Schools have reached the national finals of the Schools Floor and Vault Championships after sweeping the medals at the East Midlands Floor and Vault competition. The Stamford Endowed Schools entered five teams: U11 Girls A, U11 Girls B, U14 Girls A, Under 14 Girls B and Under 14 Mixed. The Stamford U11 Girls A and B teams dominated their category, finishing 1st and 2nd respectively. The A team now goes forward to represent the East Midlands at the national finals for the 16th year running. The U14 Mixed team, having medalled at the nationals last year, pulled out all stops to win their category to secure their place at the national finals also.

Elsewhere, Thomas Andrews and Ethan Archer (above) have been crowned racketlon champions of their respective categories in their debut appearance at the East Midlands Open. Racketlon is the ‘triathlon’ of racket sports, comprising table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis, played first to 21 points in each sport. Tom competed in the D grade event, and Ethan in the E grade and they both dominated the squash, only losing 28 points between them in six matches.

Deepings swimmers collect 20 county medals AT THE PENULTIMATE weekend of the Lincolnshire County Championships, Deepings Swimming Club won 20 medals, smashed four club records and reached 47 finals. The club’s tally now sits at 55 (five gold, 26 silver and 24 bronze) with just the 800m and 1,500m freestyle events to come. Medals were won in every stroke by both the girls and boys. Alex Sadler set two 12yrs age group club records and reached the podium in all four of his races. In the 50m butterfly, he lowered his own club record by just over one-tenth of a second to set a new mark of 33.81, taking silver in the process.

He repeated the feat in the 100m backstroke, collecting his second silver. Alex won a third silver in the 200m butterfly and completed a fine day in the pool with bronze in the 100m freestyle. Deepings’ only gold medallist was Louis Metselaar, who smashed his own 17yrs club record in the 50m breaststroke heats to post 30.25, a time that puts him sixth in the British age group rankings. Bethany Eagle-Brown knocked almost a second off her club record in the 100m freestyle. She took bronze in that event and went one better in the 50m butterfly by winning silver.

OAKHAM SCHOOL’S 1ST XV fly-half, Sam Costelo, has been selected for the Welsh U20 squad. Sam, who is 18 years old, is taking part in a full Six Nations programme. The team lost to France away in the first round but beat Italy in the second. “It is a remarkable achievement for a player to be selected for an U20 squad when they are still at school,” said Oakham School’s director of rugby, Andy Rice. “It is a real opportunity for Sam to play for three years at this level, and it is a testimony to his skill on the pitch.” It will be a busy few months for Sam, who is studying for his A-levels. “We’ll be managing his playing schedule alongside his studies this summer,” added Andy. “Once he finishes his exams in June, he’ll then maybe have a chance to join the squad for the later stages of the U20 World Cup in Argentina – which will be an amazing experience for him.”

National netball finals beckon OAKHAM SCHOOL’S U14 and U19 teams have reached the National Netball Finals for the second year running. The U19s finished the tournament undefeated while the U14s dropped only one game. Oakham’s director of netball, Lauren Nicholls, said: “All the players gave excellent performances and I hope they will be able to sustain this consistently high level of play in the National Finals.”

March 2019 / the activemag.com

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21/02/2019 22:21

SWIMATHON 29th-31st March 2019

Join as a swim member during the swimathon and pay

£10 JOINING FEE which will then be donated to Marie Cure

01572 820830 ussc@uppingham.co.uk www.sportscentre.uppingham.co.uk Uppingham School Sports Centre, Leicester Road, Uppingham, Rutland, LE15 9SE

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21/02/2019 17:05

Reader challenges | Local club updates | Essential sports kit

ActiveSport The glory game?


Leicester City’s abject showing at Newport County in the FA Cup suggests the old trophy really is losing its sparkle, reckons Martin Johnson

T’S ALMOST 50 years since the publication of The Glory Game, the inside story of the Tottenham Hotspur football team in the early 1970s. It was that golden era before agents or Sky TV, and the team’s entire annual wage bill - £200,000 – would nowadays equate to Harry Kane’s salary for five days. And it was long enough ago for many households to still be watching television in Spurs’ own colours – black and white. You could write a similar book today, but only if you changed the title to something more appropriate – The Money Game has the right kind of ring to it. Hard cash beats romance every time in modern football, and nothing proved that more than the Leicester City team sheet for this season’s third round FA Cup tie against Newport County. Three England internationals were conspicuous by their absence, including their most prolific goal scorer Jamie Vardy, which told the fans just how important the competition rated in the manager’s overall scheme of things. Membership of the Premier League is what generates the cash required to pay those obscene wage bills while, as windfalls go, the FA Cup is the equivalent of winning £25 on the Premium Bonds. The top teams still look forward to it, but only as a convenient vehicle for giving their star players a rest. Which begs the question: “Why are these pampered pros so much more tired these days?” Years ago there weren’t even any substitutes, and an early injury meant 10 men playing for 85 minutes or so on pitches so glutinous they’d have filleted the legs of an SAS commando. My own feeling is that it’s all that falling over, for no apparent reason, and then having to get back up again that makes them so knackered. Oh, and by the way, giving his stars a break certainly paid off for Claude Puel – with all those fresh legs, Leicester took one point from their next five league games You wonder whether they even cared about losing to a team three divisions below them. If it really is all about money, rather than the glory, it’s hardly likely they’d have felt as desolate as the Spurs players after losing a cup tie in 1971. The author of The Glory Game, Hunter Davies, was with them on the coach as they drove away from the ground. “Heads bowed, unable to move, (Cyril) Knowles seemed to be crying. His eyes were red and swollen. His arms were shaking. No-one could look at anyone else.” I wasn’t on the Leicester coach driving out of Newport, but I doubt whether too many tears were being shed. Back in the early 1970s, FA Cup final day, for a young football fan like me, was close to being the highlight of the year. We used to close the lounge curtains for the start of the BBC’s live coverage mid-morning and, existing exclusively on a diet of crisps, peanuts and dandelion and

burdock, we wouldn’t leave the sofa again until the footie gave way to Dixon of Dock Green (or was it the Lone Ranger?) at half-past six. And the cup was still as big as the league when I joined the Leicester Mercury sports desk in 1973. That year I saw City lose a semi-final replay to Liverpool at Villa Park, and I saw grown men blubbing when Leicester lost. Now, however, they’ve found yet another way to devalue the competition by staging the semi-finals at Wembley. ‘Getting there’ used to be special, but somehow ‘getting there twice’ isn’t quite so intoxicating. Who knows whether Leicester would have beaten Newport had they fielded a full side, but personally I’m delighted they didn’t. Newport was my boyhood team, and I was there on the only other occasion in their history that they beat a side from the top division in the FA Cup. That was in 1964, also in the third round, against Sheffield Wednesday, who at the time were lying second in the old First Division. County trailed 2-0 at half time, but somehow came back to win 3-2. We’ll never know what sparked this remarkable turnaround, but I’d like to think that it was unconnected to the bribery scandal that enveloped Wednesday not long after, which ended up with three of their players getting banned for life. Newport’s manager against Leicester, Mike Flynn, was actually born in the town, as was the man in charge of them when they beat Wednesday, Billy Lucas. Billy was manager of Newport on three separate occasions, juggling jobs between football and running his pub – the Black Horse – just across the road from the old ground at Somerton Park. It’s all a bit different in today’s Premier League, where 11 of the top 12 clubs in mid-February, including Leicester, were managed by three Spaniards, two Portuguese, a German, an Argentine, an Italian, a Chilean, a Norwegian, a Frenchman, and a single Englishman with Bournemouth. Not too surprising then if there are not many traces of the romance of the FA Cup to be found in their DNA. In fairness, the fans wouldn’t thank them for getting their team relegated in exchange for winning the cup, although the Champions League is not always the glamorous competition it’s cracked up to be. When it’s Martin Johnson is a freezing and tipping it down on a mucky night journalist and author, in November, does it really get the pulse rate and has written for going watching your team battling it out with the Leicester Mercury, FC Shalke for the second qualifying spot? The Independent, The After the City match, Newport (starting XI Daily Telegraph and cost £50,000) went on to a home fifth round tie The Sunday Times. He currently writes against Manchester City (starting XI cost £320 columns for The Rugby million), while Leicester had the weekend off to Paper and The Cricket prepare for a 12th v 13th league encounter Paper, and has a book against Crystal Palace. Potential here for two out called ‘Can I Carry new books. One called ‘The Glory Game’. And Your Bags?’ the other entitled ‘Just Another Game’.

March 2019 / the activemag.com 53

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22/02/2019 14:44


The Old Pheasant Hotel in Glaston is situated in the picturesque heart of Rutland, providing the perfect escape for some relaxation.

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01572 822326



Off the A47, this traditional grade 2 listed stonebuilt country pub with rooms attached is close to the market town of Oakham, Uppingham and Stamford. It is located just a stones throw away from Rutland Water Nature Reserve.

our lunch and dinner menu has some great pub classics along with some tantalising dishes sourced locally. The menu has been designed by our chefs. They have designed the menu to suit a variety of different tastes.

The well set out rooms have contemporary furnishings and decor, and come with free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, and tea and coffee making facilities. The hotel serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Breakfast is open to the public and

Whether your stay is for business or simply to relax and enjoy the beautiful surrounding countryside, our dedicated staff will take care to ensure your every need is catered for, leaving you to simply enjoy yourself and unwind.

21/02/2019 15:35


A new boss for the Foxes Karen Rothery is the new chief executive of Leicestershire County Cricket Club. She spoke to Will Hetherington about her sporting passions and the challenge ahead


EADS MIGHT HAVE dropped when Leicestershire CCC announced in December that chief executive Wasim Khan was leaving after four successful years. Khan was made an offer he couldn’t refuse to become managing director of the Pakistan Cricket Board so there are no hard feelings; it’s just that most people think he’s done quite a good job. Three successive years of net profit and some improvement on the field (which isn’t saying much after their 993 days without a County Championship win) reflect well on the departing boss. But there’s reason for optimism at the Fischer County Ground. Head coach Paul Nixon is a favourite with fans and players alike and with three teams being promoted to the First Division this coming season there is a sense of opportunity. The ground will also host three Royal London Women’s ODIs this summer with two against Australia (July 2 and July 4) and one against the West Indies (June 6). But what about Khan’s replacement? In January the club announced that Karen Rothery will take over in April once she has served her notice at current employers Surrey Sports Park at the University of Surrey in Guildford. Leicester-born Rothery spent 20 years working in the clothing industry before moving into the world of sport and also served as chief executive of British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) and commercial director at England Netball.

Image: John Mallett

Active: What’s the attraction to Leicestershire? Karen: “I grew up in Enderby and used to come to watch Leicester Tigers when I was a girl in the amateur days when they still played with letters on their backs. I also lived in Harby for a few years during the 2000s. I currently live near Petersfield but we will be moving back to the area. It’s always Leicester first and I’m very excited about working here.” How did the job come about? “I first saw the job advertised on LinkedIn and I ignored it for a bit, but then I said to my husband on the way home after New Year, Leicestershire are looking for a new CEO, what do you think? He said “Why not go for it” so I rang the agent and he said there had been 130 applicants already. “I asked “Have I got a chance?” It’s a very traditionally male environment and when you look on the website there aren’t very many women involved in the organisation, let alone on the board. So I wasn’t sure it would be for me but when I got chatting to them and came for the interview it just felt like home. I met Mehmooda Duke, who is a board adviser, and

“We need to convert the great work we do in the community into feet on the ground” she is a really impressive woman. I got on well with her and it gave me the confidence that it was going to be more welcoming for me.” What are your sporting passions? “I’m a cricket fan, not a player. We were at the MCG on Boxing Day 2010 when England bowled out Australia for 98. My husband plays and I volunteer a bit at his club. We go to test matches and ODIs. “I’ve seen a lot of other sport, particularly at BUCS. A real highlight was holding the BUCS Athletics Competition as the test event in the Olympic Stadium in May 2012. Normally the students would be running around Bedford athletic track with a couple of hundred people and a dog. We transplanted it into the Olympic Stadium with 46,000 spectators.” The Elton John concert here in 2016 was a huge success. Do you envisage more events like that? “Well, I haven’t started yet so it’s hard to say but those opportunities are really interesting because they attract people to the ground who maybe didn’t even know it existed. And it opens their minds to the fact there’s something going on here that perhaps they can get involved with. The new ECB strategy is really

about people changing the non-cricket following public’s view about cricket and getting them thinking “this could be a sport for me”. So actually opening our doors for things that aren’t cricket may attract them.” Big boots to fill? “Wasim’s changed the fortunes of the club over the last four years. You only have to look at the finances to see the difference he’s made. He’s a big personality and he’s built a solid foundation.” How can you attract new members? “New membership depends on raising the profile of the sport amongst those new markets. We need to convert the great work we do in the community into feet on the ground. And for me a big part of that will be women and young girls and kids across the board and the young work market; people who can come to 20/20 after work. I’m very keen we expand our women’s cricket offer and we need to make sure we are seen to be accessible to women.” For information about tickets to the Royal London Women’s One Day Internationals at the Fischer County Ground visit www.leicestershireccc.co.uk

March 2019 / theactivemag.com 55

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Ambassadors wanted for TeamRutland Rutland Cycling is looking for inspiring cyclists from across the region for its new #TeamRutland campaign WHETHER YOU’RE NEW to cycling or an old hand, and whether you’re a roadie, mountain biker, tourer or commuter, the #TeamRutland ambassador programme wants to find some of the region’s most enthusiastic and inspiring cyclists to help share their passion. As an ambassador, you will be linked to one of Rutland Cycling’s stores where you will work together with its teams to lead rides and events, and encourage more people to ride bikes. You will get access to some of the latest cycling gear and exclusive discounts, and have your stories shared with an online community. If selected, Rutland Cycling will also lend you a bike for the year, as well as a full set of Rutland Cycling kit, British Cycling Ride Leader Award training, and new products to review. To apply, go to www.rutlandcycling.com for more details – applications close on March 17.

To Cromer, for charity Total Motion is looking for riders for its Leicester to Norfolk charity ride in aid of the Bodie Hodges Foundation A LOCAL FIRM hoping to raise £25,000 for charity is looking for cyclists to join its ride from Leicester Tigers’ training ground to the Norfolk coast this summer. Leicester-based leasing company Total Motion Vehicle Management has set up a 140-mile ride from Oval Park to Cromer, via Tallington Lakes, on Saturday, June 8, in aid of the Bodie Hodges Foundation. The foundation, also based in Leicester, supports families that have suffered child bereavement and raises awareness of the importance of organ donation. Bodie’s Boathouse, which marks the first stop on the full route, provides a safe and luxurious place that families can retreat to and spend time together to reflect. It plays a vital part for siblings who are dealing with their own grief, as well as watching their parents and loved ones grieve too. Simon Hill, managing director of Total

Motion, said: “I have a strong passion for cycling and we saw this as the perfect opportunity to bring cyclists of all abilities together to raise money for a fantastic charity. “We have supported the charity for many years and as a company that has a strong passion for cycling, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to express that and to continue to raise money and awareness of organ donation.” Nick Hodges, of the Bodie Hodges Foundation, added: “Simon and his team have been a tremendous support to us and it’s a real honour to be their chosen charity for 2019. It would be great to see lots of people taking part in this event by completing whichever route is most suitable.” There are two routes to choose from: Short route: 40 miles. Oval Park to Bodie Hodges Boathouse at Tallington Lakes Full route: 140 miles. Oval Park to Bodie Hodges Boathouse to Cromer There will be plenty of support before the bike ride, including training plans and advice. On the day, as part of the team, there will be mechanics, support riders and first aiders, and Total Motion will provide transport back from Cromer. You can ride as an individual, with a friend or as one big team.

You do not have to raise a large amount of money but Total Motion has set the sponsorship target at £200 and there is a £25 entrance fee. Its aim is to have 200 cyclists on the ride and in total raise more than £25,000. To sign up or to find out more information, visit: www.totalmotion.co.uk/bhf-bike-ride/

56 March 2019 / theactivemag.com

56 bikes OK.indd 56

22/02/2019 14:45


On your bike!





Take your copy of this magazine into the Rutland Cycling shop at Whitwell as you start your ride to claim your free bar. One per customer, offer ends 31.3.19. SEWSTERN






March’s cycle route from Rutland Cycling’s Sally Middlemiss is a good 40-miler to get you back in the saddle this spring




TARTING AND FINISHING at Whitwell (don’t forget to claim your free nutrition bar from the Rutland Cycling shop – see panel, right), head north to Market Overton, then continue on to Waltham-on-the-Wolds (café option at the Deli – closed on Sundays). From here, it’s back past Twinlakes then along mainly minor lanes past Wyfordby and Stapleford, then Ashwell, Burley and back to Whitwell. Get a detailed map, route notes and download a GPX file for your GPS computer at


Distance: 40 miles Elevation: 1,554 ft Ride type: Road

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29347009 Enjoy the ride!




Head along Bull Brigg Lane towards the main A606 road. Turn right before you reach the main road, then go along the path and through the wooden gate. Cross the A606 and on to the minor road, heading towards Exton. Continue on to Oakham Rd - 1.7 mi Slight right to stay on Oakham Rd - 2.2 mi Slight right on to Cottesmore Rd - 2.2 mi Continue on to Exton Rd - 3.3 mi Turn left - 4.0 mi Continue on to Mill Ln - 4.2 mi Turn right - 4.7 mi Turn left on to Main St - 6.1 mi Turn right on to Bowling Green Ln - 6.4 mi Slight right on to Thistleton Rd - 6.7 mi Turn left on to Fosse Ln - 8.2 mi Continue on to The Drift - 9.3 mi Turn left on to Back Ln - 11.0 mi Turn left at Main St - 11.5 mi Turn right - 12.0 mi Turn left on to B676 - 12.8 mi

Turn right - 13.5 mi Continue on to King St Ln - 14.2 mi Continue on to Chapel Ln - 16.2 mi Turn left on to Waltham Rd - 16.3 mi Turn right on to High St - 17.2 mi Turn right on to Melton Rd/A607 - 17.7 mi Turn left on to Goadby Rd - 17.7 mi Slight left on to Main St - 18.5 mi Turn left - 18.8 mi Turn left on to Thorpe Side - 20.8 mi Continue on to Melton Spinney Rd - 21.3 mi Turn left on to Thorpe Rd/A607 - 23.2 mi Turn right on to Lag Ln - 23.6 mi Turn left on to B676 - 24.2 mi Turn right on to Main Rd - 25.4 mi Turn left to stay on Main Rd - 25.7 mi Turn right on to Stapleford Rd - 26.9 mi Slight left on to Holygate Rd - 27.8 mi Turn right - 28.8 mi Continue straight on to Station Rd - 29.5 mi Slight right at Cordhill Ln - 29.9 mi


Continue onto Edmondthorpe Mere - 30.2 mi Turn right on to Teigh Rd - 31.5 mi Slight right - 31.8 mi Continue on to Teigh Rd - 32.7 mi Continue on to Oakham Rd - 33.3 mi Continue on to Ashwell Rd - 34.8 mi At the roundabout, take the 1st exit on to Langham Ln - 35.1 mi Turn left on to Cottesmore Rd/B668 - 36.1 mi Turn right on to Exton Ln - 36.8 mi Turn left on to Barnsdale Ave - 38.3 mi Turn right on to Exton Rd - 38.5 mi Turn right - 39.2 mi Turn left on to Bull Brigg Ln - 40.4 mi Turn right - 40.6 mi

600 400 0









March 2019 / theactivemag.com

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22/02/2019 14:46


Swimming and eating Iain Downer finds he has something in common with Andy Murray


FTER SOME PROFESSIONAL, medical advice I’ve decided to sit out the rest of the rugby season. To return to full fitness I need shoulder surgery, which would end my triathlon hopes. So I find myself in a similar situation to Andy Murray, just without the talent. At the moment I am able to swim, run and cycle relatively pain-free so I’m continuing with the physiotherapy to be in the best possible shape for June 1. For the past few weeks I’ve concentrated on swimming. I’ve not swum for some time and have never competed in water, so the transition from a leisurely paddle to aggressive timed lengths will take some doing. I have put together a swimming schedule, including ambitious interval targets which, if met, should put me in good stead for a reasonable time in the water on the day. Being the middle of winter the first dip in open water may be a month or so away yet. With only three months to go, and my general fitness having improved, I will be doing more triathlon-specific training. The ‘meat’ of my training plan will focus on weekly increases in volume, endurance and generating power over distance. It will also include recovery weeks, where the volume will drop to 40 or 50%. Diet will also be key over the coming weeks. I’m going to lower my alcohol intake and will cut it out altogether in the few weeks before the race. I have been paying more attention to the nutritional value of what I’m eating so that I can train hard and recover well. I have now started fundraising for Bloodwise and have set myself a target of £1,000. My JustGiving page is now live and any donation would be warmly welcomed, thank you. www.justgiving.com/fundraising/iain-for-gold

ARE YOU TAKING ON A CHALLENGE? It doesn’t matter how large or small it is, we want to hear from you. It could be training for your first 5k starting from scratch, cycling around the world, or anything in between. Please get in touch so we can feature you on these pages. Email mary@theactivemag.com 58 March 2019 / theactivemag.com

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21/02/2019 22:28


Plant-based protein and picturesque training With just over two months to go until the Brighton Marathon, the training plans for the Efficient Portfolio team are in full swing. This month we catch up with Katie Burgess UP UNTIL A couple of weeks ago Katie had been gradually building up her distance on training runs and managed to hit a personal best of just over 11 miles. But runner’s knee, a pain around her left kneecap, has prevented her from improving on this. She said: “I have deliberately slowed down on the long distance running to help my kneecap heal. I’ve also been gait-tested and invested in some new trainers, which has slightly helped. My focus has been to improve the strength in my quads and exercises to open up my hips, so I have been doing yoga. This has been great for overall flexibility, but I now want to incorporate pilates as I find it helps strengthen and relax the muscles which are tense, which will help throughout the marathon. “The injury has also had an impact on what I eat. I have a predominantly plant-based diet, so I’ve been finding new ways of getting more protein by drinking vegan protein shakes and adding tempeh (a soya-based meat substitute) to my meals. I’ve also increased my intake of calcium rich foods such as beans, lentils, tofu and spinach, to keep my bones healthy. Adapting my diet is really helping, so I’m confident that my injury will soon be healed and I’ll be back to completing longer distances soon.” Despite some pain, Katie has still been doing shorter training runs, and keeps her motivation and enthusiasm going by seeking out some British beauty spots. Planning runs around some of the UK’s most idyllic towns and stunning countryside makes her look forward to her training, and it also gives her a great excuse to visit some of the prettiest parts of the country.

Back on the wagon Christopher Davies is taking on the gruelling 70seventy Challenge: cycling the Pyrenees, climbing the national Three Peaks and running a marathon to raise £70,000 for disabled children... all in his 70th year YOU MAY REMEMBER that I have been on a juicing-only diet to lose weight. Three weeks in and I have lost half a stone – disappointing, and nothing to do with the few beers I’ve enjoyed I’m sure, so it’s back on the wagon for dry February. I need to concentrate more on weight loss and fitness as I still feel out of condition. Last week I parked on the fourth floor of a multistorey car park and walking back up the interminable flights of steps really showed me just how far away I am from the level of fitness required for the challenging climbs up the Three Peaks (Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon, being the tallest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales respectively).

She added: “My partner Tim and I recently went to Bath, which was surprisingly hilly! We were quite limited by time on our visit, so rather than focus on distance we prioritised elevation gain, which was a challenge made far more enjoyable by the spectacular views. We plan to run around Norwich and Cambridge and complete some high intensity uphill sprints in the Lake District.”

I am looking for all the help I can get to crack those peaks, and the marathon part of the 70seventy Challenge, so I have called on the services of a running coach. Andy specialises in running using the ‘Alexander technique’ which is highly effective to release unwanted tension in the body, and avoid injuries. Just the job. His warm-up involves lots of skipping while

circling arms – forwards, backwards and arms circling in the opposite direction, and all way beyond my co-ordination level. I must look more like an animated scarecrow rather than a marathon runner in training. Parents pull their children close and dogs are put on leads as I approach. Fortunately no-one has been knocked senseless yet. The coaching has changed my running posture for the better. I’m more relaxed, more upright and more at ease. I have been on short runs focusing on technique, which is fine when I am thinking about the new posture but when I relax I can slip back to old habits formed over the last 70 years. I now need to take a week to 10 days off training to let my eye settle down after my cataract operation yesterday and I will be ready to go. I’ll let you know how I get on. I’m still looking for people to join me on the Three Peaks Challenge, taking place from May 25-27, or for people to enter a team for the Marathon at Leicester Racecourse on June 22. I would love you to join me. To sign up, call me on 0116 255 2065 or go to www.bamboozletheatre.co.uk.

March 2019 / theactivemag.com 59

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21/02/2019 22:28


Stamford on the brink of promotion By Jeremy Smithson-Beswick


T’S BEEN ANOTHER good month for Stamford RFC as they continue their hunt for promotion back to Midlands 2. Starting with a 25-12 victory over Dunstablians, a team they’d lost to last autumn, they then faced back-to-back fixtures against both of their top three rivals in a sequence that would surely come to define their season. The first tie was away on Leicester Forest’s artificial pitch against a team who’d not lost at home all season. First blood went to Forest but, after a penalty from Oli Johnson, Stamford edged in front though a Ramsden try following a push-over from a line-out. Sam Hillary then forced his way over for a converted score to make it 15-8 to the visitors at the break. Forest scored first after the interval, the conversion missed to bring them within two points, and an extended period of fraught yet scoreless play then followed for over half an hour until the home team were awarded an easy penalty-scoring opportunity with only seconds of the game left. Surely this was the moment that would win the Leicester side the game by a solitary point? Yet incredibly they decided to kick for the corner. That apparent miscalculation was costly as they lost the line-out – and the game with it – to the great delight of Stamford fans and players. All of which nicely set up Stamford’s next fixture, at home against league leaders Northampton Casuals. It wasn’t the perfect start, Casuals going six points up through two penalties, but the first try went to Stamford from Rees Burns before the away side scored one of their own, converted, only for Town to reply with a further two scores through Bagnall and then Robbie Smith. A penalty to Casuals made it 17-16 at the break, but Bagnall went over for his second to secure a bonus point early afterwards before Casuals restored their

one-point lead with a well-worked score. The pendulum continued to swing, however, with Stamford’s Jack Jones darting across the line after a drive from a line-out. Perhaps understandably with so much at stake and the match finely-poised, emotions were getting the better of some and both Dan Heard and an opposition player were yellow carded after an altercation, followed to the sin bin shortly afterwards by Robbie Smith, his deliberate knock-on reducing Stamford to 13 men. It was backs to the wall for some time after that as Casuals sought to take advantage, but Stamford eventually got the break their defensive resolution deserved as Bagnall seized on a loose ball and ran almost the full 100 metres to bag his hat-trick and seal the match by 36-23. Coach Matt Albinson was keen to point out that they’d scored six tries to Casuals’ two, telling me: “It was only our indiscipline that made the match that close.” Albinson has revealed that he will leave the club after 26 years at the end of the season. He said: “It’s time. In the last 11 years I’ve only missed one Saturday and I need to spend more weekends with my family.” Stamford will surely be promoted after those last two results, so it should be a fitting reward and a perfect end to match his dedication to the cause. “It’s the guys and the friendships I’ll miss the most,” he added. “This year has been one of the best. The boys are an absolute joy to work with.” Next season Midlands 2 could be filled with local derbies – Melton returning there after a brief sojourn up a level and Oakham awaiting – unless Oaks were to cross rising Stamford on the downwards escalator. They face a battle

against relegation in the final few games of the season but, before we turn to their travails, their expresident Keith Crellin, who’s seen a thing or two in his days at the club, has this to say about arch foe Albinson:“Any successful club needs stalwarts like him. They’re worth their weight in gold and are few and far between. What better way to go out than with a promotion. I’ve got great admiration for him – a really superb servant of the game.” Oaks are in a four-way battle to stay up with Vipers, Long Buckby and Market Bosworth, Huntingdon already having laid claim to the bottom spot. “It’s going down to the wire,” Crellin told me. “But hopefully it will help that we’ve played all the top sides already.” One of those, indeed the leaders, are Olney who Oaks played in early February, losing by only 19-29 in what Crellin called, despite losing, “our best performance of the season” which bodes well for the run in. Their battle might not be resolved until the final day of the season, when they visit relegation rivals Long Buckby. At the other end of the division, Market Harborough are narrowly leading St Ives for the second promotion spot. Olney seem to be impregnable at the top, especially as Harborough lost away to them this month by 25-15, although Harborough’s David Nance called it: “A fine performance... in a tight game that could have gone either way.” That lead is down to their win against St Ives on February 2, by 45-24. They landed seven tries and head coach Joe Hill said they are “now showing what they are capable of and can achieve their aim of finishing in the top two, but there are still tough games to come”.

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The Roundup Leicester Tigers’ wheelchair rugby team were undefeated on their way to retaining their championship title

Tigers talk Steve Moody ponders the fallout for club and player if Manu Tuilagi’s rumoured transfer to French side Racing 92 happens


T THE TIME of going to press, rumours were swirling that Manu Tuilagi is leaving Leicester Tigers for France at the end of the season. If it happens, it would be met with a mixture of disappointment and anger, but some sympathy, too, by Tigers fans. What it would prove though, once and for all, is that the old-fashioned, rather amateur concept of ‘one-club loyalty’ in rugby is properly dead and buried. Tuilagi has been rewarded handsomely and supported stoically by a club through a turbulent few years which have seen him variously injured and missing vast swathes of numerous seasons, plus various misdemeanours, some serious, some more daft and trivial. So there would be an irony that as he finally shakes off the injury curse, he might be leaving. Of course, it’s not all Leicester being purely altruistic. A lesser player would not have been afforded the patience, or budget, that Manu got. So in some senses it would be the logical end of a transactional relationship. But it would also be the end of an emotional one too. He’s a player who has been with the club since he was a boy (I remember standing next to him in a queue for the burger van at Welford Road when he was barely in long


trousers and one of his many relations were playing), and clearly loves the club and its surrounding community deeply. At the opening of Matt Hampson’s new HQ, there was Manu, one of only two current players there (club stalwart Matt Smith was the other), still in his training kit having rushed over after practice to support his friend. But in the end, money talks, and the

“Manu’s been with Leicester since he was a boy and he clearly loves the club”

French have lots of it and Racing 92 have a rock star ground to perform in too. For all the cash and swanky facilities, if he does go hopefully Manu will also find the same deep community roots that he clearly treasures at Leicester. On a cheerier note, congratulations to Leicester Tigers wheelchair rugby team which sealed a successive championship title, winning every game of their 13-match Super Series Division One 2018/19 campaign. The squad wrapped up the title on home soil at the Morningside Arena in Leicester, winning the final two-day Super Series weekend. And then the under 18s secured back-toback titles by beating Gloucester in a thrilling 34-31 grand final. There are a lot of young players coming through at the club, so hopefully Manu’s loss won’t be too keenly felt for long.

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March 2019 / theactivemag.com

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The Roundup FOOTBALL

Crucial period for the Daniels By Dean Cornish


T’S BEEN ABOUT as mixed a month as you can get for Stamford AFC as they continue their quest for a play-off position in the Evo Stik Division One East. To be honest, it’s been a mixed season full-stop with Stamford at times looking fantastic and then at other times losing players left, right and centre, and losing matches they should be winning. That inconsistency may end up costing them a play-off place, unless they go on a superb run between now and April. The last few games have seen the Daniels lose once, draw once, and get one win – about as mixed as you can get. A few weeks ago they lost heavily away at Frickley, the venue where Stamford won the play-off semi-final last season. That 4-1 defeat was a poor performance, with the Daniels devoid of ideas in attack with an unfit John Sands huffing and puffing in an ineffective performance up front. With a frozen pitch meaning the following week’s game against Brighouse was called off, Stamford’s next game perversely was also against Frickley, this time at home. Thankfully that game saw a better performance and they came away with a goalless draw. Another blank in front of goal though saw manager Graham Drury lose patience with striker John Sands, who was released the following day, which paved the way for the return of one of Stamford’s prodigal sons, Gregg Smith. Smith, a thick-set striker who has had various spells at the Daniels, has recently been playing at higher levels with Boston United, and more recently with Tamworth. It’s seen as a bit of a coup for Smith to agree to return, and hopes are high that he could make the difference.

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A crowd of 349 turned out to see Gregg’s ‘debut’ against Gresley Rovers, and the signs were good when he slotted home in the 33rd minute to put Stamford 2-0 up. However, 10 minutes later Smith’s poor disciplinary record was in full evidence when he was sent off to experience the Zeeco Stadium showers a bit earlier than he may have hoped. The referee did the Daniels no favours all game, with Ollie Brown-Hill also getting his marching orders late in the game, bizarrely for two dives in the penalty area, neither of which looked like dives. Thankfully Stamford held on to win 2-1 and move up to ninth in the table, seven points from the play-offs. Smith’s suspension will hurt Stamford in the run-in, but let’s hope they can win some of the upcoming crucial games and finish the season strongly. In the United Counties Premier Division, Harborough Town have moved up to 12th following a run of three wins on the bounce in late January/early February. The Bees beat Desborough 2-0 and Sleaford 1-0, both away from home, before a cracking 5-4 home win over Leicester Nirvana, with substitute Taras Petranyuk scoring a late winner. In the UCL Division 1, Stamford-based side Blackstones have moved up to fourth after

good wins in their last two games, including an excellent 4-0 derby win away at Bourne Town. They also recently beat Rushden & Higham United (3-2) and perhaps disappointingly drew 1-1 away at Irchester United. If Blackstones keep the management next season, I’ll be backing them for promotion. In the Peterborough League Premier Division, Stamford Lions picked up their incredible league form once again with another two wins following their away draw with Moulton Horrox. James Sheehan’s side beat Leverington 3-0 away from home and also picked up three points away at Peterborough Polonia. They’re sixth in the league, but with plenty of games in hand they could yet finish runners up. However, Lions did lose their Peterborough Senior Cup Final against Moulton 3-0. Ketton meanwhile also lost in the other semi-final of the same cup, with their game ending 2-0 against Whittlesey Athletic. In the league, the boys from Pit Lane have had a mixed month with an impressive 4-3 win against Netherton being followed up by a 2-1 defeat away at Tydd FC. In Division One, Uppingham Town are now 10 points off the top of the league, but with promotion still in their sights. After an incredible run of wins though, they’ve drawn their last two league games, finishing 2-2 away at Oundle and then perhaps surprisingly drawing 1-1 at home with Stamford Bels. Bels have been in good form, though, with Lewis Morley’s men winning three games on the bounce before the Uppingham draw; the recent highlight being a 5-0 away win at Moulton Horrox.

“If Blackstones keep the management next season, I’ll be backing them for promotion”

Show your support for local sport Tel: 01572 503123


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Horse flu can’t stop Melton Hunt Club By Julia Dungworth


HAT A GLORIOUS day we had for the Chestnut Horse Feeds Melton Hunt Club Ride, after its two-week postponement at the beginning of February due to the only small flurry of snow we’ve had this year. It again looked in jeopardy due to the influenza outbreak, which happened just after the initial postponement. Although the country shut down equine-wise for just over a week and a lot of meets had to be cancelled, the horse movement ban was lifted just days before and the Melton race was good to go. The ground at Long Clawson couldn’t have been better for the four mile-plus charge set around the Belvoir’s finest hunting country, all topped off with glorious sunshine. Unsurprisingly there was a record number of spectators, who were not disappointed. The race started well and quickly digressed after a big pile-up at fence three right as the field angled a rather large hedge a bit too steeply. It’s definitely worth a YouTube search if you want some entertainment! There were also various bits of calamity and loose horses to follow, from the brave field of 42 starters. A thrilled Maurice Linehan from Cheltenham was first past the post on an ex-event horse. Maurice also won the prize for the first thoroughbred and now heads off to the Golden Button in Gloucestershire, hopefully to continue his winning streak. Second place went to Rory Bevin, who also took first middleweight and best under-25. Clare King came in third spot and claimed first

“Yet again Belton promises to be one of the biggest events on the calendar, with the best riders in the world competing there”

lady. William Clayton finished fifth taking novice and the heavyweight prizes. Sophie Walker took the ROR prize in sixth place. The ROR have also just announced a new incentive of £500 to the best-placed horse and £250 for second in the four national hunt rides, the others being the Golden Button, Silver Spur and the Harborough, all running over the next month or so. Belvoir joint master Tom Kingston finished as first Belvoir subscriber, which was a valiant effort having suffered a rather horrific horse fall early on in the course. He quickly gathered himself up, jumped back on and still finished seventh. The last of the special awards was the veteran prize which went to William Fox-Grant

who finished eighth. The beginning of the hunt rides ties in with the hunting season coming to an end, where another cracking year has been had by all with hardly any days being cancelled due to the weather, which makes a refreshing change. The event season begins locally at Oasby on March 7, which runs over four days with a record 37 sections. BEDE has a somewhat local domination on running successful events, its next being Belton in Grantham which this year runs slightly earlier on the weekend of March 29-30. Yet again it promises to be one of the biggest events on the calendar, with the best riders in the world competing there; it is definitely one for the diary.

Maurice Linehan was first past the post at the Melton Hunt Club Ride

March 2019 / theactivemag.com 65

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Profile for Active Magazine

Active Magazine // Stamford & Rutland // March 2019  

SPORT, LEISURE, getting fit and staying healthy – Stamford and Rutland is buzzing with people full of energy. Reflecting what’s going on th...

Active Magazine // Stamford & Rutland // March 2019  

SPORT, LEISURE, getting fit and staying healthy – Stamford and Rutland is buzzing with people full of energy. Reflecting what’s going on th...