New: works on the footpath to Cranfield village

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The footpath to Cranfield village follows boundaries of Cranfield Airport. Photo courtesy of Jeongha Ha.

A recent notice on Cranfield University’s intranet site announced that from the week commencing 23 July a new timber post and rail fence were being installed around the North East of the Cranfield airport perimeter.

The footpath to Cranfield village is about 2.5km long and it circumnavigates the landing air strip at Cranfield airport. The footpath gets seriously waterlogged during wet weather and becomes unusable, as reported on our website earlier. The footpath is also poorly signposted, especially on the site of Cranfield University – many students and staff are thus unaware of the existence of the footpath and keep walking on the main road between Cranfield University and Cranfield village, risking being run over by cars.

Map – footpath to Cranfield village. 3 shortcuts (alternative sections of the footpath) are shown as a dashed line.

 After hearing rumours that Cranfield airport is being fenced around to deter any terrorist attack occurring during the London Olympics, Cranfield University walks went last week to investigate. During our walk on the footpath to check on the works being carried out, we can report that the footpath has not been blocked – something we have been worried about. Furthermore, we made these observations:

1. The first shortcut from the direction of Cranfield University (shown on the map as a curved dashed line) that is near the former air shelter is now not possible to undertake, unless you go under the new wooden rail fence. However, where previously the footpath was very narrow as running alongside the former air shelter – this area has now been cleared, bushes felled down and the footpath was made wider, which is a welcomed improvement.

2. The second shortcut ( shown on the map as a dashed line near the stiles)  is still possible to follow. It allows to avoid going over the stiles and means walking parallel on the other side of the hedges before sharply turning left back onto the “official” part of the footpath. Cranfield University Walks would like to see this part of the footpath to become a fully recognised section of the route – that allows the footpath to Cranfield village become stiles-free. This section is already used by runners who wish to avoid the stiles and in the future could be used by cyclists, if the surface of the footpath ever gets turned into a cycle route as we are told, the university has been lobbying for this to happen.

This shortcut – visible as a footpath right to the fence – is now blocked by the new wooden fence.

3. The third shortcut on the other side of the runway away from Cranfield University, on the side of Cranfield village, is now blocked by the new fence. The new wooden fence extends the full length to the hedges, beyond the shortcut, and adds a good couple of hundred meters to the route.

Whilst it is pleasing that some attention – even if only as a side effect of the airport improvement works – is being given to the footpath to Cranfield village,  an almost a 3km long wooden fence circumnavigating Cranfield airport and the footpath is not what is really required here. Instead, the footpath from Cranfield University to Cranfield village needs desperately better signs, better lighting and improvement to the surface of the footpath so it can be fully usable all around the year.

Better communication about the footpath to Cranfield village –  to raise awareness of its existence amongst Cranfield University’s students and staff – is then  expected to be one of the university’s priorities under its new “green travel plan.”

Do you have more information about the current works carried out on Cranfield village footpath? If so, contact us: walking@cranfield.ac.uk

New wooden fence around Cranfield airport. July-August 2012. 
Widening of the footpath to Cranfield village near the former air shelter.

Friday 3rd August: Clifton Reynes walk with fish & chips

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Explore the beautiful countryside that surrounds Cranfield University            

Itinerary:                                                                                                                                      Meet at 5.30pm in front of Kings Norton Library. Return before 9pm.                              Places in a minbus are limited  – book yours by emailing walking@cranfield.ac.uk      Cost: bring cash for fish & chips supper in Olney (about £4.50) and a drink at  Robin Hood pub.
Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing for a walk in the countryside.

Walk to Clifton Reynes, Natural History Walks series, July 2011.Photo by Sharon Birkholz.

A repeat from last year’s mini series of special natural history walks led by Alan Nelson (School of Applied Sciences). Alan has in-depth knowledge of fauna and flora; dragonflies in particular.

After a short ride to the quintessential English village of Clifton Reynes, a lovely walk across the fields to the historical town of Olneywill follow. We will stop in Olney for fish & chips picnic supper at the town’s market square. A walk back to Clifton Reynes will finish with a stop for drinks at  Robin Hood pub.      

This year the special natural history series are sponsored by the university’s central Energy & Environment Team:

20 June: Olney to Clifton Reynes (with a stop at Robin Hood pub)                                           27 June: Emberton Country Park and Olney with fish & chips                                                   26 July: Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes                                                                                      03 August: Olney to Clifton Reynes (with a stop at Robin Hood pub)

The walks are subject to good weather conditions – have a look at this website on the day of each walk to see if there’s an update.

© Cranfield University Walks, 2011 – 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Photos may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to cranfielduniversitywalks – Cranfield University’s walking society at https://cranfielduniversitywalks.wordpress.com/

Friday 27 July: early evening walk to Lodge Farm

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Walk itinerary:       
Meet in front of Cafe Bookshop,                                                                                                 Depart at 17.30hours                                                                                                                     Return back circa 19.30 hours                                                                                                           Total walk length: circa 5 km (3 miles)                                                                                     Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing for a walk on country footpaths.
There are some stiles to climb over.                                                                                                                 There is no cost associated with attending this walk, just turn up.           

Last year students enjoying a visit to Lodge Farm

 

Take a break from your studies – join us for a short walk to  Angela’s farm shop at Lodge Farm. Expect some delicious cakes and ice cream!

A great opportunity to ask Angela about Lodge Farm’s non-homegenised milk, say hello to the cows  and chickens or have a go at the trampoline.

Thursday 26 July: Lakes @ Milton Keynes

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Explore the beautiful countryside that surrounds Cranfield University        

    Update on 25 July: due to road works near Olney and heavy traffic in that direction, this walk will now be instead at Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes

Itinerary:                                                                                                                                      Meet at 5.30pm in front of Kings Norton Library. Return before 9pm.                                    Refreshments provided, bring some change for a drink at  Robin Hood pub                      Minibus places are limited  – book yours at CSA  (PS: CSA 1st floor is currently being refurbished, the office is temporarily on the ground floor)                                                        Cost: £3 for members of the Walking Society, £5 non-members.  Show you membership card to claim a discounted rate when booking a place.                                                            Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing for a walk in the countryside.

Walk to Clifton Reynes, Natural History Walks series, July 2011.Photo by Sharon Birkholz.

A repeat from last year’s mini series of special natural history walks led by Alan Nelson (School of Applied Sciences). Alan has in-depth knowledge of fauna and flora; dragonflies in particular. After a short ride to the outskirts of the historical town of Olney, this walk will take us across the fields to the quintessential English village of Clifton Reynes, popular with walkers. After a short stop at the local pub for a drink, we will head back, ending  the walk with a picnic in Emberton Country Park. 

This year the special natural history series are sponsored by the university’s central Energy & Environment Team:

20 June: Olney to Clifton Reynes (with a stop at Robin Hood pub)                                           27 June: Emberton Country Park and Olney with fish & chips                                                   19 July: Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes                                                                                      26 July: Olney to Clifton Reynes (with a stop at Robin Hood pub)

The walks are subject to good weather conditions – have a look at this website on the day of each walk to see if there’s an update.

© Cranfield University Walks, 2011 – 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Photos may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to cranfielduniversitywalks – Cranfield University’s walking society at https://cranfielduniversitywalks.wordpress.com/

Best photos from our walks: we have winners!

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These are the four amazing photos taken on our walks  between September 2011 and June 2012 that were voted by our student members as the winners of  Cranfield University Walks photo competition 2011-2012. Congratulations!

The winners will receive prizes donate by our sponsors: Angela Jane’s Farmhouse Kitchen, Lodge Farm, North Crawleyhomemade cakes, ice cream & more. The Beesness: delicious preserves, jams & honey. Glynise King, Sherington: tranquillity holistic therapies (book a massage via university’s Medical Centre). The cafe bookshop @ Cranfield campus: fresh coffee and cakes, books & more. Digital Visitor: kindly donating a ‘cycle pack’ with a helmet, gloves, puncture repair kit, light and bike tool kit. Cranfield Students’ Association – a bottle of  bubbly.

Special thank you goes to our competition committee that so brilliantly managed the competition: our Photo Editors Belen Iglesias and Xiaojian Huang.

All photos entered into this year’s competition can be viewed via our Photos page.