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Category Archives: Woodham common


It’s just begun to dawn on me how much Horsell Common Preservation Society,  which, according to their website,  owns and manages an amazing 80% of Woking’s public open space,  contributes to the general well-being of the borough.  I’ve just sampled the Bedser Trail, a wheelchair-friendly, 1.2 km DSC_0367circular path that takes you through the pines, birches, heather, gorse and across the occasional bogs of Woodham common. It’s not particularly breathtaking scenery, true, and is bounded on two sides by busy roads, as well as by the Basingstoke canal, but the trail certainly makes the area more accessible and worth the visit. The trail, named after Woking’s cricketing twins, Alec and Eric Bedser,  was established by volunteers from the preservation society, and Surrey Wildlife Trust. As the noticeboard points out, within the woods across the road lies Woking’s mysterious, half-hidden, Muslim war cemetery, empty now of soldiers’ remains, but still retaining an atmosphere of its own.  Here too the preservation society has been involved, securing a grant from English Heritage towards the costs of restoring the structure and grounds with respect and imagination. Work will start in the autumn. And that’s not all. Possibly the society’s most exciting project is the creation of a wetlands habitat at Heather Farm off Chobham Road,  after a land deal with McLaren.  Public access is promised when it is finished, DSC_0368late this year or early in 2014, with paths, boardwalks and hides to observe the aquatic wildlife.  All this, from the organisation that brought you Woking’s fantastic Pegasus tree sculpture back in 2009. Three cheers, I say!

More Bedserama: Woking’s brand-new Bedser Bridge, linking the town and Horsell across the Basingstoke canal alongside the new WWF building, which is still under construction, was opened today, 15 April. Nice, but I think we’ve done the Bedsers proud now. Any chance of the next public structure being named after Paul Weller?