2021: Plans for the year ahead
2020 was a difficult year for the charity with the restrictions during the Covid pandemic. We were unable to run our normal range of activities and fundraise. Despite this, we had a busy year planning for the future
and adapting our activities.
We recruited 3 new trustees to consolidate and extend our range of skills.
The 10 trustees continued to meet monthly via Zoom and set up 13 sub-groups to develop the range of our activities from Fund Raising to Volunteering. Zoom also allowed our AGM, normally held on site outdoors, to function effectively.
We revised and updated our Strategic Plan which you can download here. We shared it with a wide range of interested stakeholders including The Watercress Line and South Downs National Park.
These are our Plans for 2021: (1-5 are located on the map of the marathon-length trail below)
- Install the 10 benches, generously donated by Alresford Rotary Club, around the trail (sites including the old railway lines tbc by HCC).
- Install a ‘mag post’, funded by Winchester City Council, for children to examine leaves and insects at Martyr Worthy.
- Finish the design and commission the building of a wheelchair ramp at Couch Green, Martyr Worthy to make the flat mile section Access For All.
- Open up track bed of the Watercress Line in Top Field/Hookpit, Kings Worthy, and make a new link from the Kim Bishop’s Walk to the DN&SR track bed cutting at Woodhams Farm Lane.
- Design and commission the boarding up of the Wonston Rd Bridge arch at Sutton Scotney, cleared of landfill in 2019. This will be decorated with a railway themed mural.
- Develop a Business Plan to allow us to fund our future projects.
- Run a series of guided walks around the trail, which have proved popular in the past.
- Write smartphone guides for the trail, and a pocket size guidebook, sponsored by Hellards.
- Continue to enhance the biodiversity of the old railway track beds through volunteer conservation sessions and continue to raise awareness of the trail via social media and the website.
- Continue the monitoring of the old railway tracks for planning proposals, fallen trees, improving and replacing old waymarkers and signs of rare flora and fauna.
Our Latest News
Dawn chorus – the early bird gets the worm!
The Watercress Way is famed for its variety of habitats and hence birds. Sadly, we are unable to run a field event this year – but there are lots of virtual tours and actual events out there! Here’s the audio and write up of such a walk on our website https://www.thewatercressway.org.uk/dawn-chorus-walk-4-45am/ Perhaps even revisit President…
Your support still needed to preserve England’s railway heritage
We recently published information on the railway bridge at Stoke Road, Itchen Abbas that is affected by the proposed plans by Highways England to demolish
The hunt begins ….could you be a Trustee?
The Watercress Way Charity seeks 2 new trustees: a Treasurer and an Ecologist Treasurer: Could you oversee our efficient, easy to run online system? Training is available. Ecologist: Have you a knowledge of wildlife, conservation and interest in recreational land management and community involvement? Typical trustee tasks include commenting on planning proposals affecting the…
Railway bridges threatened
Highways England are planning to demolish or infill decommissioned railway assets that could instead be used by walkers and cyclists. 135 structures are currently at risk including the bridge at Stoke Road, Itchen Abbas which is planned to be infilled. More info on the New Civil Engineer website. Please sign the Railway Rambler’s petition here:…