Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Countryside volunteers nominated for Queen’s Award

VOLUNTEERS who help make the Oxfordshire countryside more accessible to walkers and riders have been nominated for a Queen’s Award for voluntary service.

The South Chilterns Path Maintenance Volunteers are part of the Chiltern Society and have been working on paths and bridleways for more than 10 years.

Maggie Templeman, area secretary for the society, said: “It is great to be nominated, even if we do not win. Everybody enjoys doing the work but to be nominated for something like this is something very special.”

Judges went to see a neglected bridleway that was cleared by members of the group. The volunteers worked along a three-quarter mile section of the route, which runs from Howe Hill in Watlington to Greenfield in Christmas Common. Miss Templeman, who lives in Lower Assendon, said: “We did a lot of work clearing overhanging branches which you had to duck under before. There were also lots of logs which we moved to the side of the pathway.”

She said the bridleway was a good example of how a pathway could become overgrown due to under-use and then couldn’t be used, thereby exacerbating the problem.

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