From the Chairman

On a glorious June day David Godfrey led a walk to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the dedication of the Farmoor Reservoir footpaths. It was particularly appropriate that our President Jack Ibbott and his wife Margaret were present before the walk started. Suitably toasted with champagne it gave me much pleasure to give them, on behalf of the committee, certificates conferring Honorary Life Membership in acknowledgement of their contributions to the Society over many years, including negotiating the retention of the Farmoor footpaths. Escorting them to and from Farmoor I was reminded how much work, both physical and with the pen, past and present members have done for the Society, and of course the general public, in fighting for the preservation of the footpath network that enables us to derive so much pleasure walking in Oxfordshire.

Margaret and Jack Ibbott Margaret and Jack Ibbott Photo: John Eyre

This summer has been one of ideal walking weather after two years of indifferent conditions and it has been encouraging that most walks have been well supported. The footpaths have been, in places, overgrown with shoulder high nettles especially on the less walked trails. Obviously at this time of year wholesale clearing of paths cannot be undertaken to ensure nesting birds are not disturbed. However, after an inspiring talk by Howard Dell at the AGM, it is planned that we will join with the South Oxfordshire Volunteer Path Maintenance team to learn the hows and wherefores of doing this, working with the assent of the landowner and County Council. Obviously health and safety considerations have to be clarified and insurance cover in place before we start. With the financial constraints being placed on the authorities, path surveying and clearing is a way we can make a positive contribution as well as justifying our charitable status. Anyone who would like to be involved please contact John Eyre (01235 522276).