Quarterly Bulletin: 6

Better late than never?

Mapping up and running

The latest version of the mapping for the Community Forest Path showing connections to public transport is now on the Closer to the Countryside website (www.closertothecountryside.co.uk) This is nearly complete but there are still some wrinkles to straighten out. In particular the 517/518 buses no longer run so an early revision will be needed – but I would rather wait to see if there is anything else that needs correcting.

The following item makes use of the first part of the mapping.

South Bristol Link Road

The latest plans for the South Bristol Link Road threaten the route of the Community Forest Path between Long Ashton and the A38. The threat to the path is severe, but the threat to the people of South Bristol is greater.

It is proposed that we follow the route to Highridge Common next Saturday 8th October in order to inspect the route and distribute postcards produced by “Transport for Greater Bristol”, which campaigns for sustainable transport (see http://www.tfgb.org.uk/manifesto.htm)

The idea is to send the postcards to the Transport secretary. Proposed Schedule: 11-30am meet in front of Council House on College Green 11-39 catch No 8 bus to Clifton Village 11-47 arrive in Clifton 12-00 approx, cross Clifton Suspension Bridge 12-45 arrive Angel Long Aston for drink/lunch 1-30 leave Angel to follow CFP and proposed line of South Bristol Link Road 3-00pm arrive Highridge Common From here the possibilities are either take the 75 bus back to Bristol from the Common, continue along the proposed route via the Queen’s Head to the Gatehouse centre to take the 76 bus back to the centre or carry on to the Dundry Inn and loop round to catch the 75 off Sherrin Way. You will need: A day rider bus ticket (from driver etc.), which will cost £4 if you are an adult. Children £2-20 on Saturday. Family ticket for 5 people (up to 2 adults) – £8. Money for a drink in the pub (or possibly a picnic. (Not sure where you would eat it – possibly at Ashton Court?) Suitable footwear and clothing appropriate for the conditions. It would be helpful if you could let me (chris_bloor@tiscali.co.uk) know if you can come. (This walk is also a try out for more regular Saturday walks on the Community Forest Path.)

Saturday Walks

For a long time, I have intended to lead some walks and/or runs on the Community Forest Path. Now that I have worked out the connections to Public Transport, this is now a live prospect. I have walked several sections with Libby and would be happy to lead larger groups. Most of them work by getting a bus out and back with a pub visit in the middle, rather on the model of the South Bristol Link protest walk. I propose to lead a walk on 29th October using the 75 bus from the Gloucester Road to Patchway and then taking the CFP to Henbury via Easter Compton, where a visit to the Fox would be a good idea. We would then take the 76 back to the Gloucester Road, possibly stopping at the Wellie or maybe somewhere further into town. Any takers? Please email me chris_bloor@tiscali.co.uk for details as to timing etc.

Path Clearing

The local Public Rights of Way officers do a good job keeping paths clear if they know where the problems are and the new Outdoorswest website makes it easier to report problems to the right officer. But North Somerset are not signed up to this scheme and all the PROW teams have suffered severe cuts. Consequently, volunteer labour is often necessary to keep the CFP open. The preferred option seems to be walking with secateurs (for brambles) and gardening gloves (for nettles) in most areas. If you are interested in more active walking of this type, please contact Chris Bloor. (Actually carrying such items is always a good idea when out for a walk.)

Outdoorswest

The Outdoorswest website is up and running (although not quite up to speed). It is not really suitable to carry the whole of the Community Forest Path, but it can show short sections of the route linked to public transport. It is, however, very suitable for showing the routes used by Walking For Health Groups. Consequently, Nic Ferris of Bristol Walking for Health group has arranged training to train people up to enter routes onto the Outdoorswest website. I have been to two events; the Walk4Health walk on 26th September and the Partnership Walk on 30th September to promote the website. I was also able to promote the Community Forest Path at the same time. The site is particularly valuable for checking out the presence of stiles etc on the rute and reporting problems to PROW officers.

Green Man Challenge

There has been quite a flurry of activity on the Green Man Challenge since the last Bulletin. Alex Prince got round in 8 hours 8mins on 9th April, a great time that was beaten by Clive Marston on Easter Sunday (7hrs 55mins 13secs). Three walkers, John Carr, Kevin Rafter and Karl Suchy hot round in 17 hours 20 mins on 11th June and a group of businessmen (and women) did it as a relay event the following day in 16hrs. Mark Beveridge got round in just under 12 hours the following weekend. He had to make a tremendous effort to finish in the time due some navigation errors earlier. Matthew Hall and Tracy Darch walked around in 16 hours 45 mins in July, starting and finishing in Patchway. Neil Banwell got round in around 12 hours on 7th August and then Rin’dzin Pamo was the first person to finish as a “barefoot” runner in Vibram 5-fingers supported by a trio of Woodwoses and her brother Lawrence in a time of 11hrs 25mins on 7th September. Our 50th Woodwose was Andrew Beckett, who completed on Sunday 25th.

Ultrarunning

The outfit which puts on the Malborough Challenge and is planning the Severn Way Challenge has expressed a wish to organise a race on the Community Forest Path. Mixed feelings have been expressed about this move. The general feeling seems to be that some such move is inevitable, but we would like to preserve the mystical element that has been woven into the Green Man Challenge. Rin’dzin Pamo, for example did the whole thing as part of her Buddhist practice to raise money for the Aro Ling Buddhist Centre on the Gloucester Road.

What do you think?

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