u3a research database

About u3a Research and Shared Learning

Contact: Maggy Simms slp@u3a.org.uk

Learning is one of u3a's core activities. It can happen in many different ways, including collaborative and interactive learning. This section includes projects that you and your u3a contacts might take part in.

The u3a's Research and Shared Learning Committee is run by u3a volunteers on behalf of the members. Some projects are national or regional, others are devised and run by individuals.

Projects cover anything that stimulates the interest of those taking part
Some may want to work with a university department, others might be counting species for a local wildlife initiative, but they are all valid and valued. There may be organisations in your own area that you can partner with for a project: local history societies, arts groups, libraries, museums, town twinning committees and so on.

Current Research and Shared Learning Projects

These are open to any member: you can sign up for information about related events and opportunities. You can use these projects as a starting point for a local or network-wide u3a group.

The High Street Project

What's your High Street like these days?

Any u3a member or group can take part by:

Notes and pointers at Making mobile walking trails
Workshops have taken place to support these activities and can be requested.
You can find more information on the High Street Project website at High Street Project website

Future Lives

More information is on the page Future Lives further information
This project aims to take a long view to investigate, discuss, and gather views on how to improve our quality of life as we age.

take a walk on the slow side

Slow Ways

Dan Raven-Ellison and Rob Bushby of ‘Slow Ways’ are leading a national initiative to create a Great Britain-wide network of walking routes. A vast network of routes has been plotted, and volunteers are being asked to test them out and assess them. u3a is encouraging groups who want to add an additional dimension to their walks, such as an environmental study or historical / archaeological notes.

As well as future national and local events - at the bidding of YOU, the members!- here is a handy list of walking-themed books prepared by Jo Livingston of Bexley u3a.

Kerri ANDREWS

Wanderers; a history of women walking

2020

Ten women over 300 years who found walking essential to their well-being

Oscar BURTON

Any Porth in a Storm

2021

South West Coast Path in pain and often in rain

John HILLABY

Journey through Britain

1968

Land’s End to John o’ Groats(the classic)

Kate HUMBLE

Thinking on my Feet

2018

A year of walks and runs and thoughts on the benefits of walking

Rachel JOYCE

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (fiction)

2012

An unplanned trek from S.Devon to Berwick

Tom KING

Thames Estuary Trail: walk round the end of the world

2001

A review called it ‘not useful but interesting’

Robert MacFARLANE

The Old Ways – a journey on foot

2012

Tracks, sea-roads and forgotten paths which traverse collective memory

George MAHOOD

Free Country – a penniless adventure the length of Britain

2014

Land’s End to John o’ Groats with no money and hardly any clothes

Stephen PEACOCK

Geology for Walkers

2021

U3A member writing on how to include and identify geological features

W.G.SEBOLD

The Rings of Saturn

1995

A short walk in Suffolk, flâneur-style, a hybrid of fiction and non-fiction

Nan SHEPHARD

The Living Mountain

2019

Exploring the Cairngorms on foot – sometimes barefoot

Gail SIMMONS

A Country of Larks

2020

A walk through the Chilterns in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson

Iain SINCLAIR

London Orbital

2002

A walk round London close to the route of the M25

Christopher SOMERVILLE

The January Man – a year of walking Britain

2017

12 walks across GB, from flood plains of the Severn to the sea cliffs of Foula

Alfred WAINWRIGHT

Coast to Coast Walk

1970

St Bee’s Head to Robin Hood’s Bay, with typical Wainwright illustrations

Mark WALLINGTON

Travels with Boogie – 500 mile walkies

1982

South West Coast Path with a dog

Raynor WINN

The Salt Path

2018

South West Coast Path after homelessness and a terminal diagnosis

Chris YATES

Nightwalk

2014

A few hours in Dorset by moonlight

Want to be a Learning Coordinator?

Training and support is available if you want to join the Research Network of project volunteers. We have meetings every few months to keep in touch. Contact Maggy if you want to know more about this role.

Some more information about recent projects.