May 2012


A CTC member collecting signatures

A CTC member collecting signatures

The local branch of the CTC are currently running a petition for a new cycle route that could run along the A3 carriageway between Petersfield and the Country Park centre.

A few years ago a cycle route was installed  running south from the Park towards Clanfield and this has proved a great success.

Although the Park is at the centre of a good network of rights of way which can be used by mountain bikers there is a real demand for a cycle route that can be used by commuters, road cyclists and those with more limited ability.  

 

 

The petition is available in the Park centre as a hard copy but also as an online version via the link below. So far over 1,000 people have signed up and the County Council is to commission a feasibility study to look in to the matter in more detail.

For more information about the CTC, which is the UK’s largest cycle charity, go to www.ctc.org.uk

A3 petition

 

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Classic vehicles

Classic vehicles

Today the weather could not have been better for the SHVPS annual show.  With over 350 classic vehicles, 120 autojumble stalls, food and entertainment, the event was enjoyed by some 5,000 visitors.

This is an annual event organised by the SHVPS which is a club founded in 1968 with over 350 members, largely from the Solent area. They enjoy ‘historic vintage, veteran and classic cars and commercial vehicles, pedal and motor cycles-in fact anything over 25 years old that has wheels. Ownership of one of the above is not essential for membership. 

Club members, all volunteers, spend the long Winter months planning the event and put on a professional show that attracts enthusiasts from across the south.   

To find more about the club go to their web-site at www.shvps.org.uk  

 

Scooter

Scooter

Autojumble

Autojumble

 

 

 

The showground

The showground

More cars

More cars

Rider briefings

Rider briefings

Last weekend the Park hosted a two-day Cycle Fest with lead partner Hargroves Cycles, supported by British Cycling and the QECP Collective. The Saturday featured two events, firstly 60km and 80km road rides using the East Hampshire road network. And secondly a 4 hour Enduro around the Park’s own Red Route. Over 100 elite riders took part in each event including a clutch of National  and European champions.

 Hargroves Cycles have been running bike related events at QECP for several years but this is the first one to be to run over two days, and to incorporate the festival package of food, entertainment and camping. Hargroves run 6 shops across the south along with an on-line business and sponsor their own race team. More information at www.hargrovescycles.co.uk

The start of the Enduro

The start of the Enduro

British Cycling is the national governing body for cycle racing in Great Britain. It administers most competitive cycling including the GB team at home and abroad. They were on hand to run the competitive elements of the Cycle Festival and are regular users of the Park for training sessions throughout the year. Further details at www.britishcycling.org.uk

Young racers

Young racers

On the Sunday one of the largest fleets of demo bikes was available for trial and the  entertainment included Capital Radio, local ales and live music. All proceeds from the event were donated to Cancer Research.

For more information about other cycle events at QECP go to the main web-site at www.hants.gov.uk/qecp

 

British Cycling

British Cycling

Capital Radio

Cube, Specialised and Cannondale were among the manufacturers present

May 22, 2012

Launch of the Red Mountain Bike Trail at QECP

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Collective members

Collective members

Last Saturday, the 19th May, the QECP Collective officially launched the new Red Trail. For the benefit of regular users this is a revamped and extended Advanced Orange MTB Trail. The Collective have put in many hundreds of hours over the last year, along with one of the QE Rangers, and have managed to plan and build a trail that is now critically acclaimed in the mountain bike world.  One real benefit in these challenging financial times is the limited budget that the group has been working with. Amazingly this is £0 to date.

On Saturday there was standing room only in the QE theatre as Collective members and guests watched a DVD which told the story of mountain biking in the Park from the first trail over 20 years ago. Then there were presentations followed by the cutting of the tape, or in this case appropriately enough a bike chain stretched across the trail.   

Standing room only in the theatre

Standing room only in the theatre

A Red Trail is actually a standard Forestry Commission colour grading which denotes the level of fitness and technical ability required.  The QE trail will get a new name in due course so watch this space.

For more information about the QECP Collective go to their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/qecptrailbuilding

For details of other mountain bike routes in the area there is a good online magazine ‘written by and for real people who ride their bikes off road’ at www.moredirt.co.uk    

Cutting the chain

Cutting the chain

 

May 20, 2012

Tawny Owls in QE Forest

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Over the last fortnight two fledgling Tawny owls have been brought in to the visitor centre after being found in the Forest.

Tawny Owls lay their eggs in March/early April, incubate for 28-30 days and the youngsters fledge after 32-37 days. At this point they can sometimes be found on the forest floor giving the appearance of having been abandoned. In reality the fledgling is sitting out the daylight hours waiting for its parent to bring food (in Tawny owls the females tend to do the incubation and the males the feeding).

As long as the baby is out of harms way and not obviously injured the best place for them is to remain in the forest close to their nest which will be in a hollow tree or squirrel drey. Of the two owls which were brought in, one was returned to the nest area and the other which was underweight went on to a foster home. Both are reported as doing well.

For more information about this our most common owl, and to hear their unusual song go to www.wildowl.co.uk

May 19, 2012

Park Rangers

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Ranger training in the classroom at QECP

Ranger training in the classroom at QECP

The duties carried out by the Park’s Rangers are many and varied, covering recreation, conservation and access issues across our 2,000 acres. No two days are the same and whilst the team all have individual responsibilities they share common tasks and training.

Last week is a good example of how this works at QECP. Having recently introduced Dog Control Orders on Butser Hill the team had a day of training with the solicitor who advises all the Green Flag  parks and open spaces, and the Blue Flag beaches in the Country.

The training was necessary for the Rangers to be able to tackle anti-social behaviour in general and specifically dog related issues. Fixed penalty fines are now an option and already the volume of waste placed in the bins has risen dramatically which is a very positive sign.

Rupert, Ian, Steve and a colleague at the start of the trail inspection

Rupert, Ian, Steve and a colleague at the start of the trail inspection

On a different subject altogether the old Advanced Orange mountain bike trail has been upgraded to a Forestry Commission classified Red Route. This has involved a great deal of work from the ranger team,  and specifically Steve Maxwell who looks after the recreational side in the Park, and the ‘QE Collective’ which is a group of dedicated mountain bikers (see previous posts).

To ensure that this trail is safe and meets the Red criteria Ian Warby the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) National Trail Designer came to the Park for the day to ride the route and report back. The image shows Steve along with Ian, a CTC colleague and Rupert Peddle from the QE Collective.

‘CTC is the UK’s largest cycling charity with the simple aim of inspiring and helping people to cycle and keep cycling’. More information on their web-site at www.ctc.org.uk

All the Park’s 22 miles of permissive trails are formally checked three times each year and any surfacing or vegetation problems dealt with accordingly by the Ranger team.

May 17, 2012

Romans in QE Forest

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On Monday and Tuesday this week visitors to the Park would have been surprised to see Romans in full battle dress acting out scenes from a famous campaign which took place in Germany back in the year 9AD.

A film company, Perfect Storms Television Productions, had set up the shoot with help from a group of Roman re-enactors from Portsmouth called Legio 2 Augusta.

They were making a docudrama about the Battle of Teutoburg Forest which took place in Germany and resulted in three Roman legions, about 15,000 soldiers and camp followers, being completely wiped out by Germanic tribes.

For once the weather was spot on and the hoped for rain and wind did appear. Poor weather was a key factor in the original battle, affecting the sinews from the archer’s bows, making the shields fall apart and bogging down the cavalry. Just in case the sun came out a water bowser and large wind machine were on hand.

The re-enactors brought  with them a large amount of period props and knew just how every item should be used. A  catapult was fired to test penetration and accuracy, and to test the swords and spears a large quantity of water melons were purchased!

Over the year many companies use the Park for filming purposes bringing in useful income and providing part time work for extras.

For more information about the Legio 2 Augusta go to www.legiiavg.org.uk  

 

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