TAG day – 28th Jan – thanks to everyone!

Well done to the T.A.G. trail workers. When 10am dawned on Saturday morning and there were only 5 people at the meet point I must say I was worried that we had lost your enthusiasm. But lo and behold within 10 minutes another fifteen people had appeared and the final turnout for the day was a record twenty two people and a few assorted children of various sizes.

The weather was generous and stayed dry for the day, although woolly underwear was a good idea as it was a bit nippy in the woods. The team split into two work parties and set off for a day of tidying up in the area of Bunker Buster where winter rain had created some erosion problems.

Everyone pitched in and the path culverts were cleared out including some incredibly smelly bits (well Stan swore it was the drains). One trail that had got very muddy was re-routed to more stable ground and the old route closed off.

The tea break was greatly improved by the cake donations from Jo and others.

Where the route crossed ground that was inherently very wet, some low level boardwalk was installed to stop any further erosion while protecting the drainage.

We finished off at lunchtime with a visit to the Tweseldown pub to refresh adults and children alike.

A big thank you to everyone who came along including…

The ‘A’ team – Bob, Dave and Lee (great skills guys)
Dave B, Ned & Lucia, Stan L, Wheezy Steve , Lesley, Jo F and family, Pants and small
Pants, John, Bazz , Irish Rich and Family and dog, Ewan, Jo M (hope your shoes dried out)
Mike ,Kate , Rachy and family, Gayle, Simon(Sandy Hill) and son.

Well done all!

October 22nd / 29th Maintenance days – A Big Thank You

A big thank you to all who turned up to help at Minley, it’s humbling to see how many care and want to help out on the land which you ride on.

The main aim of the day was to help prevent any further ground erosion on two sections of trail; Banksy and Sponge BoB.

On Banksy we installed a small section of board walk over a wet/boggy area to minimise erosion over the winter and to let the ground recover.

Sponge BoB had repairs made to braking bumps/holes and has temporally been closed off to allow the ground to settle. Please respect the trail closures currently in force.

On another note, could all who ride on MoD Land look out for any gates which may have been left open on the Training Areas. If you see any that are unattended please close them as they pose a security risk to Troops training and it leaves the area open to fly tipping.  If asked what you are doing, just reply with “The gates are supposed be closed at all times and have a sentry posted if left open”.

Thanks again for all your support – keep an eye on the website and facebook for the next trail maintenance day.

October 22nd Minley Trail Maintenance Day

On the 22nd October we’ll be other at Minley doing a variety of tasks including, general trail maintenance, fixing a couple of the bridges, and fitting some boardwalk over a wet area. Please come and get involved – you’ll need clothes you don’t mind getting dirty in and garden tools (including bow saws if you have one).

Meeting point is here: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=481494&Y=158510&A=Y&Z=115&ax=481882&ay=158650

Time: 10am – 2pm
PS. If you’ve got any treated wood you don’t need do let us know it may be of use.

TAG Trail Maintenance Day 9th July

Come join us on the 9th July at the carpark near the Foresters Pub for the next TAG trail maintenance day. We will improving trails and completing general trail maintenance – everyone is welcome.

Time: 10:15am
Location: OS Grid Reference SU827527 (car park near the Foresters Pub)
Map link: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=482750&Y=152750&A=Y&Z=115
What to bring: Spades, shovels, rakes, suitable footwear, and some gardening gloves

TAG Trail Maintenance Day 11th June

The 11th is the second Saturday of the month which means it’s a TAG trail maintenance day. We will be clearing water catchment ditches, and completing general trail maintenance – everyone is welcome.

Time: 10:30am
Location: OS Grid Reference SU830510 (car park on Bourley Road
Map link: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=482800&Y=150685&A=Y&Z=110
What to bring: Spades, shovels, rakes, suitable footwear, and some gardening gloves

TAG Trail Conservation Day 30th April

The weather delivered bright sunshine which encouraged a good turnout and made for a very pleasant time at Ceasars Camp training area . Armed with a motley selection of shovels, rakes and our trusty barrow we headed out at 10am.

First order of the day was to re-route a section of trail away from an Iron Age barrow on Beacon Hill which was quickly accomplished and then one sharp eyed member spotted another barrow marking that was new to us and so we re-routed around that as well and covered it with brash to discourage foxhole digging.

Then it was down the hill to clear some catchment ditches and clean up the crossing points so that the water could flow. Very muddy smelly job but the dogs loved it and were wading around in the mud to cool down. Here it was important to ensure that trail crossings did not block water movement and to remove all the old roots and rubbish from the drains that was blocking them up.

While this was all going on a second group had tackled the closure of two trails which crossed the Iron Age defensive ditches which adorn the plateau at Ceasars Camp. These required an extensive barrier of ‘dead hedging’ so much hedging material had to be searched for and brought up onto the site by van. Stakes then had to be drivven in to support the hedge across the trail entrance and then filled with the collected ‘brash’. With the ground so dry hammering stakes in was no easy task but the lads persevered and made a super job of it.

Then it was onwards to a sandy descent where youngsters had been digging pits and making little jumps. These pits were very dangerous at night and had caused some accidents, so they needed filling in and the jumps removed. The youngsters had also left a lots of drinks cartons and pop bottles so this rubbish was collected up from this area and taken away.

At this point everyone was ready for a beer so we called it a day with a quick de-brief with the Landmarc Training Area Warden, Steve Plain who reviewed the days work and said “This is a great help in managing the area and excellent standard of work. It shows what volunteer groups can achieve by working cooperatively with Landmarc. Well done.”

Thanks to everyone who attended particularly first timers and we will hope to see you all next month.

The team making hedge posts

Using recently felled natural materials to create the dead hedge posts

Dead hedge blocking a trail

In addition to perserving the iron age ramparts the dead hedges will act as shelter to small mammals and reptiles

A completed dead hedge

One of the six dead hedges

TAG Trail Conservation Day 13th March

First job was to remove some slightly shonky jumps that had recently been put in on Tunnel Hill together with putting in a few drainage channels on the trail they’d been put on.

Then it was off up the hill to walk a few of the more highly used trails clearing debris, clearing existing drainage channels, and inserting new drains where we encountered standing water.

Finally we rerouted one of the less well used trails and added in some support to corners to prevent it following the fall line. After a quick scoot round to put up some MTB awareness posters it was off down the pub after a hard day’s work – thanks everyone!

A happy (but tired) team

A happy (but tired) team - off to the pub!