Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

Footpath Reports

Work Party Report June 2014

February Work Party was held on the Greensand Way to the South of Cranleigh. We cleared a large section of vegetation and installed a kissing gate and steps to replace a broken down stile.

March saw us near Shamley Green just down the main B2128 from St. John’s Seminary. This section of road is a bit of a race track between Wonersh and Shamley Green, with the path from near Lostiford house stepping right out into the road without any visibility. The evidence that we needed to be careful when working near the road was pretty overwhelming i.e. since we had done our recce someone had run off the road and demolished part of a stone wall on the other side of the road from where we were working. Just after we arrived there was a screech of brakes and someone crashed into the plastic barriers which had been erected around the broken section of wall and then drove straight off!

The exit from the path onto the main road was a Russian roulette experience because you had to worm through some serious laurel branches whilst simultaneously climbing the stile, followed by a step down and out straight onto the road. So we donned our fluorescent jackets, hefted our Men at Work signs and cones and removed the stile, cut back all the trees and installed a field gate with a clear platform, so that you could peer round the trees before you needed to step into the road.

We also cleared several fallen trees/bushes from the path and cleaned up round a couple of the stiles further along the path. None of the drivers passing our little work party seemed to slow down much but I think that was partly because they saw this bunch of dodgy fellows in fluorescent jackets and probably thought we were all on community service orders!

For April we scaled the heights of Holmbury Hill and carried out a revetment on the side of the Greensand Way on the edge of the hill. This was required to try and encourage walkers to use the proper footpath and not stray onto the nearby cycle track.

Footpath at Winkworth Arboretum

Some ten years ago the National Trust closed the access off the Busbridge – Thorncombe Street footpath into the Arboretum and along the lower lake (now the wetlands), that joined with the still open public right of way running north – south through the arboretum.
This footpath is the subject of an Alleged Footpath Claim (CP 547) lodged in 2011 to re-establish it as a public right of way. If successful, it would re-create a loop out of Busbridge – Catteshall through the Arboretum, Juniper Valley and Hydons Ball, before one returns via Clock Barn Lane or across the fruit farm. At a time when this area has at last been recognized as part of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is most regrettable that such a circuit is no longer open.

We are looking for walkers, joggers, runners who were using this path 10, 20, 30 years ago, to come forward with witness statements.
Evidence Forms can be obtained either by contacting me on 01483 414778, or by contacting the Surrey Rights of Way team (www.surrey.gov.uk).

Ian W

Wednesday, December 13, 2017