Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

Footpath Reports

Work Party Report - Jan 2014

This last reporting period began gently in October with the clearance of some vegetation and installation of a kissing gate at Gostrode farm (not far from Ramsnest). This was followed in November by a return to the Greensand Way at Witley station for another long section of revetment to allow the path to be raised over the bogs arising from winter springs. The soil was barely damp at the time but I was assured that the path was impassable in winter---- and it may well still be true, in spite of our work, given the rain we've had!

Finally our last work party of the year was to remove two stiles and install two kissing gates into the fence line on the Greensand Way at Bowlhead Green. Now normally when we have to dig in the footings for new gates the soil is either rock hard or filled with rocks / bits of old concrete. This time it was like digging in a well-tended garden with a fine, soft, and easily dug loam. In fact, Mike P even revealed another of his hidden talents by turning Archeologist and finding a complete pair of glasses which the land owner must have dropped down the hole when he installed the stile over twenty years ago. Then, knock me down with a feather …. the landowner and her husband turned up with flasks of coffee and “biscuits”!!! to thank us for our hard work! We were then able to present her husband with the spectacles he had lost years previously. After all that excitement we adjourned to the pub for our Christmas lunch.

So you see even the work party can be blessed by dry weather and suitable approbation for only minimal work with plentiful refreshments, so why not come along and join us ...or just cheer us on!

Jim Chipchase

Work Party Report - October 2013

Well, suddenly it was summer, complete with sunshine and a remarkable lack of rain, and off we marched, our happy band of volunteers, to see what new havoc and mayhem we could bring to the peace and tranquillity of the countryside. We started in June at Grayswood building a boardwalk and clearing vegetation. Now, generally, the fact we are constructing a boardwalk means by definition that there is a section of deep mud we have to wade through in order to place and hammer in the support posts. This task was no exception but the mud did have a very high “clagginess factor” and it exerted an amazing grip on wellies which led to some quite balletic waving of arms. Not to worry though, once you managed to extricate your wellies from the mire they were generally followed by a fresh gust of marsh gas (think stink bomb!) which certainly prevented anyone from fainting!

July saw us back in Sidney Wood installing six way-marks and clearing about 100 metres of vegetation firstly in the sun but followed by quite heavy Rain! – (how dare it - in July!)

Still, after lots of clipping and heaving we thought just one way mark left and we'll be finished. We started digging and after about 6 inches of soil started hitting rock and bricks. After a serious session of bashing and chipping away with little progress we thought - OK let's move the way-mark further back and try again - same result. After three tries we eventually broke through and found soil---I don't know who built the forestry track through the wood but they used FAR TOO MANY BRICKS.

In August we were back to the mud of Grayswood, this time installing a sleeper bridge and a set of steps on the same path as the June work party. The mud was still there but at least the steps were laid on nice dry sandy soil.

September we were putting revetments on the Greensand way near Witley station. This was to raise up the footpath, using scalpings and gravel to get over sections that get very boggy from winter springs. That's what we were told, although this job at least was carried out on bone dry sandy soil!

Don't forget we still need volunteers – give me a call. 

Jim Chipchase

Wednesday, December 13, 2017