Cotswold Way Association News

News

New Affiliate Members

The Cotswold Way Association is pleased to welcome Stroud & District Athletics Club and Emersons Green Running Club as affiliate members. Many thanks for your support.

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Shop at Waitrose to support the CWA …

The CWA is pleased to announce that we are one of the community groups supported by Waitrose in Cheltenham.  If you shop there this month don’t forget to ask for your green disc and put it in the CWA bin so that we can get a generous donation from Waitrose.  We hope that Waitrose in Chipping Sodbury will operate a similar scheme in the next few months.  

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More improvements to more muddy gates…

Just before Christmas, a small team of Cotswold Wardens used the successful model adopted in Broadway to improve the drainage of three muddy and flooded kissing gates on the Cotswold Way near Old Sodbury.  The locations are shown here

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Improving muddy kissing gates.

Kissing gates undoubtedly improve access on the Cotswold Way but their constant use often makes them wet and muddy so the CWA has embarked on a trial project to improve the surface around a few kissing gates.  The first project has been completed on a gate where the trail crosses West End Lane, SW of Broadway using eco plastic grid, geo-textile and gravel.  The location is point A as shown here.

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A new bridge on the Diamond Way.

The CWA has recently coordinated the construction of a bridge and gate over a particularly muddy section of the Diamond Way south of Daylesford (point A as shown here).  The work was jointly funded by the North Cotswold Walkers, the North Cotswold Ramblers and the CWA, and was carried out by the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens.  The Diamond Way is one of the named long distance trails which link with the Cotswold Way and is supported by the CWA.  Other supported trails can be found on Other Trails

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2018 CWA AGM

2018 CWA AGM

The second AGM of the Cotswold Way Association was held on the 10th August at King’s Stanley Village Hall and was attended by 16 members. During the meeting John Tennant and Martin Lovegrove were elected as new trustees and the resignation was received from Margaret Reid.  The chairman welcomed the new trustees and thanked Margaret for her services since the CWA was established.  The meeting also agreed that the Wysis Way should be added to the list of named trails.  Discussions focussed on new projects and developments on the A417 re-development.  Minutes of the meeting will be posted on the website in due course.

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Another CWA Project to improve the Cotswold Way

The Cotswold Way Association has recently funded a much needed handrail along the steep steps at Bunkers Bank, near Haresfield Beacon. The installation was carried out by a work party from Central District of the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens. No more will you have to risk twisted ankle or a wet backside to get down this section of the trail.

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Comments on the A417 proposals by the CWA

Comments on the A417 proposals by the CWA

UPDATE  As a result of the discussions on the A417 the attached further submission has been made to Gloucestershire CC and other relevant bodies. See additional comments August 2018 by clicking here

The Cotswold Way Association has recently submitted their concerns about how the hugely popular Cotswold Way National Trail will be severely impacted by both of the proposed A417 route options as they pass through one of the most important parts of the Cotswold escarpment.

Please click here to see the full reply.

 

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CWA renovates seat on the Cotswold Way at Dyrham

CWA renovates seat on the Cotswold Way at Dyrham
Many walkers on the Cotswold Way will remember the unique octagonal seat around a fine oak tree just outside Dyrham.  It was initially built by the Cotswold Wardens to mark the Silver Jubilee in 1977 but has recently been showing it’s age.  The CWA has stepped in to provide funding for a renovation of the seat so that it can once again be a welcome resting place for passing walkers.   The work was carried out by Cotswold Voluntary Wardens – Avon Valley District.
 
 

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Handrail on the slippery slope above Weston – another CWA project

Handrail on the slippery slope above Weston – another CWA project

Those of you who have walked on the Cotswold Way in wet weather as it climbs above the recreation ground in Weston will probably remember the difficulty in standing upright on the slippery path. There are reports of walkers finishing up on their backsides and one even ended up with a broken leg. This should now be a thing of the past as CWA has just completed a path improvement project which involved the installation of a 45 metre long handrail. The work was carried out by Cotswold Voluntary Wardens – Avon District with funding for materials provided by the Cotswold Way Association. The CWA was set up to implement just this kind of improvement project and further projects are planned for other sections of the trail.

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Safety improvements sought at Air Balloon road crossing

Safety improvements sought at Air Balloon road crossing

Cotswold Warden Jennifer Shaw on her August patrol met a couple of US tourists walking south from Birdlip. They talked at length about their difficulties crossing from Crickley Hill Park to the Air Balloon the previous day. The road was very busy – late afternoon on a Friday – and it took them over twenty minutes to get across. Some of this time was spent looking for an alternative crossing point but of course there isn’t one. The Cotswold Warden had heard similar stories before, so kicked ideas around with John her husband, wanting to try to find an easier crossing. Between them they devised a possible route involving crossing the A436 from Crickley Hill Park and then going through the wooded margin alongside the roundabout and the eastbound A417 to meet the Gloucestershire Way and use it to meet an unclassified road that passes under the A417 at Barrow Wake.

This would add around half a mile to the existing route, and would also increase safety for walkers using the Gloucestershire Way. The scheme has been shared with the Gloucestershire CC Rights Of Way Officer and the Area Highways Manager responsible for the A436. They have undertaken to discuss its viability with Highways England who are responsible for the A417. Much depends on who owns the land.

  • If the scheme is accepted as viable we hope some of the work clearing ground and constructing a new footpath can be done by the Cotswold Wardens. Have you a story to tell about how you made this crossing?
  • Have you any comments to make on the proposal for a new crossing?
  • Please get in touch with us at info@cotswoldwayassociation.org.uk and let us have your views.

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CWA kick start improvements to the Gloucestershire Way

CWA kick start improvements to the Gloucestershire Way

Following a request for funding, the CWA have contributed towards some welcomed improvements to access on a section of the Gloucestershire Way and Winchcombe Way at Little Farmcote. After climbing the escarpment out of Winchcombe and legs a little tired, a narrow stile on the path overlooking the Farmcote valley has been replaced with a kissing gate. Further along the trail a quirky set of sheep hurdles tied with baler twine has been replaced with a combination field gate, a gate within a gate to speed walkers on their way.

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CWA hold its first Annual General Meeting

CWA hold its first Annual General Meeting

The 2017 Annual General Meeting was held at King Stanley Village Hall on the 4th August 2017 and many topics were raised about the general direction of the charity. The Chairman proposed that the main activity over the next twelve months would be to publicise the CWA and to engender increased support from users of the Cotswold Way and the many organisations that benefit from its use. In closing the meeting the Chairman thanked his fellow trustees for their work and support in establishing the CWA over the past year. 

 

To see the full minutes of the meeting click here

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CWA publishes its first Cotswold Way Association newsletter.

CWA publishes its first Cotswold Way Association newsletter.

CWA has published the first Cotswold Way Association newsletter. We thought it about time we gave you, our members and supporters, an idea of what we’ve been up to and what’s planned for the future.

The Cotswold Way Association has been established as a registered charity for nearly a year. It’s taken longer than expected to put the pieces together, but the organisation is now fully operational. At its heart is our interactive website, www.cotswoldwayassociation.org.uk. Special thanks for getting it off the ground are due to Rob Talbot from Winchcombe Welcomes Walkers and Ronald Gijsel of Webees. Thanks also to the Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust who generously met the design and start-up costs.  

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Follow the acorn and not the anvil

Follow the acorn and not the anvil

If you are walking through Tormarton Village do not get confused by this sign!  The house is fairly new and when it was being built the Cotswold Way ran in front of the house.  The owner decided to call the house ‘Cotswold Way’. Later, the route was change by a short distance but the owner decided to keep the name.

 

 

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Walking the Cotswold Way with Cotswold Voluntary Wardens

Walking the Cotswold Way with Cotswold Voluntary Wardens

Recently I completed the southbound walk with around twenty other walkers that made up the 2016-17 group. Although as a Cotswold Voluntary Warden I was familiar with the southern section of the route I was keen to complete the whole of the Cotswold Way and explore, with our knowledgeable wardens, unfamiliar sections of the Cotswold Way.

 

Set out below in the link are some of my memories from our journey south from Chipping Campden.

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Improvement works in Gloucestershire stopped

Improvement works in Gloucestershire stopped
In February, Gloucestershire County Council instructed all volunteers to stop any repair/improvement work that involves digging holes. This seems to result from policy changes by its Rights of Way contractor Amey. This in turn seems to have been triggered by a serious incident in 2015 in the centre of Gloucester. The requirement seems to be for a full document review and scan of every digging site, even if it is the middle of a field. Just how this can possibly be applied in practice is unclear – Gloucestershire are apparently considering their position.
 
In the meantime two projects on routes supported by the CWA, one on the Cotswold Way near Belas Knapp and one on the Winchcombe Way are being held back.
 
We are very unclear as to the logic of the action – if you are baffled and annoyed by it and live in Gloucestershire we suggest you ask your council representative to explain. In March, Amey insist any holes are scanned for underground services with a permit issued for 21 days. The cost for scanning holes will come out of the Rights of Way budget.

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Cotswold Way gets on French TV !!

Cotswold Way gets on French TV !!
A crew  for the leading French TV Channel TF1 recently did some filming on the Cotswold Way for their news bulletin.  They filmed walkers on a scenic part of the trail in the upper Swainswick Valley near Bath and then took shots in historic Dyrham.  They also carried out interviews with walkers and the CWA chairman before heading off to London to interview French expatriates about Brexit !!  Here is a photo of an interview of a Cotswold Warden explaining about dry stone walls.

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Hedge laying on the Cotswold Way near Dyrham

Hedge laying on the Cotswold Way near Dyrham
 The Cotswold Wardens have done a stretch of hedge-laying on a section of the Cotswold Way just south of Dyrham village.  The work opens the path up so that it keep much drier, reveals some attractive views of the Cotswold escarpment near Doynton and is a good example of a rural craft

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What a start

What a start

Our first project in July 2016 consisted of replacing a stile with a friendly kissing gate above Hailes near Winchcombe. After a long climb up the track from Hailes Abbey towards Farmcote one did not relish climbing over a reasonably high stile.

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