Local artists 28 Sept – 4 Oct – Amersham and around

Cécile Gallina, Beverley Parkin, Jenny Thompson and Liz Grammenos of Simpatico and Candida Hackney, having missed Bucks Art Weeks due to the lock down, are now taking part in

Amersham Art Unlocked
28th September – 4th October
10am – 5pm Monday – Saturday, 1pm- 5pm Sunday
at St Michael and All Angels Parish Church, Sycamore Road, Amersham, HP6 5DR

Amersham Art Unlocked is supporting Mind – for better Mental Health – Buckinghamshire
(20% of all Picture Sales will be split between Mind and St. Michael’s Church)

More at http://www.simpaticart.com/

We have now taken the plunge and finally printed our Art Trails which give you details of opening times and location of all studios taking part in the event (image below). We are also offering you a chance to win a £25 voucher for ‘A Little Street Kitchen’ in Amersham. Simply collect as many stamps as you can from the Amersham Art Unlocked venues between Saturday 26th September and Sunday 4th October. If you have not received an Art Trail in your letterbox, you might find one in your local Library or in one of the venues; complete the form and hand it in to your last venue to enter the prize draw. The more stamps you collect the greater your chance of winning! One lucky winner will be chosen at random and notified by 12th October 2020.

Looking forward to welcoming you to the exhibitions in all safety.

Thames Valley Air Ambulance – donate and win

Announcing a fund raiser with some fun for two winning donations… be the guests of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance at their event in Thame on Friday 24th April from 14h-16h. Meet the crew and see the helicopter/critical car response vehicle. Two tickets are available to the two highest donations from Hodgemoor Riding Association members received by the end of March 2020. Donation bids are expected to be in the range of £50 to £250… what a good cause it is, especially if you have a fall sometime.

The background is… The Hodgemoor Riding Association decided in its AGM of November 2019 to donate £250 to Thames Valley Air Ambulance www.tvairambulance.org.uk and £250 to The Brooke Hospital for Animals https://www.thebrooke.org. Both have expressed their gratitude and the Air Ambulance people have extended the invitation to two people to represent us at their event. The idea to raise further donations for them and auction off the two tickets is our idea not theirs.

Place your bid by replying to our Facebook posting as a reply (if you are happy for it to be public) or by Facebook Messenger / email info@hodgemoor.org.uk. Winning donations will be payable in the first week of March, preferably with gift aid. If your bid is for two tickets then please say so, knowing that your competitive bid would be half the total.

Thank you for participating and for helping such a good cause

Trail repairs September 2019

Renovations to the cycling and horse trails in Hodgemoor commence Monday 30 September 2019 for one week. There will be earthmoving equipment in the woods. The car park on Bottrells Lane will be closed. Please don’t park anywhere close to entrances to the woods as the trucks will be in and out from several directions.

You can download a map of the woods showing the trails needing work (about £40,000 worth!) and a tabular list of the detail:



The Forestry Commission (Wendover is our regional office, Rob Bell responsible) and Neil’s Plant apologise in advance for any disruption this might cause. Susie and I were out with them this morning 23 Sept for a site inspection.

Repairs on the trails have been done 5 times since 2000, phase by phase, in coordination with the Hodgemoor Riding Association whose funds go towards the works and who represent cyclists, riders and walkers here.

Please get in touch for further info. Marcus Bicknell, volunteer Forest Warden 07748 111444 marcus@bicknell or by Facebook Messenger. Thank you for you understanding.

The Hodgemoor Wildlife Junior Photography Award

NEW AT THE CHALFONT ST GILES SHOW THIS YEAR: The Hodgemoor Wildlife Junior Photography Award.   The Hodgemoor Riding Association and its 300 members are sponsoring an annual cup and a cash prize in the Junior Photography Section for the first time this year. Since 1999 the Association has raised over £110,000 for the renovation and maintenance of the 6km of horse-riding trails in the woods, improving this popular amenity for all users, whether walkers, cyclists or horse-riders.  Southbank Photography in St Giles is offering framing of the winning entry or a £20 voucher.  

The winner each year keeps this engraved one-pint glass tankard

Blue Close Wood – great little hack from Hodgemoor

Susie and Marcus try to update our list of longer hacks; we all love riding in Hodgemoor but isn’t it nice on a bright day to make a change and go somewhere else, or in addition. Here’s one which Marcus wrote up in January 2019. Happy riding.

The map and this text in pdf form can be downloading by clicking on http://hodgemoor.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/blue-close-wood-loop.pdf

A longer list of hacks is at http://hodgemoor.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/hodgemoor-longer-hacks.pdf


8. The Widmer to Blue Close Wood Loop

Distance 3km Time 40 minutes

A pleasant ride with the roadwork on almost traffic-free single track. The loop through Blue Close Wood is a joy and horses who enjoy cantering (on the flat and uphill) are in for a treat – but do wear a helmet and beware of overhanging branches and thorny hedges. The short length of time taken makes this loop an ideal addition to a hack round Hodgemoor.

(1) Starting at (1) Widmer Corner (the southwest exit of Hodgemoor Woods with a green metal barrier and space for two cars), go south along the single track road.

(2) Where a bridle path goes off to the right, continue straight on.

(3) After a kilometre there are Seer Green houses on the left. At the junction with a larger road (3), now just in a built-up area, go straight on right for 20 metres and turn right into an opening in the hedge, marked footpath and bridle path. In the field turn immediately left onto the bridle path which goes diagonally west toward the gentle brow, fields either side. You can have a trot or a quiet canter up this path if there are no walkers.

After 200 metres, at the white gates at the brow, slow down because the upcoming downhill path is quiet steep and there is a fence on your left.

(4) At the bottom, marked (4) on the map, turn right onto a nice bridle path suitable for a canter. Welcome to Blue Close Wood. You are now heading north. After 250m there’s a slight zigzag under trees, leading to a gate which is left open. With a tall hedge on your left and a fence to a field on your right, there is another 250m of canter if it has been cut back, but often you might choose to walk or trot.

Now you’re in Bottom Wood still heading north. The trail here looks inviting but there are flints embedded in the path; don’t canter unless your horses is well shod and fit. The grass verge on the left is a bit softer. After 250m you’re at point (5) on our map (first photo, right) and in Starveacre Wood and you meet the bridle path from the A355 crossing at White’s Hill (see “The Coles Hill Loop” on our complete list of longer hacks).

(5) Turn right, eastwards, and prepare for a dash up the narrow flinty path (second photo, right) which many fit horses love to canter up. The hedges in the open air at the top tend to get overgrown in the summer but remain passable, especially if you and some friends were to go there on foot with clippers and give the worst bits a trim. Bucks County Council are meant to clear this bridle path but to our knowledge do not do so. The farmer on either side reaches over when the hedges are being done, so the bridle path hedges get some attention (third photo, right).

(2) Now you’re back at point (2) on the map. Turn left on the single track road and return to Widmer Corner (1)

No liability is assumed by the Hodgemoor Riding Association, its management or members for any eventuality arising from the use of these riding route suggestions. Any risk taken is the rider’s own.

Pay for participation in events

Are you looking for the PayPal buttons to pay your entry fee for a Hodgemoor event? Go the home page on this site www.hodgemoor.org.uk then click on Riders and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Here’s a short cut… http://hodgemoor.org.uk/riders/#pay

If any aspect of paying is difficult please let Susie and Marcus know on info@hodgemoor.org.uk


The entry form for Le Trec 31 March 2018 can be downloaded by clicking on schedule_hodgemoor_trec_march_2018



Repairs at the Spring Link

Repairs at the Spring Link. Pete Rowden and I were at the culvert of the Spring Link this morning Sunday. We removed the excess mud where the trail goes over the culvert (the ditch with the big pipe running under it). We laid stones and pebbles as a base down the centre of the trail… the principle is that rain runs off the raised surface to the sides and away, so the cenbtre part does not retain water and get muddy. We laid stoney earth over the stones and tamped them down. We made three humps higher up on the path to direct rain water away from the path. We renewed the wood barriers each side so that horses do not step cloe to the edges and knock the surface off into the ditch.
When you’re riding in the next few days feel free to walk right up the centre of the raised part, and let us know if any problems are encountered.
If anyone would like to volunteer for working parties please also let us know. BTW The Chiltern Society will be in the wood near there next week with a volunteer working party opening a footpath which has grown over.
Posted by Marcus 6 August 2017

Facebook traffic

Thank you so much for sharing the various alerts on our Facebook page. We find that we not only have a voice but we also render an invaluable service to those who might have lost a dog, be concerned by imminent theft of a horse or an issue of equine health.

As of today we have exactly 500 followers even though membership of the Hodgemoor Riding Association is 280. We welcome all Facebook friends (and if you would like to contribute to the maintenance of the trails and our efforts then please go to http://hodgemoor.org.uk/join/).

Our Facebook traffic figures are impressive. 975 people engaged includes those looking at our posts which you share or forward, thank you. A total weekly reach of 8,000 is excellent and one which many much bigger not-for-profit organisation would be delighted with. This includes shares, the same person seeing multiple postings and people who see a posting but might not read it… but it is still a cracking figure.

  this week last week
Page Visits  63  30
Weekly Total Reach   7,966  3,595
People Engaged 975 251
Total Page Likes 505 502



Happy surfing, happy riding. Phew cooler today. Marcus