Wednesday 13 October 2021
Hi, I'm Geeta, and I lead monthly guided walks in the Chilterns area. Alongside my academic job in education, I run a registered non-profit social enterprise called Dadima’s (translated, this is the Hindi noun for grandmothers).
The focus and vision of our family-run social enterprise is on:
We are keen to combat loneliness as a community, connecting in more meaningful ways where we slow down and find spaces to reflect and enjoy.
Dadima’s CIC started from a grandmother’s heritage Indian cookbook (published in 2016). It developed and gained momentum around various community food-related projects in schools and local communities, and then we started guided nature walks in 2018.
The guided community walks started around the Windsor/Virginia Waters area, where we walked with wonderful people across ages and walks of life, to include grandparents. Walkers shared important life stories and wisdom, and they welcomed the safe space of Mother Nature to unwind and connect in green spaces.
Having moved to the Chilterns in 2020, I wanted to continue building these important connections with nature and the great outdoors, doing my little bit to tackle health inequalities. I set up monthly guided walks in this beautiful natural landscape which is free for all to enjoy, but recognised quickly how some communities were not entering, engaging or feeling included.
As a British South Asian woman over 50, I’m very conscious of the health inequalities across different ethnic groups and have seen first-hand how the elders in my family faced many health issues at a younger age. My personal experiences have encouraged me to become more active, and an advocate of walking the great outdoors.
This monthly community is slowly growing in exciting ways, and I have plans for 2022 to include some themed walk and talks. I will share more details about these in December 2021, but examples include: Diwali nature floor art, menopause walks for good bone health, nature photography, nature writing.
Bring your family and friends along, and follow the details/FAQs below for the remaining three 2021 walks:
Start times will usually be 10am, unless I state a 9am start. Please note: 21st November walk starts at 9am.
Travelling Northbound: Get off the M40 at Junction 6, signposted Watlington/Princes Risborough. As soon as you exit the slip road, you’ll come to a T-junction. Turn immediate left (towards Watlington) and park in the free lay-by area where you’ll see several cars. I’m usually standing there around 10 minutes before the start time, and try to wave or wear something bright.
Travelling Southbound: Get off the M40 at Junction 6, signposted Watlington/Princes Risborough. As soon as you exit the slip road, you’ll come to a T-junction. Turn right (towards Watlington). Drive approximately 300m (you'll drive under the motorway bridge) and you'll see the lay-by for parking.
We walk for approximately 6-10 miles at a moderate pace. By this, I mean we can hold a good conversation. I intend to differentiate some walks in 2022, where we hold shorter and longer ones (these will be clearly signposted). The walk usually involves some incline up the beautiful Chilterns, but not too steep. This is why good footwear is important, to avoid slipping or ankle sprains.
If you’re unsure of your health, please do consult your GP beforehand for medical advice.
I am conscious of not dictating what you wear, but of course I want you to be safe and comfortable. The walking/hiking industry is huge business, and some items are incredibly expensive. There are no rules, but I have a few simple suggestions below:
- Walking shoes with a good grip and ankle support if needed. I often share pictures of walking shoes on my Instagram social media page, so do have a browse of those posts.
There is no need to book on, but I always find it helpful if you do let me know beforehand, so that I have a rough idea of who is coming.
Unlike some guided walks/hikes, Dadima’s walks are absolutely free of charge. My family and I run them as a non-profit CIC social enterprise. I believe these walks make a huge difference to mental wellbeing and health more broadly.
Unless really heavy rain or bad weather is predicted, I’ll always walk. As the saying goes: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing”.
In October 2021, a group of us walked for 4 hours in heavy rain, and we had great fun. The coffee and cake in a Watlington pub was so worth-it!
I would love to see you, your friends and family on one of these guided walk and talks. If you have particular questions, do feel free to email/message me via one of the suggested contact channels above.