July 2012


All week there has been filming taking place in QE Forest. A Canadian company called Perfect Storms Productions has been recreating the Battle of Teutoburg Forest which took place in Germany in AD9.

Roman camp

Roman camp

This was probably the worst defeat ever inflicted on the mighty Roman army with the complete destruction of 3 legions and their camp followers, a total of 15,000 people. 

The size and scale of the Teutoburg forest together with extreme wet weather prevented the Romans from applying their tried and tested tactics  and the result was a disaster. Any visitor who has tried to plan a bbq or family outing to QE this Summer will know just what this feels like. 

Filming

Filming

To recreate this type of weather now that Summer has finally arrived the crew used a large water tanker and wind machine. Each night space heaters were used to dry the clothes and other props so that they were ready for the next days filming.

To help make the film a number of Roman re-enactors who are from a local group called Legio2 took part. They were helped by two horses, a mule and a whole range of excellent props.

Historical accuracy was key to the film makers. The director had to ensure that the Park’s American Grey squirrels and Chinese Buddleia bushes did not get filmed accidentally to trouble the continuity police.

Roman shields

Roman shields

There were 40-60 crew and actors involved each day and the majority stayed at the Hampshire Hog Hotel through the week.

The Park’s cafe provided breakfast, lunch and many cups of tea daily and the increased trade helped in part to make up for the recent poor weather and lack of visitors.

For more information about the Roman re-enactors who also attend events  and make school visits their web-site is at www.legiiavg.org.uk    

Horses and mule

Horses and mule

Wildflowers on the northern slopes of Butser

Wildflowers on the northern slopes of Butser

A recent post celebrated the beneficial effect that all the wet weather was having on the wild flora around the Park. Whilst the butterflies are only just starting to show with the sun, the main flowering is at its best on Butser Hill.

 

 

Two Orchid species, Frog and Pyramidal, always appear a little later in the season. The former are hard to spot but found in large numbers around the higher slopes of Butser. The latter are most obvious at the entrance to the Park’s bbq and events site just off the northbound slip road.

Frog orchid

Frog orchid

In two weeks time the Park will be running its first BioBlitz. This will run from 4pm on the Saturday through to 4pm on the Sunday and is a 24 hour nature hunt, with walks, talks, films, crafts and  a host of other wildlife related activities.

Pyramidal orchid

Pyramidal orchid

More information on the web-site at www.hants.gov.uk/qecp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

A total of 5,000 people attended this years event. The third year for the Wood Fair. The crowds enjoyed a wide variety of crafts, demonstrations and other entertainment. Wood sales will continue from the visitor centre whilst stocks last with Cherry and Wild Pear both avaliable as planks or blocks.

For more information contact the Park on 02392 595040.

Trailwalker UK last weekend seemed like the years toughest event along on the South Downs. However at the same time that the 2,000 competitors were heading off from QECP towards Brighton Racecourse, a small group of 150 super humans were travelling the other way.

Triathlon rider passing the Trailwalker start

Triathlon rider passing the Trailwalker start

Their event, the X-TRI 24, was effectivly a triathlon but on a very different scale to normal. Starting at 7.30pm on Friday night in the sea at Princes Park Seafront, Eastbourne with a 2.4 mile sea swim around the pier. The next stage was an off-road cycle ride of 112 miles all the way along the South Downs Way to Winchester.

There was a brief stop at the QECP checkpoint for food and water. At this point the riders had experienced extreme conditions with driving rain, muddy trails and unseasonably cold temperatures, and a number had dropped out.

 

 

Checkpoint at QECP

Checkpoint at QECP

Having got to Winchester they then ran 26 miles along the Clarendon Way to Old Sarum, Salisbury. After the event there was a bbq and presentation at the Salisbury Rugby Club.

 

The time scale to complete this amazing challenge was 24 hours (Trailwalker was 30 hours to walk 65 miles!). There was an international field who took the whole event very seriously.

 

As an example of the quality of the athletes, the first woman home in a time of 16 hours 40 minutes, and 3rd overall, was Maunela Vilaseca. She comes from Brazil and recently competed in the ‘X Terra Brazil-Amazon’. This was another triathlon with the swimming section taking place in the Amazon complete with piranhas to ensure a record pace. Manuela managed a place in the top ten for this event.

 

QECP checkpoint

QECP checkpoint

 

For more information about the company which organised the X-TRI 24 go to www.endurancelife.com

Trailwalker camp

Trailwalker camp

Trailwalker UK is an epic 100km team challenge along the South Downs Way from the Country Park to Brighton Racecourse. Teams of 4 attempt the challenge in a 30 hour timescale which this year was made much more difficult by the wet weather.

 

449 teams set off on the Saturday morning with starts at 6.00am, 7.00am, 8.00am, 9.00am and finally at 10.00am.  Most of the competitors and their support teams had spent the night under canvas, or in local accommodation, arriving at the Gurkha mobile food station at the crack of dawn on Saturday for a cooked breakfast.

 

 

The queue for breakfast

The queue for breakfast

At the end of what was the hardest Trailwalker ever 240 teams of 4 completed the event raising over £1 million for Oxfam projects and the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

The top team for fundraising was the appropriately named ‘Pain is just weakness leaving the body’ which raised £4811. 

The Queens Gurkha Signals  started the event in 1981 and when they were redeployed to the UK in 1997 they established it on the South Downs where it has been run ever since on an annual basis.

This year the first team home in a time of 10 hours 54 minutes was fittingly from the regiment. As well as entering teams about 200 soldiers were involved in organising the event helped by staff from major partner Oxfam.     

For more information about Trailwalker go to the web-site on www.oxfam.org.uk/trailwalker

The start

The start

Gurka pipers

Gurkha pipers

SSE volunteers

SSE volunteers

  On Friday a team of 12 staff from Scottish & Southern Electric spent the day at the Country Park helping to maintain the trails on Butser Hill.This was part of the SSE ‘Community at Heart’ programme which gives staff the opportunity to spend one day each year working for a charity or organisation of their choice.The staff members were local to QE and came from offices in Petersfield and Havant. The days toil was rewarded by a bbq at lunchtime and tea and cakes in the afternoon. SSE volunteers

 Volunteer work is vital to the Park in helping manage its 2,000 acres and corporate days such as this really make a difference. SSE staff are the most safety conscious of all our corporate teams and this is important where office or depot staff are working in what can be a physical and unfamiliar environment.   For more information about volunteering opportunities at the Park see the relevant section on the web-site at www.hants.gov.uk/qecp SSE volunteers

 

A recent 5 km run through Queen Elizabeth Forest attracted about 150 entrants. Hosted by local running club the Portsmouth Joggers, the event began at 7.15pm to allow participants time to get home from work.

The club has been established for over 35 years and welcomes runners and joggers of all abilities from all walks of life. They meet at the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth, every Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm, Saturday at 9am, and out on site on Sundays at locations as detailed on their web-site.

The aim is to provide a safe, encouraging and enjoyable environment in which everyone can meet their personal goals.

Race results can be seen on the club’s web-site at www.pjc.org.uk

For more general running information go to www.runnersworld.co.uk

 

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