footpath

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.

Saturday 21 July: Odell-Bozeat-Harrold special walk

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Special walk through the beautiful Bedfordshire/Northamptonshire countryside, with cream teas served in Bozeat

Walk itinerary:      
Meet in front of Cafe Bookshop,                                                                                                 Depart at 13.00 am                                                                                                                    Return back circa 19.30 hours                                                                                                           Total walk length: circa 20 km (12.5 miles)                                                                                    Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing for a walk on country footpaths – it may be muddy.                                                                                                                                                   Refreshments:  cream teas served at Bozeat.  Final stop at The Bell pub in Odell for drinks.                                                                                                                                            Transport: 16-seater minibus. Please email us to book a place.
                                           Cost: this is a fundraiser. Attendees are asked 2 make a donation on the day. Thank you! -)

Photos from Harrold-Bozeat-Odell walk  in August 2011. © Cranfield University Walks, 2011 – 2012.

Repeat of one of our popular events  from last year: join us on a circular walk that starts in the beautiful Harrold- Odell Country Park in North Bedfordshire. Walk continues through the charming village of Odell; continuing through the woods and pass the Poddington Airfield that hosted US army during the World War II and a Polish camp until 1956-7. Next entering the enchanting Forty Foot (Acre) Woods with its spectacular hide and then soon onto the fields surrounding the village of Bozeat. There we are invited into the garden of Glenda and Robert for a light lunch and some traditional English cream teas. Followed by another hour’s walk back to the village of Harrold and to the lake of Harrold-Odell Country park. Last stop – The Bell pub in Odell.

Cream teas @ Bozeat: Glenda’s husband served a long time in Royal Navy and so she is an avid supporter of The Royal British Legion and Help the Heroes charities. Therefore instead of being charged for our amazing cream teas this Saturday, Glenda asks us to make a donation on the day that will go towards the charities that she supports. Transport is paid for by the walking society ‘Cranfield University Walks‘.

Saturday 14 July: Woburn Abbey deer park POSTPONED

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Update on Saturday morning 14 July:  MESSAGE FROM Diane, our walk leader: I walked the route Wednesday morning and it was flooded in places because of all the rain we are having. I had two other routes in mind where we  could have walked on  hard surfaces, but this morning I have been out in the car to have a look and the river is up so high and over the banks in places that no way could we get through. Verdict: WALK POSTPONED until another date TBC.

Walk itinerary:       
Meet in front of Cafe Bookshop,                                                                                                 Depart at 13.00hours                                                                                                                   Return back circa 17.30 hours                                                                                                           Total walk length: circa 10 km (circa 6.5 miles)                                                                             Walk leaders:  Diane and Alan (School of Engineering)                                                       Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing for a walk on country footpaths – it is likely to be muddy and we may get a rain shower                                                     Bring a drink & a snack.                                                                                                                Transport: car sharing – Please let us know whether you require transport or have available spaces in your car to offer.

 

Photos: Woburn Abbey walk last year. © Cranfield University Walks, 2011 – 2012.
 

Repeat of one of our popular walks: join us on a short drive less than 10 miles from Cranfield University to the pretty Woburn – one of the most historical towns in Bedfordshire. The walk takes us on a public footpath through the beautiful grounds of Woburn Abbey  and the deer park.

Saturday 16 June: Odell-Bozeat-Harrold special walk POSTPONED

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UPDATE ON 12 JUNE: PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS FORECASTED FOR SATURDAY 16 JUNE THIS WALK IS BEING POSTPONED – NEW DATE TBC

Special walk through the beautiful Bedfordshire/Northamptonshire countryside, with cream teas served in Bozeat

Walk itinerary:      
Meet in front of Cafe Bookshop,                                                                                                 Depart at 10.00 am                                                                                                                    Return back circa 17.00 hours                                                                                                           Total walk length: circa 20 km (12.5 miles)                                                                                    Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing for a walk on country footpaths – it may be muddy.                                                                                                                                                    Bring a drink – refreshments provided at Bozeat                                                          Transport: car sharing – Please let us know if you  have available spaces in your car to offer.
                                                                                                                                                    Cost:  £5 members,  £10 non-members,  drivers – free. Book your place with Glenda at CSA 1st floor.

Photos from Harrold-Bozeat-Odell walk  in August 2011. © Cranfield University Walks, 2011 – 2012.

Repeat of one of our popular events  from last year: join us on a circular walk that starts in the beautiful Harrold- Odell Country Park in North Bedfordshire. Walk continues through the charming village of Odell; continuing through the woods and pass the Poddington Airfield that hosted US army during the World War II and a Polish camp until 1956-7. Next entering the enchanting Forty Foot (Acre) Woods with its spectacular hide and then soon onto the fields surrounding the village of Bozeat. There we are invited into the garden of Glenda and Robert for a light lunch and some traditional English cream teas. Followed by another hour’s walk back to the village of Harrold and to the lake of Harrold-Odell Country park. Last stop – The Bell pub in Odell.

Central Beds Travel Officer on campus this week

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Central Bedfordshire Council’s Travel Officer is on campus from today Monday 30 January to Friday 3 February and wants to hear your views on local public transport and your suggestions for improving it.

The Travel Officer will be hosting a stand in the main entrance of the CSA on Monday, Tuesday and Friday and will be in the Library foyer on Wednesday and Thursday.

Cranfield University’s travel survey open this week only

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The latest Cranfield University‘s travel survey is running this week only until 27 January 2012:

What is your experience of commuting to Cranfield campus? What do you think about public transport serving the university and facilities for walkers and cyclists? Have your say! 

Link to the survey: https://www.survey.cranfield.ac.uk/travel12/

Message from the new Environment and Energy Team:”The University is currently developing a Travel Plan and wants to hear about your experiences travelling to and from campus. The Plan will support our commitment to carbon reduction by exploring the ways travel choices can be improved on campus, including pedestrian and cycle access; rail and car travel; bus services and business travel.
 You are invited to complete a short survey to put forward your thoughts and comments on the travel issues that affect you. This feedback will then be used in scoping the Travel Plan and in lobbying local planners to improve travel choices where appropriate”.