Garsington Plaque Walk

On June 22, as part of the Summer Programme, the Society organised an evening walk to attach plaques on four new kissing gates situated on the Oxford Green Belt Way in the Parish of Garsington.

The plaques record the financial contribution of just over £1000 towards their purchase and installation. The four gates have replaced stiles along a half-mile stretch of the Oxford Green Belt Way. The donation was part of the on-going policy of the Society, under its donate-a-gate scheme, to replace stiles with gates, particularly on the important recreational long-distance footpaths in the County. This year has seen similar schemes on the d'Arcy Dalton way at Churchill and Lyneham, and also the Cotswold Link path at Chastleton.

Arthur McEwan-James, Tina Everett and Jim Parke Arthur McEwan-James, Tina Everett and Jim Parke Photo: Liz Adams

The Garsington plaques walk started in Grenoble Road. We were pleased to welcome to the walk Arthur McEwan-James, County Field Officer South-West, whose area of responsibility includes Garsington. Arthur has given valuable technical assistance and advice on the type of gates and details of approved installation contractors. Another guest walker was Gordon Garraway, Footpath Officer of the Council for the Protection of Rural England. It was the CPRE who created the fifty mile OGBW around Oxford.

In glorious evening sunshine, the group used various footpaths and bridleways to reach the first gate on the OGBW at its junction with Oxford Road in the village of Garsington. There we were met by Tina Everett, the Parish Path Warden of Garsington, who has acted as the project manager of the scheme.

Also we were pleased to see there Mavis Cornes, a Society member who lives in Garsington.

Michael Payton and John Eyre affixing a plaque at a Garsington gate Michael Payton and John Eyre affixing a plaque at a Garsington gate Photo: Jim Parke

The commemorative plaque was fixed to the first gate and from here the group continued downhill from the village along the OGBW, affixing plaques on the other three new kissing gates. Still in pleasant evening sunshine the group returned to Grenoble Road via the Roman Road bridleway.

The installation of the gates was carried out by Buryhook Countryside Management. In addition to funding from the Society, the Trust for Oxfordshire's Environment (TOE2) made a financial contribution with funds from Grundon Waste Management.

Garsington village also has a volunteer stile group who assisted in clearing away the vegetation prior to the gates' installation.

Jim Parke