Ramblers Work Party Report
Presented at the AGM held on Friday 17th November 2017 at the Mencap Hall Newbury
This year three sessions were lost to bad weather and one session cancelled because most of us had gone on holiday, which made the numbers too low for a viable group. However, during the year we managed 404 work sessions which is 1616 volunteer hours. We have just completed our third cycle of working through all of the sixty three West Berkshire parishes; we started 14 years ago in 2003 so, on average, our cycles have taken four and half years.
Colin Honeybone retired as ‘chief gater’ in August and we had a cake and ale celebration at The Bull in Stanford Dingley. He achieved a massive 269 installations, a total which is unlikely to be matched by any other volunteer. Brian Atkins retired at the same time having been involved in a very creditable 53 installations. Colin averaged nearly 20 a year over his 14 years on the job. From September West Berkshire Council ( WBC ) decided to put in only one gate a month, but the gaters have also put in 4 gates for BBOWT, so our total for the year is 17.
WBC recently found the funds to purchase some battery powered brush cutters and hedge trimmers. 10 RWP members have now been trained in their use and we hope some special work sessions will make a worthwhile impact on next year’s summer growth. 6 members have been trained to use CAT scanners which detect underground cables carrying electricity and this is very helpful to the group involved with putting in gates.
It is very pleasing that WBC have the confidence to invest so much time and money in the group. These extra skills increase the quality and range of our work and also add interest and variety for our members.