From the letter I sent in November:
"After the meeting there will be an opportunity to join Lovely Warden for a guided walk along the new nature trail. Please be aware that the terrain will be muddy and uneven so suitable footwear is essential!"
From the Christmas get together in December:
"And don't forget, after our pre-season meeting there'll be a chance to see the new nature trail. It's a bit rough and ready at the moment, so do bring your wellies."
On the morning of the pre-season meeting:
"The trail is particularly muddy at the moment, so if you are joining us this afternoon wellies are a must."
"Right, those of you coming on the walk, please gather in the courtyard. Can I just re-emphasise, the walk is exceptionally boggy in parts, so if you haven't brought wellies or walking boots I wouldn't attempt it."
On the walk:
"Ok, this is where it starts to get really muddy and churned up. I can't stress enough just how muddy it gets. Those of you in ordinary shoes, bail out now!"
"Is it muddy then?"
"Will it come over the tops of my shoes?"
"I'll risk it." And with that, she rolled up her trouser legs and strode on.
I have to say, I am proud of my volunteers. I had wellies on, and I carried a stout stick to assist me through the worst of the slippery, boggy parts of the track. Yet I had a couple of older ladies with me who managed to traverse the entire swamp in their sensible shoes and whilst carrying handbags. It had to be seen to be believed. This is the kind of can-do attitude that makes Britain great.
Our volunteers are a formidable crew. I do love them.