The programme of improvements to the surface of the Cotswold Way in busy gateways continues with a repeat of the treatment recently carried out at Broadway, but this time near Hamswell, just north of Bath. Cows have been encroaching on the area and making the area very difficult in the winter. The work was carried out by a team of Cotswold Wardens from Avon District.
The popularity of the Cotswold Way means that gates get very heavy use and eventually wear out. This is the case at Stumps Cross, between Stanway and Hailes, and as a result the CWA has funded a smart new wooden kissing gate. The installation was carried out by a work party from the North District of the Cotswold Wardens.
The most popular section of the Cotswold Way is between Broadway and the Tower and walkers will probably notice an improvement to one of the soggiest parts of the route. Working with the Cotswold Wardens, we’ve put down geo-textile, ecogrid, stone and a french drain to fix the problem. Many thanks to Neil Hilton of Broadway for his generous donation to make this possible.
The CWA is working with the Cotswold AONB Trails Officer to identify projects which the Trustees can support. The sort of things we have in mind are …
- Provision of handrails to help on the steeper slopes.
- Surface improvements in sections that are particularly muddy.
- Modifications to gates and replacing stiles to make sections of the trails more accessible to child buggies, wheelchairs and “Tramper” disability scooters.
The Cotswold Way and its circular routes are the CWA’s priority but the Trustees will also consider funding improvements on other named Cotswold trails. These are the Winchcombe, Wardens, Windrush and Diamond Ways, plus the Cotswold sections of the Wychavon, Monarchs, Macmillan, Heart of England, Gloucestershire and Wysis Ways.
We hope to compile a list of projects at the end of April so that they can be prioritized for implementation during the summer.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and let us have your views.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.