Key com­mon path brought back into use

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page -

A PATH along Whit­moor Com­mon, Wor­ples­don, which has been im­pass­able for years due to flood­ing and a build-up of mud and de­bris, has been resur­faced thanks to joint fund­ing from the Wor­ples­don & District Bri­dle­ways As­so­ci­a­tion (WDBA), the Bri­tish Horse So­ci­ety (BHS), Whit­moor Com­mon As­so­ci­a­tion, Sports Eng­land and Sur­rey Wildlife Trust (SWT).

At the open­ing of the Sum­mer Ride last week, Mark We­ston, Di­rec­tor of Ac­cess, Safety and Wel­fare for the BHS, cut the rib­bon and Nigel Davenport, CEO of SWT, re­ceived cheques from the BHS, the WDBA and Whit­moor Com­mon As­so­ci­a­tion.

Mr We­ston said: “It’s so im­por­tant to keep paths open for all to use, and it’s good to see the com­mu­nity com­ing to­gether to achieve the resurfacing of this one.”

Mr Davenport said: “Thank you to those or­gan­i­sa­tions that have cov­ered the cost of this work.”

The WDBA, founded 25 years ago to look af­ter the lo­cal net­work of bri­dle­ways for walk­ers, horse rid­ers and cy­clists, has al­ready re­stored horse rides in Nor­mandy, Pir­bright, Whit­moor and Broad Street Com­mons, Ash Green and Wood Street.

The WDBA worked with the com­mu­nity as well as the BHS and SWT to se­cure fund­ing to resur­face and re­store the Sum­mer Ride.

The project has taken more than five years to com­plete, at a cost of £14,500.

Caro­line Dilib­erto, Whit­moor Com­mon Area Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the WDBA, and Paul Ri­jbroek of the Whit­moor Com­mon As­so­ci­a­tion, led the project.

Mrs Dilib­erto said: “This has been a long project, but I hope ev­ery­one will agree it has been worth it, not just for horse rid­ers but walk­ers and cy­clists too.”

WDBA chair­man Philippa Wright said: “This has been a real com­mu­nity-based project. Fundrais­ing over sev­eral years has en­abled the WDBA to con­trib­ute nearly £3,500 to this chal­leng­ing project.”

The SWT em­ployed groundworks’ ser­vices con­trac­tor Poul­som Plant Hire, and it rose to the chal­lenge, cre­at­ing drainage chan­nels, re­plac­ing a bridge, clear­ing de­bris and resurfacing more than 277 me­tres of the Ride.

The WDBA covers a wide area, in­clud­ing Wor­ples­don, Pir­bright, Nor­mandy, Ash, Wood Street and Whit­moor Com­mon.

Miss Wright said: “In these dif­fi­cult times, it is hard to get grants and in order to resur­face more routes on our wish list. The WDBA com­mit­tee works hard to or­gan­ise fundrais­ing events through­out the year. Reg­u­lar path clear­ance is also un­der­taken by WDBA mem­bers on a vol­un­tary ba­sis.

“Al­though we have around 100 mem­bers, we al­ways wel­come more to join us and be part of our suc­cess­ful legacy for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to en­joy.”

Any­one in­ter­ested in the WDBA will find a wealth of in­for­ma­tion on its web­site,

Thanks to the WDBA, horse rides have resur­faced on Nor­mandy Com­mon (with the help of a £12,000 grant from The Big Lot­tery Breath­ing Places fund) lam­i­nated maps have been pro­duced of Whit­moor and Broad­street Com­mons, show­ing horse rides; rides have been re­in­stated in Ash Green and on Whit­moor, Back­side and Broad Street Com­mons and landown­ers have been en­cour­aged to open paths link­ing Wood Street and Nor­mandy.

In 2012, the WDBA paid £14,000 to resur­face an im­pass­able bri­dle­way be­tween Sheets Heath Com­mon in Brook­wood and Stafford Lake Com­mon in Knaphill.

This bri­dle­way is now used ex­ten­sively by horse rid­ers, walk­ers and cy­clists.

The next WDBA fundraiser is a Fun Ride at Til­ford on Oc­to­ber 15. De­tails can be found at

The Whit­moor Com­mon As­so­ci­a­tion, formed in 1993 as a pres­sure group to pre­vent Sur­rey County Coun­cil from en­clos­ing the com­mon to al­low the graz­ing of cat­tle, works ac­tively with SWT to main­tain the com­mon through fund­ing and vol­un­teer­ing.

Do­na­tions have been given to­ward projects such as silt re­moval and sluice build­ing at Brooke Pond, the re­build­ing of var­i­ous paths and bridges, and the clear­ance of ponds and ditches.

Mr Ri­jbroek, chair­man, said: “It has been a plea­sure to work with a sim­i­larly ded­i­cated or­gan­i­sa­tion like the WDBA and we are de­lighted that the Sum­mer Ride has been re­paired and drained so it can be used for longer than just the sum­mer months.”

I de­clare this path open: Mark We­ston, Di­rec­tor of Ac­cess, Safety and Wel­fare for the BHS, cuts the rib­bon to bring the Sum­mer Ride back into use

Thou shall not pass: In need of wellies to tackle the Sum­mer Ride

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