From the Chairman

From a glorious spring to a more indifferent summer, however inclement weather never stops an OFS member, be they surveying or just walking (as you read on you see how true that statement is). Ensuring the footpaths of Oxfordshire remained open to all was one of the founding fathers aims when the Society was established in 1926, and I am very pleased that we are still making an active contribution to this.

Re-reading last year's newsletter I realized that this was when we started to ask for volunteers to assist in path maintenance, and, with Peter Ewart's and John Eyre's determination this has become a reality – the d'Arcy Dalton Way surveyed from north to south and problems notified to the County Council. So from small beginnings we have achieved a great deal, surveying and light clearance are skills we have learnt.

However there is still plenty to do and we should not rest on our laurels as it is likely that the current financial constraints will mean that the County Council is likely to have less money for path clearance, and so societies like ours, the Ramblers, Chiltern Society and the Cotswold Wardens all have the capacity to make an active contribution to keeping the footpaths open to all.

We have donated money to both the Chiltern Society and the Cotswold Wardens, who both have working parties with the knowledge and physical ability to install gates, and this seems to me to be the best way that collectively we can contribute to making the footpaths easily accessible not only to us keen walkers but the public as a whole. After all walking is an excellent form of exercise, costs nothing and re-engages us with nature which is so important.