June 2013

After 300 posts, written over two years and covering some of the fascinating goings on at the Country Park, the blog will now close.

Future happenings will continue to be reported via the site’s Facebook and twitter accounts which can be accessed via the main web-site on www.hants.gov.uk/qecp


On Saturday the 8th June over 2,000 runners took part in the South Downs marathon series based at Queen Elizabeth Country Park. The event included a full marathon, a marathon relay, a half marathon and a 4 mile family fun run all organised by Hampshire based company 2:09 Events.

The first competitors arrived to camp on the Friday night and by Saturday morning at 8.00am 6 coaches were parked outside the visitor centre ready to take the full marathon runners to Slindon College, the official start point for the main event.

A good finish time for the 26 miles, with its total elevation gain of 5728 feet and loss of 5523 feet, was under 4 hours. All race results will be posted on the 2:09  website at www.209events.com

The half-marathon and 4 mile run started and finished at QECP with all races timed to finish over a similar time.

The marathon has been going for several years now and has become a classic in the Trail Runners calendar, helped no doubt by the fantastic South Downs scenery, and by the organisational skills of 2:09.

The half marathon started in 2012 and took off immediately. Although the lower age limit for the marathon is 18 years there is no such barrier for the 4 mile fun run adding to the family appeal of the day.

2:09 Events run other events in the local area as well as in far-flung places such as New York and Tokyo.

For more information about other running or walking events held here at QECP over the Summer go to the Park’s web-site on  www.hants.gov.uk/qecp






The Park’s own cycling volunteers, the QECP Collective, have just run their first successful event. This was one of a National series of downhill time trails which was run with help from British Cycling and attracted over 100 entrants.

The location for the trial was not in the main country park but an adjacent block of Forestry Commission plantation where  pre-booked events as diverse as archery and motorcycle trials take place.

The aim of a downhill trial is simply for riders to race against the clock along a winding stretch of un-surfaced single track. The time taken is typically about 1 minute with riders making several attempts over the course of a day.

Specialist bikes and safety gear are essential for this type of competition and thanks to good organisation and sensible riding the event passed without incident.

It is about 17 years since the last downhill trial at QECP and this will now become an annual event.

The QECP Collective are to run a second mountain bike event on the 21st July. This will be a Gravity Enduro and will again be run in partnership with British Cycling.

A Gravity Enduro involves longer trail sections, each with 3-6 minutes of cycling and also with an element of climb or descent, typically 100m.

A total of 5 timed sections will be added together to form an aggregate score which will determine the winner in each category. For more information and to book in for the event go to http://www.qecptrailcollective.co.uk

This Sunday in glorious Summer weather over 5,000 car enthusiasts gathered for the South Hants Vehicle Preservation Society’s annual show.

The events field on the slopes of Butser Hill was filled to capacity as people came to see some 500 classic and vintage machines. These included cars, commercials, motorcycles and military vehicles all polished and looking their best. The oldest was  made in 1903 and the youngest in 1987.

In addition there were over 150 auto-jumble stalls where you could buy, or sell, every thing from a beautifully restored 185cc Suzuki Trials Bike from the 1980s for £3,000, to those all important nuts, bolts and widgets for a few pennies.

For most stall holders the aim is sell more than you buy and to have fun.

A brass band, children’s entertainment and full catering facilities ,including a licensed bar all helped to make for a fantastic day out.

]The South Hants Vehicle Preservation Society is a thriving local club which welcomes new members, with or without a classic or vintage vehicle.

They have a busy events programme including trips abroad, treasure hunts and club runs. For more information go to www.shvps.org.uk

The definition of what represents a classic or vintage vehicle is a contentious point and the challenge is to pick future classics that are currently bangers.

Arguably a ‘modern classic’ is any vehicle considered collectible regardless of age. However HM Revenue & Customs define a classic vehicle for company car taxation purposes as being over 15 years old and having a value greater than £15,000