Cranfield airport

6 great walks we had this October!

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The student society Cranfield University’s Walks had a busy month. Following our attendance at CSA student societies and clubs fair on 1st and 4th October, 6 local walks were organised for students and staff. The aim of these events was to show that Cranfield University and its surrounding areas are located in the midst of beautiful countryside that is ideal for walking.

A quick glance at the walks we’ve done in October:

featured-imageSunday 2nd October, a circular walk to Cranfield village: Fantastic turnout for our 1st walk! More than 40 students and staff  set off from Cranfield University and continued on the cycle path to Cranfield village. The cycle path had been only recently completed; it appears to loosely connect to the national 51 cycle route that goes from Cranfield village to Marston Moretaine and Bedford.

group-pic
Our 1st walk, 1st group picture!

In Cranfield village students were shown the site of the St Peter & St Paul’s church, Swan pub, and Budgens and Co-op supermarkets .  Our group admired the views towards the Forest of Marston Vale, a community forest stretching behind the village high street towards Marston Moretaine. Return journey was led via the public footpath that circumnavigates Cranfield airport.

Saturday 7th October – A walk & shop trip: Discovering Bedfordshire’s best kept secrets! Following a short drive, 7 of us set off from the village of Great Barford, known for its beautiful medieval bridge. The walk continued along the River Great Ouse to Danish Camp and with a stop at the historical Willington Dovecote and Stables. Final stop was at Go Outdoors store on the outskirts of Bedford, a  perfect place to unwind for some shopping – new walking boots, base layers, hiking socks and more!

Sunday 8th October, special interest walk – geology of Dunstable Downs: A minibus took our group of 13 about 30km south of Cranfield University, to visit  the highest point of East of England. After a lunch at The Chiltern Gateway Centre run by National Trust, we met with our guide who teaches geology at Birbeck College, University of London. This was a circular walk, circa 10km in length. It included a stop at  at the Whipsnade Tree Cathedral. We learned about the fascinating history of the area going back millions of year –  think of dry valleys, shallow seas and lots of chalk!

Saturday 15th and 22nd of October, a walk to Lodge Farm and Farm Shop: There was a group of 25 and 8 of us respectively on these short walks from Cranfield University across the fields to the quintessentially English village of North Crawley and then to Raw Milk Dairy and Farm Shop run by Angela and Gary Adderson on the outskirts of the village. Homemade cakes, bread, fresh raw milk and cream awaited us. We enjoyed complimentary teas and coffees whilst sitting in Angela’s garden and even got a tour of the dairy and learned about milking cows.

Tuesday 25th October, a special evening walk in the dark: 31 of us headed in the dark from Cranfield University via the footpath that circumnavigates the airfield to Cranfield village and beyond, via Marston Thrift to the village of Marston Moretaine. On the way students learned local ghost stories. Huge thank you goes to The Bell pub at Marston Moretaine for accommodating our large group for refreshments. Special spooky-themed cakes were made for us by Angela from Raw Milk Dairy and Farm Shop at Lodge Farm.

Our October walks were attended by staff and MSc and PhD students from across different schools. European countries were well-represented; we also had students from Australia, USA, Guatemala, Mexico, Cameroon, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Malaysia, China, and India.

More walks are planned before Christmas. Would you like to get involved helping Andrew and Kristina organise future events for students and staff at Cranfield University? There are volunteer positions available to join our award-winning team, visit our Committee page to learn more. Or do you have a car and would you be willing to be one of our volunteer drivers and thus help us cut out transport costs? We like to hear from you,  get in touchFinally..

Congratulations! Our 1st star walker is HoiKen, an MSc student from Malaysia, who attended

 all of our six walks in the month of October!start-walker

30 September: Sunday walk to Cranfield village

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Walk itinerary: 
Meet by the large chestnut tree in front of cafe bookshop
Depart at 12.30pm                                                                                                                      Total walk length: circa 7 km (4.5 miles)                                                                                   Return: circa 15.30pm                                                                                                                         No booking required for this walk,  just turn up.                                                                           Please wear appropriate footwear for walking on country paths, it may be bit muddy.                                               

Our walk on Sunday afternoon aims to introduce new students to the joy of walking to Cranfield village using a public footpath. This route is about 2.5 km one way and is a perfect running route, provided it is not too windy as it is quite exposed. The footpath from Cranfield University to Cranfield village circumnavigates the airfield. It the village we will be stopping at the local Co-operative supermarket; having a peak at the Forest of Marston Vale; and walking a section of National Route 51 of the National Cycle Network. The aim is to be back at Cranfield University just on time for the start of a student tea party organised by the Community Development Office.

Have a look at this website on the day of the walk to see if there is an update.
The public footpath from Cranfield University to Cranfield village circumnavigates the Cranfield airport.
Earlier posts by Cranfield University Walks about walking to Cranfield village from Cranfield University campus: For path’s sake; Cranfield village, airport security and a tea party, New: works on the footpath to Cranfield village

For basics of footpath law in England and Wales see http://www.ramblers.org.uk/info/britain/footpathlaw

Tuesday 18 September: fish & chips walk to Cranfield village

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Walk itinerary: 
Meet by the chestnut tree in front of cafe bookshop
Depart at 5.30 pm                                                                                                                                  Total walk length: circa 6 km (4 miles)                                                                                   Return: circa 7.30pm                                                                                                                          No booking required for this walk,  just turn up.                                                                        Fish & Chips: cost circa £5.50                                                                                                       Please wear appropriate footwear                                              

photo by Mi Jang

 If you are free on Tuesday evening, why not join us for a walk to Cranfield village, using the public footpath ? The footpath from Cranfield University to Cranfield village circumnavigates the airfield. We will be stopping at a local chippy for fish & chips and the local Co-operative store, before having a picnic in the fields.

Have a look at this website on the day of the walk to see if there is an update.

The public footpath from Cranfield University to Cranfield village circumnavigates the Cranfield airport.
Earlier posts by Cranfield University Walks about walking to Cranfield village from Cranfield University campus: For path’s sake; Cranfield village, airport security and a tea party, New: works on the footpath to Cranfield village

For basics of footpath law in England and Wales see http://www.ramblers.org.uk/info/britain/footpathlaw

Tuesday 14 August: evening walk to Cranfield village

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Walk itinerary: 
Meet by the Main Reception
Depart at 7 pm                                                                                                                                  Total walk length: circa 6 km (4 miles)                                                                                   Return: circa 9.30pm                                                                                                                          No booking required for this walk,  just turn up.                                                                            Please wear appropriate footwear –  it may be bit muddy and bring a torch if you have one -)                                                                                                                               

 If you are free on Tuesday evening, why not join Jason and his friends for a walk to Cranfield village, to stop at a local pub for drinks.

Have a look at this website on the day of the walk to see if there is an update.

The footpath to Cranfield village follows boundaries of Cranfield Airport. Photo courtesy of Jeongha Ha
The public footpath from Cranfield University to Cranfield village circumnavigates the Cranfield airport.
Earlier posts by Cranfield University Walks about walking to Cranfield village from Cranfield University campus: For path’s sake; Cranfield village, airport security and a tea party, New: works on the footpath to Cranfield village

For basics of footpath law in England and Wales see http://www.ramblers.org.uk/info/britain/footpathlaw

 

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.

Tuesday 5 June: Party in The Park

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Invitation to join Cranfield’s Party In The Park in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on Tuesday 5th June, 5pm-10pm.

Location: Recreation Ground, High Street, Cranfield village  (see map)
Bring a picnic (alcohol is permitted)
Live music with Swede Dreamz, Royal British Legion Piper, Sound Familiar Community Choir, The Crazy Frog and The Muckabouts.
Finishing with an aerial firework display by Alchemy Fireworks.
 
The party is supported by CSA. There is no walk organised from Cranfield University to the Party in The Park – those wishing to walk across on the footpath that circumnavigates the airfield, can download a map from the university’ intranet. Location of the map on the intranet:

Cranfield Students’s Association (CSA) page – Clubs and Societies page: scroll down this page to see a link to PDF document “Walk to Cranfield village”

The map was created using Digimap – available to all Cranfield University students via Library web page. For instructions on how to use Digimap see our Maps page

Footpath to Cranfield village under water

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Fancy a walk from Cranfield University to Cranfield village, using the public footpath that circumnavigates the air strip of Cranfield airport? Well, put waders on instead of walking boots as the path is seriously waterlogged in places –  and soon you may need a boat to get across, as Cranfield University Walks found out during a walk this week on Wednesday evening.

Apologies to  Missa about her squeaky clean white trainers turned somehow black and to Jayanthi for getting her trousers very dirty. At least the fish & chips purchased from Cranfield village chippy were spot on – who knows, we might be catching our fish in the newly formed Cranfield sea any time soon, if the rainy weather we’ve recently had continues.

PS: special thanks goes to the good Samaritan Kate who ferried our brave group of walkers  back to the university, after the exhausting sea-wading walk.