Circular Walk - Farnborough A/P - 19th August 2017

On a bright but breezy morning on Saturday the 19th August 2017, eighteen of us met at the Cody Sports and Social Club off the Fleet Road for the start of the Trust's longest walk for a while.

This was to be a just under ten mile route, starting off by the old RAE establishment perimeter fence which we followed to the Basingstoke Canal. We continued along the towpath for a couple of miles and on the way had views over Eelmoor marshes and checked out a secret viewing spot at the runway end, before leaving the canal to explore the new paths created by the BV team through Wharf Wood. We rejoined the canal to watch many young children being given a kayaking lesson amid much splashing and shrieking!

Turning north we headed up the quiet Shoe Lane past the Army golf course, pausing briefly to view the grave of five heroic horses. We then entered the airfield site; this is always a bit of a nostalgic trip for me and I hope I didn't bore everyone too much with my tales of the black sheds, the 5m wind tunnel and restored balloon shed outline.

Leaving the airfield we continued into Southwood meadows and stopped for tea and cake on a bridge over the Cove Brook. After this we crossed the golf course and on to Southwood Woodland, another area managed by the BV staff and volunteers. Crossing Kennels Lane we followed tracks through the woods stopping to investigate the old concrete structures showing evidence of much army activity and gunfire. We next turned towards and followed the perimeter fence of the old NGTE establishment. After going through a tunnel under the Ively Road this took us back to enter the sports field near the old gardening club.

I think a couple of our walkers had been a bit wary of taking on a walk of this distance but we all managed ok despite a few aches and pains. Many thanks to everyone who accompanied me on this event and especially thank you to Marilyn and Angus for the refreshments, despite the wheelbarrow tipping over en route, grumpy neighbours and negotiating broken bridges!

Paul Sanders: Editor's Note: On this walk Paul managed to show off some of Farnborough's history but also link it to several of the sites being improved by the Trust and their volunteers; indeed two of the areas walked through benefited from tasks carried out by BV volunteers in the following few days.