Wouldn’t it be lovely if all public amenities were maintained by authorities? Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in. Hodgemoor Woods are owned by Bucks County Council and managed by the Forestry Commission, but only limited budgets are available for upkeep. Since 1998 the riding trails have been improved and maintained by the horse-riders themselves; this means that paths for walkers are relieved of those trampling hooves. The surrounds of the car park were once a morass when riders were allowed to go there; after restoration, they are now verdant and firm underfoot.
Fundraising by the riders, through the Hodgemoor Riding Association, has been via competitive and social fundraising events; by annual subscriptions paid by rider members; and, in the early 2000s, contributions from authorities and companies. Over £100,000 has been raised since then and re-invested in maintenance of the trails. In fact, the written agreement with the Forestry Commission gives the Hodgemoor Riding Association both the right to levy fees and the obligation to maintain the trails.
Horse-riders: membership of the Hodgemoor Riding Association is obligatory to be allowed to ride on the network of permissive trails in Hodgemoor Woods. Click here to become a member and to read more.
Cyclists: since 2016 bike riders are allowed to use the permissive riding trails, and of course the 2 bridleways, in the woods. Please give way to riders and walkers, and do not free ride on the footpaths and elsewhere. For the time being, membership of the Association is optional, but a contribution is warmly invited. Click here to make a contribution and to read more.
Walkers: you are ever so welcome in the woods and we hope you enjoy the experience. If you would like to make a contribution as a gesture of support and to help upkeep of the woods, donate via the Walkers & Nature page where there is more to learn about the habitat at Hodgemoor.
Every penny goes to creating and renovating the trails, and conserving the wood. Please join now; click on the link in one of the three paragraphs above which suits your case.