Railway Path improvements - 19th February 2012

Dick Millard says thanks to all who turned up today. With weather bright, dry and warm after a cool start, we had a good turn out and achieved a huge amount and the 1.7 miles of track between the Ridgeway crossing south of Chiseldon and Gipsy Lane now has several improvements.

We …

· Planted native trees in gaps in defunct hedgerow just south of the car park, as a prelude to bringing sections of hedgerow back into management.

· Cleared scrub from the edges of 3 patches of medium-diversity grassland to prevent it being over run, and cleared invading vegetation from within these patches. We piled what we cleared to provide habitat for small animals. See the attached pictures for before and after views of the patch just north of Chiseldon Firs.

· Removed debris from the path surface (leaf fall, and left over from hedge trimming) over a 0.5 mile section around Chiseldon Firs to make cycling easier and keep the path edge from getting overgrown.

· Cut back small trees where they were invading the bridleway, allowing horse riders more space.

· Installed posts and signing at intervals between the Ridegway and Chiseldon Firs asking horse-riders to keep to the path edge.

· Collected about 15 bags of litter.

National Childbirth Trust - Zumba Party 9th March 2012

The National Childbirth Trust (Marlborough and District) has booked the Coronation Hall in East Grafton 7-9pm on Fri 9th March. Tickets are £5 each with a smoothie bar and nibbles availble. All welcome and you do not have to be an NCT member. For more information contact

Wiltshire Council launches consultation on superfast broadband

The telecoms industry and local people and businesses are being encouraged to take part in a consultation which will help bring superfast broadband to most of Wiltshire. Specifically to identify the areas where internet access needs to be improved.

The multi-million pound project, backed by £4.66m in Government funding, aims to provide broadband access to areas that currently cannot get access to superfast broadband, or even standard broadband in some cases. Rural areas are in particular need of support and through this project, in which Wiltshire Council has invested £16m, communities and businesses will have better access to the internet.

Comments from businesses and residents are also welcome to help the councils identify the broadband situation in the area. The councils are keen to hear from people and businesses in areas where there is less than a 2Mbps service available and also from people where superfast broadband is incorrectly shown – a map detailing where superfast broadband is meant to be available will be shown as part of the consultation.

People can get more details about the consultation on the relevant Wiltshire Online page. The consultation closes on March 1.

Workday on the Railway Path, 10.00 am, 19th February 2012

Our first workday of 2012 takes place on Sunday week, 19th February. We have had an ecological survey done along the length of the Path: this is still in draft, but has helped us define priorities for the work. All are welcome.

Meet at Chiseldon Firs (SU 195 776) at 10.00 a.m. Parking is available.

1. In Quebec Road, near South Farm (SU 195 776) and accessed from the road between Draycot Foliat and Ogbourne St George.
2. A few places at the pull-in off the main A436 by the Firs (SU 196 776)
3. Several places in the car park in Chiseldon where the Path crosses the old Ridgeway (SU 192 793)

The outline plan is:

· Grassland management and scrub removal in a couple of specific areas north and south of the Firs, to improve habitat

· Planting fruiting trees at intervals between the Firs and the car park at the old Ridgeway crossing, to provide interest for path users

· Remove any debris from the path surface (leaf fall, and left over from hedge trimming). We’ll have a blower to help with this.

· Remove branches broken and overhanging the path

· Cutting back vegetation where it will start to grow over the path way during Spring (thorn bushes, brambles, elder)

· Removing litter (from near the travellers camp, round the car park, and along the path)

· Cleaning signpost at car park and removing mould growth

· Installing posts and signing at intervals between the Firs and the car park (asking horse-riders to keep to the path edge).

Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and stout footwear, and bring:

· Lunch and a drink

· Gardening gloves if you have some (the heavier the better for many of these jobs, as many of the path side bushes are thorny)

· Any hand tools which you think you would like to use. We will have a stock of tools for use on the day.

Report of Friends of the Railway Path Open Meeting, 25th January 2012

The Friends of the Railway Path held their first Open Meeting on 25th January. Twenty six people turned out to the Calley Memorial Hall in Chiseldon, to discuss how the path could be made better and more enjoyable for users. Some were cyclists, some walkers and some were horse riders: and all of them knew about and used the path. Among the many suggestions made were:

• Provide better signing (particularly through Chiseldon, and in Marlborough)
• Develop better access for a variety of users (especially at the Marlborough end)
• Identify parking areas for horse boxes
• Give better views of the surrounding countryside (while preserving the habitat value of hedges and trees)
• Make much more information available on the history of the path and the landscape which it traverses
• Create more things to look at and do on the way

The committee of the Friends of the Railway Path will now start to develop a plan for what to do, and start to find suitable sources of funding.

If you would like to suggest something, please contact the Friends of the Railway Path, either via their website at, or by email to

Dick Millard

Marlborough Community Area Transport Group

Local items:

The speed limit in Ogbourne St Andrew is due to be reduced from 40 to 30mph (date unknown)

The next Marlborough CATG meeting will take place on Tuesday 17th April 2012 at 2.00 in Marlborough Town Hall.

Vehicle activated signs
Wiltshire Council has no policy on vehicle activated signs and that the council is keen to develop one in the new financial year. These signs are currently only possible where there is both recorded personal injury collisions and excessive vehicle speed.

Reclaim Our Villages project
The Parish Forum took all the local problems and looked at them. They recognised the need for a proper strategy for the whole area. They chose an outside consultant, Ben Hamilton-Baillie, who is a nationally recognised transport / urban designer. Under the proposal, each village will get to understand its own local problems and be able to come up with low cost ways of dealing with these.

The Parish Forum envisage this work as a partnership with Hamilton-Baillie and Wiltshire Council Highways working together.

JK and MSp described the three stages of the involvement with Hamilton-Baillie: Stage 1 will involve Hamilton-Baillie looking at a number of villages and consider their issues and hold a community seminar. Stage 2 will involve 7 to 8 villages that will develop a strategy for their local area and a list of recommendations. Stage 3 will be the implementation of low cost solutions and applications for the funding of these to Wiltshire Council.

Burglaries in the Village!

Just to let you know and a warning to take care. There were two burglaries in the village over the weekend (28/29 Jan 2012). In both cases the occupants were away. Apparently the door handles were removed on French windows allowing access. The Police Officer who called in to see if we saw or heard anything asked me to put the word round so please warn neighbours and anyone else you know particularly if they are likely to be away.

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Sarsen Trail & Neolithic Marathon

Here’s news from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust about their Sarsen Trail & Neolithic Marathon event on 6th May…

Registration is now open for the Sarsen Trail and Neolithic Marathon and you can register through the website here: Register now . The Sarsen Trail is a great event for walkers, cyclists and runners that takes place between two impressive world heritage sites: Avebury and Stonehenge.

For the runners they organise both a full marathon and a half marathon that are exciting multi-terrain cross country courses. If you would rather walk, they offer routes through the historic landscape of 7, 11, 15 and 26 miles. They also offer an all-terrain circular route of approximately 45km or an alternative shorter route of approximately 25km for the cyclists.

If this event seems like something that would interest you, more information is available now on our website. If you have any queries or would like any promotional materials please feel free to email me.

We hope to see you in May!

Izzy Howard-Evans

Sarsen Trail Volunteer

Police Message - Company Called “Beat a Quote”

Residents in ERMIN CLOSE,BAYDON,MARLBOROUGH reported to police that on Monday 16th Jan 2012 at around 16:00hrs a company was touting for business and distributing leaflets.
The company is called ‘Beat a Quote’and leaflets show the company address as PRAMA HOUSE, 267 BANBURY ROAD, OXFORD OX27HT telephone numbers 01865 339544 or mob 07748872864

The people who run this company are from Swindon and have both recently been convicted of Rogue Trading Fraud offences and imprisoned following a case led by Oxfordshire Trading Standards. The company targeted elderly and vulnerable residents charging extortionate prices work with initial low quotes.

Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators for the area are aware and local and Oxfordshire Trading Standards have been alerted.
Please forward this information on as you see fit.
Kind Regards
Jonathan Mills PCSO 6093
Marlborough Police Community Support Officer
Phone: 101 ext. 739-817
Mobile: 07969 501963

Railway Path - workdays for 2012

Here is a list of planned workdays on the Railway Path for 2012. Please put the dates in your diaries, if you are able to come along and help. The dates (and, when available, the details) are also on the Events section of the Friends website.

19-Feb Chiseldon to Gypsy lane: Bridleway clearance and hedgerow planting
20-May Marlborough - Poulton Farm: Ivy cutting, general tidy
14-Oct Og.St George - Og. St Andrew: Bridleway clearance, grassland creation and tree planting
18-Nov Coate Water to Chiseldon: Hedge laying, general tidy

Contact Dick Millard
Tel: 01793 617 972

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