I am responding to the Community News article appealing for more Ramblers members, especially younger people ('Ramblers Seek New Recruits', November 1).

As a frequent walker in UK and abroad, I share the concern about declining numbers, but I think the root causes are closer to home for these organisations.

In my local walking group (which is independent from the Ramblers Association (RA)), we have mixed-age walkers, including some in their 20s and 30s, even a 5-year-old.

When I asked our newest younger walkers why they did not join an RA club, they complained that the name “Ramblers” is a disincentive, it smacks of older people.

Our group is the Moonrakers Walkers and in order to cope for children, all the walks have shortcuts; we learn about the area in which we are walking; we visit gardens, nature reserves, old buildings and talk to the people who run them.

And we believe in having fun, by social contact, calling in to cafés and pubs, lunches on cold or wet winter days.

All our walks are unique, because we do not repeat them the following year, we ask members for ideas about areas they know and devise an appropriate walk of 8-12 miles (shorter in winter).

We are continually adding new members, simply by word-of-mouth publicity from other members.

There are many groups similar to ours.

So the local RA group will have an uphill struggle unless they do more than they did on their AGM last year, where there was no incentive for younger people to join, nor was there any stated policy to make walks more attractive and less repetitive.

I do of course wish them luck, they have a long history of rambling and repairing tracks and deserve to carry on, but they need a more modern approach if they are to increase their membership list, to attract younger people and to be sustainable into the future.

John F Turley