walking in north hampshire

Ramblers Charity

England & Wales No: 1093577

Scotland No: SC039799

See more at: http://www.ramblers.org.uk/#sthash.Q54ZAOJS.dpuf

Helping out on the Footpath Network

Our footpaths

Without our great local network of public footpaths we would be very restricted in where we could enjoy walking.  These paths need to be maintained but with such a large network, and restricted council budgets, volunteer help is essential to ensure that the paths remain open. Hampshire County Council is responsible for our public paths, but their staff are spread very thinly, and they cannot be aware of path problems unless they are reported by walkers.

Ramblers Parish Footpath Reps

Most Ramblers Groups have members who help to keep an eye on the paths in their area. In the North Hampshire Downs Group we have a team of Footpath Reps who carry out this role. We cover paths from Newnham in the east to St Mary Bourne in the west. Currently there are 16 people who help us in this way but that is not a sufficient number to check all the paths in such an extensive area.  

If you feel that you can help out, please get in touch with us. The Rep’s role is very simple. It just involves walking your allocated paths, once or twice a year, and reporting any problems. Full guidance is available on what to look out for, together with maps and path descriptions If you are interested, please contact Stuart Shurlock by email: stushurlock@hotmail.com

Path Patrol Volunteering

To help Hampshire County Council maintain our public footpaths, we are seeking volunteers to join our Path Patrol Volunteer party. In these challenging economic times it is important that we endeavour to help our local authorities to maintain our footpath network.

To this end, we are seeking volunteers to join our Path Patrol Volunteer party. We aim to have a core of helpers who can be called on from time to time when this valuable work needs doing. You may already be a footpath rep or simply feel that you would like to contribute.

The actual work is not heavy and can be as varied as checking waymarking and replacing waymarking discs, minor clearing or even repairing stiles and gates.

If you would like to help us to maintain our footpath network please click here to email us or use the “Contact Us” form.

Ragwort Clearing

On Thursday 10 July 2014 four volunteers tackled the ragwort infestation on Cowdery Common near Basing House. Ragwort is a pernicious weed poisonous to livestock; Hampshire County Council wanted to mow the area, but flowering ragwort prevented this due to possible spread. The volunteers filled four large builders-skip-sized canvas bags with the horrible stuff, enabling the Council to mow the area. Thanks were received from the Museum Service which owns the land. Click here to view the images.

Progress of Work in Hand

By working with Hampshire County Council's Countryside Services, parish councils and landowners, since August 2012  the total number of gates installed by local Ramblers Group volunteers is:


On Thursday 16th October 2014 six volunteers from our group replaced two stiles on Hartley Wespall footpath 2 with kissing gates, winning a battle with tree roots and brambles in the process. This creates a stile-free route from Hartley Wespall village to the A33 at Sherfield on Loddon, via footpath 3 and footpath 2. Footpath 2 is part of the Brenda Parker Way, and is now easier to negotiate, especially in conjunction with the new boardwalk part-funded by The Ramblers. Click here to view the images.

On Thursday 6th March 2014 six volunteers from our group and Basingstoke Ramblers worked with the Hampshire County Council Countryside team to replace two stiles (one broken and dangerous) on St. Mary Bourne footpath 27 with gates. One of the stiles was in the wrong place, not on the correct line for the path, so we corrected that problem too by preparing a suitable gap in the hedge. This footpath now has no stiles to be negotiated - a boon to less mobile walkers. Click here to view the images.

On Thursday 14th March 2013 and for about an hour the following morning, volunteers from our Group and the Basingstoke Ramblers replaced three more stiles with kissing gates, this time on Old Basing FP 12 which runs from the village eastwards parallel to the north side of the railway line. Click here to view the images.

On Thursday 21st February 2013, volunteers from both our Group and the Basingstoke Ramblers replaced three stiles along Oakley FPs 6 and 7. This project was a little more complex as at two stiles we installed a pair of single gates which were then braced into the exisiting fencing. The third stile was replaced by a standard kissing gate. Click here to view the images.

On Friday 8th February 2013, after the site had dried out a bit, five Ramblers volunteers, installed a single gate and a kissing gate on Pamber FP 26. This path intersects with FP 29 which was the project for the week before. Click here to view the images.

On Thursday 31st January 2013 volunteers from both our Group and the Basingstoke Ramblers replaced three stiles with kissing gates on Pamber FP 29. This path now provides a useful stile-free link between Tadley and Pamber Forest. Click here to view the images.

On Friday 2nd November 2012 our volunteers installed two deer-style kissing gates at each end of a new path near the Wellington Stables at Heckfield. This is Heckfield FP 502 just off the A33 near the roundabout before the dual carriageway. Click here to view the images.

On Friday 5th October 2012 our volunteers replaced a dodgy stile on a bank with a new kissing gate. This is at the end of Hartley Wespall FP 3 beside the A33 and near the river at Sherfield on Loddon.  This is our second project to improve our path network. Click here to view the image.

On Friday 31st August 2012 our Group installed two new kissing gates on Tadley FP 8 which is also part of the Brenda Parker Way. Click here to view the images.

Click here to view the Hampshire Rights of Way web page for information on footpaths. This page also has a link to report any problems that may be encountered when walking.

© North Hampshire Downs Group of the Ramblers - 2008