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Summer update from your Chairman

Hi everyone.

I hope everyone has been keeping safe and well over this difficult period: isolation and restrictions on our usual lifestyles have been frustrating and, as we all know, the transition back to normality will be a gradual process and there might be setbacks, but we will get back to normal and Sheffield DA are in a strong position as we enter the coronavirus de-escalation phase and sites are already being booked for 2021, so there are lots of reasons to remain positive!

You will have heard a lot of news about camping and caravanning sites opening up from this Saturday, 4th July, however the Camping and Caravanning Club took a decision to cancel all meets and temporary holiday sites which had a start date in July; unfortunately for us that meant we lost two excellent THS (Darley Dale and Bishopthorpe), but that was beyond the control of Sheffield DA and I am sure it was taken for sound reasons so we accept the situation and move on.

Restart 2020

To bring you up-to-date, your committee has been working behind the scenes to revise plans for the remainder of the camping season and yes, we are determined to maximise the number of camping opportunities as soon as we are given the green light and currently that date is 1st August, although you will understand that this is subject to change. You might have seen some DAs taking bookings for THS already and wondering why we are not doing the same. Your Committee has been in dialogue about the restart and hygiene measures we might take but the reason we are holding for now is because we are awaiting a Green Paper from the Camping and Caravanning Club which will provide guidance to committees about the measures we should take to ensure our meets and THS are ‘covid-secure’ for the safety of members and stewards: this Green Paper is imminent and as soon as we receive it we will be in a good place to lock down our procedures and we will of course communicate at that time to provide reassurance of your safety on-site.

The following amendments have been made to our Sheffield DA 2020 programme:

  • Criccieth: the dates for our superb North Wales THS, have been amended to 1st – 16th August. Of course this comes under Welsh Assembly jurisdiction but fingers crossed this is looking good at the time of writing.

  • Kniveton: this is our first restart meet and we have extended to a full 5-days, commencing 12th August, so if you are planning to remain local this is a lovely way to get back into the swing of things;

  • Hognaston: our long-standing and popular late Summer bank holiday meet overlooking Carsington Water has also been extended to the full permitted 5-days, now commencing Wednesday 26th August until Monday 31st August.

  • Monyash meet (Tagg Lane) has been moved to 18th – 20th September following the cancellation of the Yorkshire Region ‘big meet’.

  • Tansley: New date, 4th – 6th September:

  • Ashover Showground: new date for 2020 is 23rd – 25th October (not AGM), having lost the original date due to coronavirus.

  • All other meets remain unchanged and you can view the programme here.

Photography competition

Sheffield DA's annual photography competition is still planned for Ashford-in-the-Water meet, 16th – 18th October so remember to get your images planned. They don’t have to be from this year but as we get out and about keep your camera handy for that killer shot. We don’t yet know if it will be possible to use the Village Hall due to the virus restrictions, but we will find a way to host the competition so get snapping! The categories are: isolation, camping, turquoise, doors, rivers, clouds. CCJ and CCY are open subject, unlimited entries.

Feast of Lanterns 2020

The FOL is planned for Blyth meet October 9th – 11th where we will once again decorate our camping units and compete for the Blatherwick Cup. The theme for 2020 is “Celebration of Key Workers”, so get your thinking caps on.

Bonfire Meet 2020

This is scheduled for Torksey meet, 30th October – 1st November and we are hoping to be able to proceed with bonfire and fireworks whilst remaining compliant with social distancing guidelines.


Your committee has taken the decision to invest in a defibrillator. We will all be delighted if this AED was never required of course but should the need arise on a Sheffield DA event it is reassuring to know that we might be able to help. Sheffield DA intends that our Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) will be available on our DA meets and THS and will be kept available for member and public use 24/7. There will be no expectation placed on stewards to keep the AED nor administer treatment, however where requested training will be provided: the DA will endeavour to ensure a volunteer is identified for each event and the location of the AED is made known.

Covid-secure camping

When we do resume camping there will inevitably be some new procedures required in order to comply with the forthcoming Green Paper on ‘covid-secure’ guidance and some things might need to be a little more formal than we would prefer so bear with us.

We intend to videoconferencing sessions (Zoom) to host briefing sessions for those volunteering to steward and extend that to any members who wishing to learn more about these measures in advance of attending a meet or THS. To be clear we expect most measures to be straightforward but hosting these sessions will help to provide a common understanding and allow questions or concerns to be surfaced in advance.

We will need to ask members to take personal responsibility to comply in order to provide a safe camping environment for all but community is what DA camping is all about so I am sure I can count on your understanding and support. We will take adequate measures and there is absolutely no reason why we cannot enjoy the rest of 2020 in the context of the new hygiene measures so thank you in advance for your cooperation.

That’s all for now, you’re all up-to-date but more than ever it is worth keeping across SDA website and social media for the latest status and information.

Hope to see you all soon

Iain Bonfield

Chairman, Sheffield DA.

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