good news, the paths may be getting some TLC

1 01 2011

I have just noticed, rather belatedly, that the clerk of the commoners’ committee commented on my blog post back in late November about the state of Heath Walk and said “The Heath Walk does need looking at and it might be the time to order in some Waldringfield Crag to see if this improves the muddy situation”. Sounds great and sorry for not approving the comment a month ago. I spoke to him on the phone today and he still sounded positive.

I comments that Gleneagles Walk (which links Gleneagles Drive and Heath Road) is also in urgent need of similar attention. This route is very well used by pupils of Copleston School, by staff at the hospital and others and it would be great if they could arrive at their destination not covered in mud!

Mud glorious mud along Gleneagles Walk!

A muddle puddle that is hard to avoid on Gleneagles Walk!

Snow returns

1 01 2011

With the early return of snow this year the common predictable turned white! We did however notice the stark contrast between the white snow and the blacked trunks of the oaks in the area that was burnt during the summer.

Heath Walk in the snow

Oak tree trunk in the snow

Looking up into one of the oak trees

Clearing Boundary Walk

12 11 2010

Greenways Countryside Project who manage the Sandlings Open Space have been clearling Boundary Walk today. Check the maps page to see where these are. They are doing this primarily to create a fire access route, but are in the process are creating a range of new habitats. Initially this includes a more open ‘glade’ along the path, however as the cut oaks regrow they will turn into a coppice of young oak. The thicker timber stacked up to the sides of the path together with the smaller dead brushwood ‘hedges’ good habitat for invertebrates. These hedges also provide nesting places for birds and provides some protection to the area beyond from dogs.¬† This range of habitat contrasts well with the high mature oak canopy beyond.

Clearing Boundary Path

Boundary path 2

The Greenways Countryside Project is a partnership supported by:

  • Babergh District Council;
  • Ipswich Borough Council;
  • Suffolk Coastal District Council;
  • Suffolk County¬†Council.

The people working on the project include some paid staff, volunteers and trainees.

Have we all become toothless tigers?

31 10 2010

Have we all become toothless tigers? I cycled across Rushmere Common this afternoon and was then continuing along the bridleway at the north side of Foxhall Heath when I came across this birch tree that had fallen across the path. According to a person just ahead of me who was lifting her bike over it, the obstruction had been there for about three weeks. How many people must have climbed over it, carried bike over it or turned round because their wheel-chair couldn’t get over it? Loads of people. How many people had done something about it? No-one!

This tree had been across the path for about three weeks

I came back with a bow-saw and in less than 5 minutes the path was clear and I had a load of fire-wood to take back home to dry out ready for next winter.

After five minutes work the path was cler again

Someone once commented that “We all complain about the ‘Nanny State’ until we want Nanny”. Well… given the mood music from the politicians at present, I think we will be waiting longer and longer for her to show up. Possibly we are just going to have to get better at sorting things out for ourselves.

Dobbs Lane – A very dangerous crossing point

31 10 2010

I have been concerned about the point where the bridleway that heads out east from Rushmere Common crosses Dobbs Lane. Today I was driving up Dobbs Lane to check out the drivers eye view. The point at which this photo is taken is in a unrestricted speed zone. Notice that the 30mph speed limit sign on the right is almost completely obscured and that there is no warning that there may be people crossing the road ahead.

right hand sign obscured

I stopped the car in a lay-by, walked back with some loppers I had in the car and cur the branches back. I also noticed that both the poles were loose in the ground and were leaning outwards. I pushed them back into position and went back to see what it looked like afterwards.

Signs more visible afterwards

I then went back to the footpath and timed how much warning one had of an approaching car. The answer was 2.9 seconds. This is the view from the pavement.

2.9 seconds from the car coming into view and being at this point

Just to reinforce the point, I noticed this front bumper that had obviously come off a car at the base of the 30mph sign

Signs of an earlier accident? - bit of a car by the 30mph sign

On my way home I passed this sign. I think we need one at that crossing point. I would also recommend cutting back the undergrowth to increase the view around the blind corner.

This is the sort of signage that is needed

The crossing is on this map just to the north of the bend on Dobbs lane where the bridleway (in green) approaches from the left and the footpath leaves to the right (in red).

I will forward a link to the council and keep you posted!


Nothing has happened, so I have now put a request onto Fixmystreet.


Big muddy puddles on Heath Walk

27 10 2010

It is now Autumn and when it rains Heath Walk becomes one long line of muddy puddles. I will email the committee and ask them if they have any plans to improve this important and well used path?

Approaching Heath Road on Heath Walk

And another by the ninth tee this time

Heath Walk by the ninth tee

Here is another view of the same place

By the ninth tee again

This section has got badly rutted.

Deep ruts

All I ask is that the main ‘commuting’ paths across the heath are in as good a condition as the paths provided by the golf course for the golfers so that people can walk to work or to school without having to use walking boots!

Here is a path by the first green when it was newly laid and before it had gone hard. I was told that they used a mixture of sea shells and stone chippings that goes hard once it has got wet.

This would be nice!

The path is now completely hard and dry

The new path around the first green

I have already blogged about the money the County Council offered recently to improve this path and how the offer was ‘resisted’ by the commoners committee and was then withdrawn. Hopefully the commoners committee have set some money aside to do something themselves. Notice the blocked Police Station Path in the above picture which is another story.

Broadlands Walk

24 10 2010

There is a great route from Bixley to the Hospital and Ipswich that started from Broadlands Way and ends up on Heath Road. It’s isn’t marked at all at either end so I thought it might be worth describing this excellent cycling and walking route. If you cycle do of course be thoughtful about others and take care on the narrower paths. I am not aware that it even has a name, so I have named it Broadlands Walk and I have even ‘put it one the map’.

Broadlands Way path entrance

Here is a map of the route – with the photo locations shown as dots.

Broadlands Way - Heath Road map

The path immediately feels pretty rural.

Path from Broadways Way

out onto Sandlings open space.

Looking out on Sandlings open space

Straight across and into the woods.

Into the woods

through a glade…

A glade

Across a fairway – check for golfers

Across a golf fairway

Though another section of wood and out onto the heath with the hospital visible in the distance.

Looking out onto the heath

Across the Heath

In the middle of the heath

Along Heath Walk toward Heath Road

Looking towards Heath Road

Personally I avoid Heath Road and cut along what I call the ‘Police Station Path’, getting across this annoying log which has been placed here for ‘Elf and Safety’ reasons. Read my blog post about it.

The Elf and Safety log by the first green

And out onto the Heath Road service road.

Looking out from the Police Station Path

Not a bad commuting route. And the transport minister is talking about ‘not forcing people out of their cars‘ oh dear.