February 2013

This week several of the QECP and Rights of Way staff took part in a short training session outside the main visitor center. The subject was fire extinguishers and how to use them.

The main building is well stocked with extinguishers containing foam, co2 and water and the aim of the course was to enable the guys to tackle a fire should it be safe to do so and to be able to use the correct equipment.

The site has a comprehensive Safety Policy and a Fire Plan both of which are designed to keep the staff and visitors safe in all scenarios.The two principal fire risks are likely to be BBQs in the Queen Elizabeth Forest and electrical faults in the main facilities.

The staff practiced a fire evacuation two weeks ago and this involved clearing the main facilities and gathering at the assembly point in the coach parking area.
The site shares an Operations Officer with Staunton Country Park and it is his responsibility to produce the relevant policies, book the training and deliver the many and varied documents that are now legal requirements for a busy site such as QECP.

Hopefully all of the above will keep the site a safe and enjoyable place for this years 330,000 visitors,


Today over 400 brave people took part in the South Downs Trail Challenge which started and finished at the Country Park. With three route options of 8.5 miles for beginners, 15 miles for those more used to distance walking, and finally a 20 miler for the hard-core athletes to either walk or run.
Registration began at 6.30 am in freezing temperatures and with a light dusting of snow. The event began at 7.30 am and everyone had to be back by 5.00pm. At the end of the day only one competitor failed to return in time and they were located very much the worse for wear in one of the local pubs.
The event was organised by the British Heart Foundation who are regulars at the Country Park.
There are many benefits to joining in such an event aside from the obvious one of fundraising for a good cause. The BHF offer training and fundraising advice, they prepare and sign the route carefully and on the day offer refreshments and medical cover.
From the Park’s point of view this type of set up can fit in very well to an already busy site.

More details about the British Heart Foundation can be found at http://www.bhf.org.uk

The medical cover was provided by Hampshire Search and Rescue who are one of the volunteer lowland search and rescue units who provide round the clock assistance to the police.

They also offer medical cover at events as a way of raising much-needed funds. More information is available at http://hantsar.org/

The majority of the Park falls within the parish of Buriton. The village itself is situated on the eastern side of Queen Elizabeth Forest and is one of the most progressive on the South Downs.
The Parkworks in partnership with the parish and East Hants District Council to run the Chalk Pits, a 30 acre local nature reserve, and we work together in many other smaller initiatives.

For more information about the LNR see earlier blog posts or come along to the Buriton community hall this Saturday at 10.00am to hear a series of illustrated presentations about the site and future work projects.

Regular volunteer parties carry out practical tasks throughout the year and new members are always welcome.
The parish has just completed its Jubilee Year book. A 250 page volume that shows the best of all aspects of village life. Last Saturday there was a launch event in the hall where all the residents could collect their free copy.
Additional ones are available at £25 each.

For more details about the book or the parish in general go to the community web-site on http://www.buriton.info/event/parish_plan/bu

On Saturday night club members from Hants Astro, a growing and very busy astronomy group, descended on the QECP Park Centre for a night of star-gazing.

By the end of the event over 400 visitors had turned up to look through telescopes of all shapes and sizes and to see stars, satellites and even an orbitting space station which passed by every 90 minutes.

Hants Astro have three active observing sites across Hampshire. They welcome new members and run astronomy workshops throughout the year for beginners.

For more details their web-site can be found at www.hantsastro.org

The night had previously been cancelled twice due to miserable weather but on this occasion the sky was clear and visibility excellent.

On Thursday this week Hants Astro members will return to the Park and team up with Caterpillar Crafts to run an afternoon/evening of kids activities.

From 2.00pm through to 5.30pm there will be cosmic crafts, stargazing and a theatre show. Pre-booking required.

For more information and to book go to www.caterpillar-crafts.com

The Crossway Carvers are regular weekend visitors to the QECP Centre demonstrating various types of wood carving.

Peter Hurrell is the main contact and can be reached 02392 373899. New members are always welcome and tuition can be arranged for beginners.

More information from the website  www.thewoodcarvingschool.com

The groups next demonstration will take place over the weekend of the 9th/10th March.

The Park’s shop sells a variety on types of timber for carvers, sculptors and woodwork enthusiasts.


Currently we have pear, cherry, red cedar and beech available. There are also a number of large tree trunk sections available for garden projects.

For more information please ring 02392 595040.

Various different training providers use the facilities at QECP to put on sessions for the public. These can cover an amazing range of subjects from gilding to painting and chainsaw use.

This weekend a local trainer, Phil Quill, was taking a small enthusiastic group of cyclists through the MIAS Mountain Bike Leader course. The course aim was to promote safe enjoyment of all aspects of mountainbiking in an on or off road environment.

The MIAS sylabus (Mountain Bike Instructors Scheme) provides training and assessment in the technical and group management skills required by those who wish to lead groups in the UK.

More details of this and other courses offered by Phil go to his Hampshire Training web-site on www.hantstraining.co.uk

The next six months of events and activities, covering the period from the start of April through to the end of the Summer, is currently being put together by Park staff. This will be avaliable shortly in hard copy from the Visitor Centre of on the web-site at www.hants.gov.uk/qecp






Some months ago the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) set up a petition looking for support with a project to build a new cycleway along the side of the A3 from the Park Centre north to Petersfield. The idea being to create a safe route which would suit all cyclists whether they were commuting to work or passing through as recreational users.

At the point 2,000 people had signed that petition funds were raised to carry out an outline feasibility. The total is now well over 3,000.

Today the project team met on site to review progress and for a site visit. The 1,400 metre route has now been surveyed and the problem areas identified for further investigation.

The feasibility report will be published between April and June this year and then partners can meet to discuss funding and a way forward.

Public support is vital if this project is to succeed and the above link will take you to the on-line petition. A hard copy signature sheet can be found in the QECP Visitor Centre.



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