HF Holidays support CWA Accessibility Project

The CWA Trustees are delighted to report that HF Holidays  have agreed to fully fund a major accessibility project on Leckhampton Hill.  To quote from HF’s response to the CWA’s application to its Pathway Fund:

‘Were particularly encouraged by the opportunity that this project allows us to support our strategic goal of driving sustainability and that this project will allow walkers, families and disabled users to have access coupled with the opportunity to recover damage to the SSSI area of the Leckhampton Hill escarpment area of outstanding natural beauty’.

The background is that, on the Cotswold Way on Leckhampton Hill (SO 9523 1850), there’s a gate with extremely rough stony ground either side. The west side is barely passable by a disabled outdoor mobility scooter or pushchair. The east side is NOT passable at all. A flat area to the side of the path is being used to bypass the gate, but is damaging the SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) in the process. 

The completed project will allow ALL users (walkers, families and disabled users) to have access to the majority of the Leckhampton Hill escarpment. Essentially it will involve re-ramping, smoothing and grading a 2-3 metre wide path on both sides of the gates. The work will involve some 150 tonnes of limestone dust and Cotswold stone and is expected to cost £7,500. It’s hoped to start the work in September, which will in accordance with Cheltenham Borough Council and Gloucestershire Public Rights of Way Office specifications.

The HF Pathways Fund has, for many years, provided assisted holidays to those who could not otherwise afford one. In addition, since 1998, the fund has helped to protect and improve the countryside where HF Holidays’ guests walk. This is achieved through generous donations from HF Holidays’ members and guests. HF Holidays offers guided walking holidays along the Cotswold Way from Harrington House at Bourton on the Water.

Here is a Mark Richards’ pen & ink drawing of the Devil’s Chimney that’s one of Leckhampton Hill’s outstanding features.

 

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Many thanks Lucy …

Lucy Miller is a long-distance runner who hails from Bath. Since January, she’s been quietly improving her fitness running the Cotswold Way in short segments. The more she’s done so, she says, the more she’s fallen in love with the trail’s picturesque and rugged remoteness. She decided the best way she could celebrate the Cotswold Way’s 50th anniversary was to set herself the challenge of running the 50 miles or so from Combe to Bath. In doing so, she hopes to raise £250 to support the CWA’s trail maintenance and improvement work.

Lucy’s run will take place on Sunday 2nd May 2021. She’ll be starting at Coombe near Wotton-Under-Edge at 8.00 and hopes to make Great Pulteney St in Bath around 14.00  It’s not a race, Lucy emphasises, but a one-off unsupported event.

Please make a donation if you can. Just click on Virgin Money Giving for the dedicated fundraising page Lucy’s set up.

Please also look out for Lucy on 2 May and give her your encouragement and support. Here’s a rough idea of planned timetable and where you might see her:

Coombe: 8.00

Hawkesbury Upton (10km): 9.00

Coomb’s End (20km): 10.30

Dyrham Park (30km): 11.30

Pipley Barn Cafe (40 km); 12.45

Great Pulteney St, Bath (50 km)

Many thanks and very best wishes from the CWA Trustees

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Improvements at Wotton-under-Edge

The Cotswold Way at Coombe near Wotton-under-Edge was often flooded. Resurfacing work by the Gloucestershire Rights of Way team in partnership with the CWA should stop this happening again. Here are before and after photos:

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Improvements near Hamswell

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.

 

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New gate at Stumps Cross

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.

 

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Improved drainage near Broadway

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.

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Alan Hooper

The CWA Trustees deeply regret to announce that our Secretary Alan Hooper passed away on the 22nd March after bravely battling a long illness.  We are very appreciative of Alan’s work for the CWA and the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens.  He will be greatly missed.

 

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Tell us how we can improve our Trails …

 

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.

Please send your suggestions to John Bartram at info@cotswoldwayassociation.org.uk or Simon Mallatratt at admin@cotswoldwayassociation.org.uk  

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