More blocked paths

16 07 2010

For some time now I have been noticing that it isn’t as easy as it should be to get across the common for a number of reasons. Generally these come down to poor surfaces, encroachment by foliage and a lack of clear signage and maps at crucial points.

However, the motivation for this post is another issue, which is that a number of paths appear to be being deliberately blocked with branches for reasons I fail to understand.

For example:

Blocked path just inside Common boundary

Another blocked path just inside the common boundary

You can tell that the last one is just inside the boundary because the boundary marker for the common is clearly visible. I have removed branches from these paths on a number of occasions and they keep coming back! I can only assume that this is official policy.

I have already spoken about my issue with the blocking of the ‘police station path‘ so won’t go over that one again. I will however note that the reason given for blocking that one was ‘heath and safety’ but that I can see even less justification for blocking these paths for that reason.

Here is a map showing the location of the above blockages.

Map showing location of blockages

Clearly the blockages are of no great consequence as they stand, but they give a message that says ‘stay away’ rather than ‘come on in and enjoy the common’.

Funny old world.

A major fire

16 07 2010

I crossed Rushmere Common for the first time in a couple of weeks today and saw the results of what had clearly been a major gorse fire which had been much larger than the previous ones that I have reported on.

This latest fire has also unfortunately damaged a number of mature oaks and other trees; I could see about five mature oaks and many other smaller trees, both younger oaks and also a number of birches, with major fire damage.

And here are some photos of the damage taken today:

A young oak burnt almost to the to the top

A small part of the burnt area

The only positive thing to come from this fire is that it will be a number of years before there is another one! My message remains the same though – which is that if there is no ‘controlled’ burning then it seems certain that there will be ‘uncontrolled’ burning which will probably occur when the weather it at its hottest and when there may also be a strong wind.

I would welcome any feedback from the commoners’ committee on what they are doing about this issue, it is possible that they are already planning something with the fire-brigade beyond creating the fire breaks that they have already mentioned but there is nothing to that effect on their website.

Dog walking group?

13 07 2010

Would any other dog walkers be interested in trialling a dog walking group. The intention is to help build a sense of community within this group, forĀ  dog walkers on the common to feel safer and dogs and people to get more exercise. Benefits include:

  • The dogs get more exercise by playing together.
  • Dogs and people get more social contact than walking around alone.
  • People, especially lone women, will feel safer walking around the common in a group particularly as nights draw in.

Groups would meet at designated places, for example the One Stop Shop, at certain times with the times and places arranged to suit the people walking to begin with. Please leave comments below or email: