Guildford Ramblers restore a footpath that has been blocked for years
Colin Selvin reports:
Eleven of us worked at Puttenham Common today, in really lovely sunny spring-like weather. That included Duncan who came out with us for the first time and assured me he enjoyed it. We all achieved an amazing amount of clearance in just this one morning’s work. When we arrived at the start of the task the entrance was nowhere to be seen, we had to go around the corner so I could point out the sunken path route, just visible from that vantage point. Take a look at the before & after photos to see it really was a totally lost path before we started. The biggest bough to be cut through was 6/7” diameter oak. Then we had to move it to one side - it was at least 8 or 10 feet long! But the main work was cutting back saplings, holly trees, bracken & incredibly prolific & long runs of brambles.
Quite apart from the lovely weather, I am certain spring is well on the way, as the nettles were in full stinging condition...
We met one dog-walking couple who have been visiting the common regularly over a long period (“this is at least the fourth dog we’ve brought here”) who said they used to take this path, but not for many years. Well now 400 yards of it are clear & can be used leaving just 2 or 3 large trees to be removed which the Countryside Access team will do with chain saws. This section runs between an upper open area of common, down SW into the woods where it meets a crossing path.
Erection of a finger post & at least one waymark post remains to be done. We’ll do this next month along with clearing further down the same line to extend the recovery to a further lost section which ultimately leads down towards the lower car park and The Tarn, with Cutmill Pond on the other side of the road. All in all a beautiful place to work and of course to subsequently walk over.
My grateful thanks & continued admiration for how much can be achieved by our willing and accomplished volunteers. I really thought there would be two sessions of work needed to clear this section.