September 2011


Main race - seniors start

Main race - seniors start

 
This year saw the 31st Butser Hill Challenge which was raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. This unique race which is organised by local running clubs brings together seniors from clubs across the south, together with many schools, to tackle the toughest race, over the  highest point, on the South Downs.
Senior race

Senior race

The senior race was won by Julian Manning, from the Denmead Striders Club,  in a time of 32 minutes and 23 seconds. The first woman home was Emma MacReady, from the Royal School Guildford, in a time of 36.22. A total of 219 seniors started the race.

Junior race

Junior race

 
There were three junior races to cater for the wide age range. A total of 132 runners entered from years 4-5, seventy-six from years 6-7 and fifty-six from years 8-12. Churchers School is involved in the event organisation and coordinates the junior entry. The school band was on hand on the day to provide musical encouragement and to entertain over 1,000 spectators .
 
These pictures are by George Spear and are provided courtesy of the Petersfield Post. For more images, information and the full set of results go to www.petersfieldpost.co.uk
 
The event web-site is www.butser.org 
 
Advertisements
Trail builder plus Ranger Steve

Trail builders plus Ranger Steve

 The new trail building group is making great progress upgrading the Orange Advanced MTB route.  To date three weekends have been spent out in the woods and already we have had some really positive feedback from users.

The group at work

The group at work

 
Due to the inaccessibility of the terrain the majority of this work is carried out using hand tools, with chalk brought in for surfacing by wheel barrow. Without the group’s hard work and enthusiasm this type of trail improvement would not take place.
 
A new jump

A new jump

  

If you want to get involved in practical work out on the QE cycle trails then please make contact with one of the group members on qecptrailbuilding@yahoo.co.uk
Two Adders

Two Adders

 
The Park has a thriving population of Adders, particularly in the QE Forest to the east of the A3. They enjoy the areas of open woodland where their three key requirements, basking,  foraging and hibernation, can be met.
Although the Common European Adder can be found throughout most of Western Europe the species as a whole is in decline. Reasons for this include agricultural intensification, habitat destruction and the fragmentation of populations.  
 
Melanistic Adder

Melanistic Adder

 Adults grow to 60-90cm and can weigh up to 180 grammes. Females are usually brownish with dark brown markings, and the males grey with black markings. Melanistic individuals are usually female.

They feed on small mammals, mice and voles, lizards and amphibians. An adult snake might only eat 9 voles in an entire year.

The females breed every two to three years giving birth typically to 10 young about 20cm long , each a perfect miniature ready for independent life.  The young are born encased in a transparent sac from which they have to free themselves.

The next image is very unusual in that it shows a baby Adder just about to emerge in to the wide world. It was taken by one of the QECP volunteers who monitor the Park’s reptiles and know all the adult Adders as individuals.

 

Baby Adder

Baby Adder

 
Males and females are now getting ready for hibernation which typically takes 150 and 180 days respectively. Unfortunately 15% of adults and up to 40% of juveniles will not make it through the cold winter months.
Look out for these fascinating reptiles but please do not disturb them. It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 to kill, injure, harm or sell them.
 
 

 

A big thankyou to all those who voted in the Green Flag Peoples Choice. The Park came 5th overall out of a total of 1,290 sites which have the Green Flag accreditation.

The top ten sites were;

1. The Old station, Tintern, Monmouthshire

2. Warley Woods, Sandwell, West Midlands

3. Cassiobury Park, watford

4. Whitenights, University of Reading

5. Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Hampshire

6. Harcourt Hill Campus, Oxford brookes University

7. Apex Leisure & Wildlife Park, Burnham on Sea, Somerset

8. Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, East London

9. Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus

10. Tipton Cemetary, Sandwell, West Midlands 

The Green Flag Award Scheme is managed by a consortium, comprising Keep Britain Tidy, BTCV and GreenSpace. The voting ran between the 25th July and the 12th September. For more information visit:

 

 

The queue at 10.45am

The queue at 10.45am

 
Butserfest is an alcohol and drug free rock festival aimed at young people. The event is now in its fourth year and gets better with each one. The festival features the best local and national up and coming bands who play against the wonderful backdrop of Butser Hill, the highest point on the South Downs.
 
!!??!

!!??!

 
The day ended at 10.30pm and was as always incident free thanks to the efforts of the East Hants District Council staff, who lead on the event, contractors, local police and volunteers. As well as the music there were free activities all day along with advice and information from the relevant organisations.
 
Stands and stalls

Stands and stalls

 
New for 2011 was the second stage, called the ‘Lounge Bar’ which featured the best local bands including Alternative Car Park, Big Red Ass and Sinuism. Ticket sales went well and despite some wet weather over 1,400 people enjoyed the day. 
 
Sound advice

Sound advice

 
 A band called ‘Funeral For a Friend’ was the headline act and the highlight of the day. After the last of the music the Park centre car park became a giant one way system to allow all the lifts to arrive, pick up and head home. 
 
The main stage

The main stage

 
 

  

 

 
 
Bbq at the end of the event

Bbq at the end of the event

 
The second NSPCC Hampshire HACK (Hike Against Cruelty to Kids) took place on the 10th September. This was a 21 mile adventure that followed the scenic Staunton Way, beginning and ending at the Park.
At the end of the walk there was a bbq laid on by the Lime Cafe to refuel the participants and thank all the helpers.            
This is the second year running for the HACK, which we hope will return next year.
More information from www.nspcc.org.uk/hampshirehack
 
Hampshire Search and Rescue team

Hampshire Search and Rescue team

 Marshalling for the event, and first aid cover, was provided by the Hampshire Search and Rescue team, who are regulars at QECP.

Craft activities
Craft activities

 On the 11th September the Park took part in a national initiative for the Forestry Commission and their partnership sites. To celebrate the International Year of Forests 29 forests across the country were opened for all to enjoy.

Pond dipping

Pond dipping

 
All the activities were free and Forestry Commission and QECP staff were on hand to explain about their work and to help interpret the forest’s habitats and wildlife.
 
Bug hunting with the video microscope

Bug hunting with the video microscope

  One of the stars of the bug hunting was the Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar several of which were found.

 
Wood carving

Wood carving

 
All the activities were busy throughout the day, despite a damp start and even the Park’s reptiles put in an appearance after lunch.
 
Reptile walk

Reptile walk

 As well as the educational activities there was a talk on forestry by the FC Beat Forester,  giving a wider perspective over the 20,000 acres of Forestry Commission plantation within the district.

Forestry talk

Forestry talk

 
 And finally, there was some serious forestry machinery working down in the yard. Redwood Tree Services were chipping the winters supply of wood chip for the Parks biomass boiler. About 85 tonnes  of which are required to keep us warm over the winter.
 
Wood chipping

Wood chipping

 
And the Hampshire Timber Mill was turning seasoned beech and alder into timber for carpenters and turners.
 
Timber Mill

Timber Mill

 
And last but not least a demonstration from the Hampshire Coppice Crafts Group who produce a wide variety of products from local woodlands.
 
Coppice crafts

Coppice crafts

 
So, a busy day offering a glimpse of all that is good about our forests, with something for all the family. Hopefully this will become a regular feature in the calendar
 
 

 

 

Next Page »