Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

Footpath Reports

Work Party Report June 2015

Well, the good news was that after a couple of months of our enforced idleness, Dawn duly started with Surrey County Council as replacement for NS as rights of way assistant and we managed to set up a work party for February over near Ewhurst.

The job was to replace an existing stile with a kissing gate, repair a sleeper bridge and remove a redundant stile. All of this was to take place in the far corner of a very rough quagmire, euphemistically described as a field. The contractors who had been instructed to deliver the materials obviously took one look at the field and dropped the materials next to the road. We managed to get the kissing gate moved by a friendly farmer but the sleeper bridge was cancelled. After this inauspicious restart to our workparty activities, Dawn handed in her notice because of a change in her husband’s job. So we went back down the snake and started again—no rep, so no workparties in March or April.

We now have AB, who has been appointed by SCC, and we are hopeful that normal working will be resumed starting in May. Here’s hoping.

Work Party Report October 2015

Back to work! In May, in collaboration with the new rights of way assistant AB, we tackled installation of five way marks, repairs to one step and installation of a new field gate to replace an existing stile near to, and to the north of, Combe Court, Chiddingfold. Whilst recceing this job with the land manager we were visited by the owner’s dog—imagine an enormous dark brown shaggy bear, with a head the size of a lion’s. We discreetly stayed on the opposite side of the fence to him and asked the land manger what breed he was and was he friendly? The answer: some obscure Russian Breed specially bred to protect the sheep/goats from bears (hence the size) and he was usually friendly, but tended to get a bit antsy in the evening. Now there’s an incentive for getting the job finished quickly! Fortunately on the day he didn't even turn up for a sniff round.

For June, we installed two pedestrian gates, two way marks and cleared some veg around Dunsfold.

Unfortunately, July work was cancelled because of recalcitrant land owners not responding to requests for approval of work.

August saw us back at work near Prestwick Farm, Grayswood and some determined fighting with tree roots, which always seem to grow just where you need to sink a post! Perseverance paid off and two spanking new field gates replaced two rather difficult stiles.

Finally, our September work was under threat of cancellation, because AB was away on holiday, when a kind landowner offered her shed as a storage place for our tools. We split into two teams and while one team bashed and hacked their way through about 175 yards of severely overgrown path the other team erected a handrail around a pond edge and improvised with the tools they had. Why is there never the right screwdriver when you need one!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017