History...

The Sheffield May Day Trek has over 50 years of history raising money for Christian Aid and CAFOD. During that time thousands of people have walked the walk, made new friends, and raised many thousands of pounds.

All money raised are for 'unrestricted general funds' enabling Christian Aid and CAFOD to choose how best to use the money. At the start of the walk, a Christian Aid or CAFOD representative describes an example of their development work.

We would like to expand the History of the Sheffield May Day Trek. If you have special memories of past May Day Treks, what they have meant to you, whether the weather was favourable or foul, etc. and would like to contribute to this History, please forward them to info@SheffieldMayDayTrek.org.uk.

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007

2016: Monday 2nd May

Paul Furbey from Christian Aid thanked the walkers on behalf of Christian Aid, and sent them off into a wet Bank Holiday Monday.

In 2016 the same 6, 11 and 16 mile walks as 2015 were used, from St. Luke's Church, Lodge Moor.

There were fewer walkers this year, 96 hardy walkers braved the weather on a wet Bank Holiday Monday; 69 on the 6 mile, 16 on the 11 mile and 11 on the 16 mile walk.

Though 11 started the 16 mile walk, most took the option to reduce to the 11 mile walk at the junction when crossing Houndkirk. As a result only one walker finished the 16 mile walk, so it has been decided to only offer the 6 and 11 mile walks for 2017, and encourage those who like a more challenging walk to consider the Sheffield Night Hike.

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2015: Monday 4th May

Loko's story (More details: Christian Aid Website, PDF)

In 2015 Christian Aid focused on their work helping vulnerable women in Ethiopia to empower and enable them to provide for their families. Just £150 is enough to buy a cow and a promising future; Loko dreams of owning a cow. Selling the milk would provide an income. An income could help set up a business. This gives Loko status and a voice in her community.

A new location for the 2015 Sheffield May Day Trek, and the welcome return of a choice of short, medium and long walks. (Information Leaflet)

There were 178 walkers this year; 83 on the 6 mile, 60 on the 11 mile and 35 on the 16 mile. Walker numbers increased with the return of the longer walks to levels during the Bolsterstone years (2009 to 2013).

The weather was wet at the start of the bank holiday weekend, but recovered for walking in a bright and sunny May Day bank holiday.

The walks started and finished at St. Luke's Church; 3 circular walks of 6 (Walk Guide), 11 (Walk Guide)and 16 (Walk Guide) miles into and through the Hallam moors to the west of Sheffield.

The 6-mile walk was family friendy for those with young children, though not suitable for buggies. The walk went out and back along Redmires Conduit, and around Redmires reservoirs via Redmires Road along the north side and the Yorkshire Water concessionary path along the south side.

The 11-mile walk was suitable for those wanting something longer. It started by following the Sheffield Night Hike route in reverse; along David Lane past the Mayfield Centre, crossing the Porter Valley, upto the Norfolk Arms at Ringinglow, and following the track over Houndkirk Moor. About 1/2 mile before the A57 and Fox House, the route leaves the Night Hike route, turning right across Burbage Moor to Upper Burbage Bridge, upto and along Stanage Edge, and turning right to rejoin the Night Hike route passed Stanage Pole, following the Yorkshire Water concessionary path along the south side of Redmires reservoirs and back along Redmires Conduit.

The 16-mile walk was more challenging and follows the Sheffield Night Hike route. The walk goes via the Mayfield Valley, Fox House, Longshaw, Grindleford to Hathersage. From there it climbs up to Stanage Edge, passes Redmires Reservoir and back to St. Luke's Lodge Moor.

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2014: Monday 5th May

Alex Jones from Christian Aid described their work tackling violence in Columbia.

A new location for the 2014 Sheffield May Day Trek, though unfortunately only a 5 mile circular walk could be offered.

The walk started and finished at Bents Green Methodist Church, and walked up the Porter valley and down the Limb valley to the west of Sheffield. See the map below, and view or save the following PDF route descriptions; 2-page summary, 8-pages with photos.

There were 120 walkers this year, lower than previous years at Bolsterstone, though only a 5 mile walk was available.

The weather was bright and sunny all bank holiday weekend and continued through the May Day bank holiday, helping to increase the number of walkers with many registering on the day.

From conversations with walkers they enjoyed the new route and location, though several would have liked the option of longer walks. [Longer walks will be returning in 2015.]


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2013: Monday 6th May

This years Sheffield May Day Trek was in the same Bolsterstone area as from 2009, using the same reversed routes as 2011. It was gloriously hot and sunny for the whole Bank Holiday weekend, and was a great day for walking on the Monday.

Again the walk started and finished at Bolsterstone Village Hall and offered a choice of 5, 10 and 15 mile circular walks around the Broomhead and More Hall Reservoirs on the moors south of Bolsterstone. See the maps and descriptions in the 2011 section below.

There were 165 walkers this year; with 85 walking 5 miles, 55 walking 10 miles and 25 walking 15 miles.

There were a couple of big updates to the website this year; our own online registration form and the ability to 'Donate Now' using JustGiving. If you would like to give any feedback on these please use the 'Contact us' form at the bottom of the 'Register' page.


Your Stories

The 'Your Story' question on the new online registration form made it easier for you to give us some of your reasons for walking and memories of previous walks. Your stories are providing some wonderful memories (Chernobyl!) through to the sheer joy of being fit enough to walk the walk. Some examples (without names) are included below;

- I have walked when I am in Sheffield since, I believe, 1985 (Chernobyl time): that year it rained, and I encouraged thirsty junior church members to drink the water spilling off their anorak hoods. It later became clear that we had been under the radioactive plume. I have tried not to encourage risky behaviour since then.

- Last year a small group of young people from our church took part. It was good for the older members of the church to see them raising money for Christian Aid - showing that they are full members of the church. It was good for the young people to see so many others who are active church members.

- Several years ago, our vicar and his wife always did the May Day Trek, and we would sponsor them. Having taken part with my daughter over the last couple of years, it's great to walk in lovely countryside, chat with some interesting people, and also to raise a substantial sum for Christian Aid.

- I wish to help Christian Aid. My Mother did a lot for Christian Aid in Sheffield and I do this partly in her memory as she died not long ago.

- As a Christian Aid intern, I've learnt alot about the diference such events can make. I'd therefore like to give it a go my self!

- This is the fifth year which our family has walked the May Day trek.

- I wholeheartedly back the aims of the walk and I'm delighted to be fit enough to do the walk.

- ..............just because I'm glad to be able to.

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2012: Monday 7th May

This year we were delighted to be joined by Lemlem Berhe, a water and sanitation engineer from Ethiopia. Before the start of the walk she talked about one of the water projects she is directly involved with. It was good to hear first hand how the money raised by this walk is used for water and sanitation projects in Ethiopia and how this is improving peoples lives.


This years Sheffield May Day Trek was in the same Bolsterstone area as from 2009, using the same reversed routes as 2011.

On the day itself we were blessed with a dry morning and some sunshine. This was good news for the 5 and 10 milers, but some 15 milers were still walking when the rain came in the mid-afternoon.

Though this was much better than had been expected. This April was very wet and a few days before the walk emails were sent to all walkers to warn them to "...please come prepared for some muddy conditions."

The day before the walk, the Sunday, was warm and sunny all day. I must admit, I thought that we had missed our weather window, but in hindsight, this warm Sunday was ideal to dry the route in preparation for the walk on Monday.


The walk started and finished at Bolsterstone Village Hall and offered a choice of 5, 10 and 15 mile circular walks around the Broomhead and More Hall Reservoirs on the moors south of Bolsterstone. See the maps and descriptions in the 2011 section below.

There were 200 walkers this year; with 110 walking 5 miles, 65 walking 10 miles and 25 walking 15 miles.

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2011: Monday 2nd May

Again about 200 walkers attended the 2011 walks (5, 10 and 15 miles) and raised over £10,000 in sponsor money for Christian Aid and Cafod.

It was a lovely warm and sunny day for the walk.

This years Sheffield May Day Trek was in the same Bolsterstone area as for 2009 and 2010, but this year the routes were reversed to make the route easier as the climbs are more gradual.

The general consensus from walkers was that the route changes were a big improvement and were much appreciated.


The walk started and finished at Bolsterstone Village Hall, see the map below, and offered a choice of 5, 10 and 15 mile circular walks around the Broomhead and More Hall Reservoirs on the moors south of Bolsterstone. Follow these links to view the walk Map and route descriptions; Brief and Detailed (with grid references); 5 miles, 10 miles and 15 miles.

The 5-mile walk, which is suitable for families with young children, goes gently up Whitwell moor and then down to Underbank Reservoir.

The 10-mile walk extends the 5-mile walk to include Broomhead Hall and Broomhead Reservoir.

The 15-mile walk extends the 10-mile walk to include Spout House Hill and Wharncliffe Side overlooking More Hall Reservoir.

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2010: Monday 3rd May

About 200 walkers attended the 2010 walks (5, 10 and 15 miles) in Bolsterstone raising money for Christian Aid and CAFOD.

There were 203 walkers; 104 on the 5 mile route, 66 on the 10 mile route and 33 on the 15 mile route.

This years Sheffield May Day Trek was over the same routes as 2009, through spectacular countryside on the edge of the Peak District in the Bolsterstone area. (North of Sheffield, near Stocksbridge.) See the map, descriptions and links below for the 2009 walks.

Again if anyone has any other photos from the 2010 walk, or any story to tell, please email them to this website.


Bishop leads the way in May Day Trek tradition (from the Sheffield Telegraph, Thursday 6th May 2010)

* Above: walkers setting off from Bolsterstone on the May Day Trek.

The Bishop of Hallam, the Rt Rev John Rawsthorne, joined walkers on the traditional May Day Trek around a rural edge of Sheffield on Monday.

Around 200 set off from Bolsterstone village hall with the choice of five, ten or 15 miles routes to raise money for CAFOD and Christian Aid. The Bishop took the 15 mile option.
One of the hazards was the hail storms. "At one point the hail was on the ground like snow," said Helen Desforges, CAFOD officer in Hallam diocese.

Walkers passed reservoirs near Stocksbridge and in the Ewden Valley. "The theme was raising money to provide clean water in developing countries, so passing reservoirs that supply Sheffield with clean water was appropriate," said Helen.

The above article was published in the Sheffield Telegraph, Thursday 6th May 2010. (I did email them and ask if their permission was required to include the image and text on this website. I had no reply. If anyone reads this who can put me in touch with the appropriate person to ask for permission to use this image and text, it would be greatly appreciated. If there are any legitimate reasons that this image and text cannot be used here then please let me know and I will remove them. Thanks. 'Website Editor'.)

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2009: Monday 4th May

About 260 walkers attended the 2009 walks (5, 10 and 15 miles) and raised over £10,000 in sponsor money for Christian Aid and Cafod.

There was some rain but not too much to put people off. It was a bit drizzly in the morning, then cleared up for most of the day, but returned later in the afternoon when the 15 milers were on the final stretch of the walk.

This years Sheffield May Day Trek was over new routes through spectacular countryside on the edge of the Peak District in the Bolsterstone area. (North of Sheffield, near Stocksbridge.) People seemed to enjoy the new route although there were some comments about these hills being a bit steeper than last year!

A couple of photographs from the 2009 walk; walkers gathering to leave Bolsterstone Village Hall at the start of the walk, and looking out over the hills.

Again if anyone has any other photos from the 2009 walk, or any story to tell, please email them to this website.


The walk started and finished at Bolsterstone Village Hall, see the map below, and offered a choice of 5, 10 and 15 mile circular walks around the Broomhead and More Hall Reservoirs on the moors south of Bolsterstone. Follow these links to view the walk Map and route descriptions; Brief and Detailed (with grid references).

The 5-mile walk, which is suitable for families with young children, to Underbank Reservoir, and loops around Whitwell moor.

The 10-mile walk extends the 5-mile walk to include Broomhead Hall and Broomhead Reservoir.

The 15-mile walk extends the 10-mile walk to include Spout House Hill and More Hall Reservoir.

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2008: Monday 5th May

About 275 walkers attended the 2008 walks (5, 10 and 15 miles), which were again in the Hallam Moors area of the Peak District, starting from St. Lukes Church, Lodgemoor, on the west side of Sheffield. The 5 mile route went to Rivelin Dams and Wyming Brook, the 10 mile route extended this to the Redmires Reservoirs, and the 15 mile route returned via Stanage Edge and Houndkirk Moor.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the 2008 walk, I was away on business in Seattle. But I do remember receiving emails just days before the big day to say that the links to the registration form on the website had stopped working. I don't know what went wrong, but the 8 hour time difference worked to my advantage, and the website was fixed and up and running while the UK slept.

If anyone has any photos from the 2008 walk, or any story to tell, please email them to this website. Any story will be more interesting than one of a website not working properly!

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2007: Monday 7th May

About 175 walkers attended the 2007 walks (5, 10 and 15 miles), which were in the Hallam Moors area of the Peak District, starting from St. Lukes Church, Lodgemoor, on the west side of Sheffield. The 5 mile route went to Rivelin Dams and Wyming Brook, the 10 mile route extended this to the Redmires Reservoirs, and the 15 mile route returned via Stanage Edge and Houndkirk Moor.

A couple of photographs from the 2007 walk; walkers gathering to leave St. Luke's Church at the start of the walk, and so much to talk about during a glorious day in the hills.

A team from St. Mary's Church, Bramall Lane, setting off, and later on the walk. Click this link to see more of their photos.

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[Last update 22 October 2017.]