Living in the North east I found that there is very little support for the Amputee community, we don’t even have a support group at the regional limb centre so I thought about trying to set up an amputee social/walking group, sadly I couldn’t get the limb centre to sign on, in fact after many attempts I couldn’t even get to post a notice on the main board, I contacted one of the biggest limb loss charities for help and guidance (who will remain nameless) and they couldn’t be bothered to either ring me back or reply to my many letters. So it died a death ……………a shame really I think getting out into the countryside and having a day’s walking / talking with other amputees and their loved ones could have been a very useful tool in every ones recovery.

Taken from the booklet I produced but was unable to leave in the limb centre :-

AMPUTEE WALKING GROUP 

Want to get out walking again?

Want to get out into the great outdoors?

Want to see some of the hidden gems that are situated in the Northumberland National Park or other wild places?

Want to see some more of our beautiful coastline?

Not sure if you can manage?

Not sure of the routes?

We have walks for all levels and abilities, which can favour either left or right leg amputees.

Have a look at some of the walks posted for more info & tell us what you require to get you out there.

Puncherton hill  looking towards Ravens Crag.

A bit about myself –

 Normally answer to the name of Mick.  A bit of an old grumpy miserable git who has just turned 53.

 Lost my left leg (above knee) about Eight years ago.

I now simply love the great outdoors and get out at least once per week (shifts permitting), what I am after is some other amps to share this experience with.

For the last eight years I have been hiking all over the county slowly getting more and more confident, exploring different types of terrain and learning different techniques which enable me to not only function but to enjoy this wonderful county we all live in.

I have teamed up with (well pestered) the Northumberland National Park ranger service and we have produced some really good walks just to get you started.

Why not E MAIL me  and see if it’s for you,

You may not be up to any distance yet! And just want to have a practise with someone who has been there seen it and got the tee shirt.

(I need to point out that I am not a trained professional or anything like that)

Me on Rookland Hill.

This Training could include: -Up hill or down hill (ugh) training (how not to scream when coming down too fast) 

Looking down from Shillhope Law.

On Loadpot hill (lakes)

The Dodd looking towards Kidland Forest.

Walking on / through long grass/ferns & what to expect

 

Busy trail towards Darden Lough.

My better half Yvonne reappearing from an overgrown path.

Sometimes the path just disappears.

Walking on both hard or soft sand (knackering) but has to be learnt if you want to do beach walks

Budle Bay Beach walk.

Beach walk heading towards Low Newton for lunch.

Church Point beach walk.

Walking on rocky or uneven surfaces (can be very tricky)

On the way to the Carey Burn after a small rock section.

The path to the top of  Hartside.

Coming out of Simonside Woods.

Getting through a Heather field (because you turned left instead of right “that’s the last time you have the map”)

The back of Simonside (Spylaw)

Heather on pathway .

on the way to the bizzle.

How to get about when there is ice and snow lying.

An icy walk downhill near Kidland Forest.

The Usway Burn  (Light snow covering)

Icy walk near Batailshiel Haugh.

My favourite how to splodge your way out of a bog without pulling your leg off (great but messy fun)

A muddy section of Salter’s road Nr Davidson Linn.

Just think of what some of  the advantages could be:

Losing the fear of falling (it’s a soft landing)

Fitness

Confidence

Weight loss (I wish)

A real sense of achievement (sad but very true)

And a real chance to get out on some hill top or distant valley and see some of the wonderful sights that this county has to offer.

One of my favourite views returning down Barrow Law towards the Barrowburn Tea rooms.

Taken from Kidlandlee looking towards the Dodd.

   

What gear will I need?

Just the normal, good walking shoes /boots, a good waterproof coat (this is Northumberland,) a rucksack to carry your food & drinks in.

Any walking aids that you might need (I have hiking poles in my rucksack) any other stuff like creams, pills, spanners, Allen keys, kitchen sink, whatever you want BUT remember you have to carry it. (Talk to me on the phone about what gear you might need)

  

Who can come with me?

Any one can tag along the more the merrier bring you wives, husbands, mates, girlfriends, boyfriends, mums, dads if you don’t bring anyone you will have to speak to me that’s all, but remember its all about you learning how to improve your mobility and hopefully passing some of your knowledge and experiences on to some other amputee’s including me. And you can have a  good old moan about anything you want.

What happens if I can’t do it?

Not a problem

Before we even start I hope that by having a good honest two way conversation over the phone with you we can set some sort of limits and will pick a walk that is suitable for your requirements or have a days training & have some back up in place just in case, after all I will not take a new amputee up to the top of the cheviot until I am certain that it is well within their capability. (Or mine for that matter).

Well!!! This sound’s too good to be true!

 

 I bet you are thinking what’s the cost of this marvellous service that’s being offered??

There is no cost what’s so ever, (well if there’s a café at the end of the walk you can treat me to a cup of tea) I just believe that getting out there and practising is something that’s we all need to do at some time if we ever want to get a good level of mobility back again, and I can’t think of a better place than our own national parks to do it.

Have a look at some of the photos that I have taken from my walks - can they temp you out? It could be you standing on top of that distant hill, or sitting by that unknown waterfall having lunch.

 If you fancy a try or think it’s worth a go PM me :  michaelno1@worldonline.co.uk

 

 Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope to here from you soon.

……………….Mick

A few more photos just to temp you:-

Footnote :-

Even now I still think that this is something that is needed, perhaps I didn’t go about it in the right way , perhaps I am the only amputee that really likes the great outdoors somehow I don’t think that is the case , maybe I set my sights to high whatever the reason I failed miserably .

I will leave this on my website and if any amputee ever reads this and is interested E MAIL me.

AMPUTEE STUFF