Bernard Hall, Cuddington
By Haddenham Webteam - 10th July 2017 11:15am
Many local residents will be delighted to learn that the BMX track on Woodways recreation ground has been restored to its former glories — once again offering a wonderful facility for riders of all ages to have some off-road fun!
A prime mover in achieving the refurbishment has been Bond: Jason Bond (!)
Here he recounts the route to bringing the BMX track back to life
In May last year I contacted the Haddenham Parish Council about the BMX track to establish who was responsible for its upkeep. This village facility was important to me and other parents and kids in the village as it represented a 'safe' place for kids to ride bikes and learn the skills that can be translated to eventually riding on the road.
After speaking to a few parents I knew and bumped into at the track, I suggested to the HPC that we could try and take it on as a community project, and help to restore & maintain it.
Whilst on annual leave in August 2016 I took the opportunity to hire some grass cutting equipment and set to work on reducing the overgrown weeds and grasses that almost covered the track completely (see top photo).
We could then use the track again, albeit on a very narrow path between the weeds!
The following month I was invited to attend the HPC Environment Committee meeting to talk about the BMX Track. It was a very encouraging meeting and I was given a great platform to talk passionately about it. The parish council then arranged for some weed killing to be carried out to eliminate more of the weeds covering the track.
In Spring of this year, work begun at weekends in an ad hoc manner to start clearing the dead weeds. Volunteers hacked, scrapped and cleared lots of the track and the original dimensions of it started to show though once again. However, the process started looking like an uphill battle as we were fighting the rapidly growing weeds with all the sunny and showery weather late in the Springtime.
In June 2017 HPC got in touch with Steve Jenks who runs a BMX Track building service about coming to refurbish the Track — the offer was well timed and I met with the HPC to discuss the immediate work and ongoing plan.
The parish council kindly funded the refurbishment and were keen to continue helping out, but equally I was (and remain) very keen to keep a core of volunteers involved, to keep up minor maintenance at regular intervals. This helps to create and maintain a sense of ownership by those who enjoy the facility.
SN Jenks spent 3 days reworking and repairing the whole track. They worked tirelessly in the burning sunshine for 10 to 12 hours a day, and I was hugely impressed with the passion they showed and their conversations about BMX as a sport and the tracks they build and maintain.
On Sunday 9th July 2017 we held a 'Refurb-Jam' — A hurriedly put together meeting of volunteers, Facebook group members and any others who heard about it on the grapevine.
From about 9am 25+ Kids, parents and a bunch of big kids (me included) turned up to celebrate the return of the BMX Track to its former glory. The was great, the track looked great and the company was awesome!
Predictably, there were a few little crashes, but nothing more than some bumps and bruises ...... it's all part and parcel when you are learning new skills!
We are keen to establish a continued program of professional maintenance:
- Further enhancements to the immediate area around the track to help integrate it and keep it in great condition, for the benefit of users and neighbours to the site
- Groups of volunteers to gather and tidy up, report problems and carry out basic maintenance (this will help keep the costs down overall)
- Potential for a club to be set up to offer a little friendly racing and tuition for Kids (and maybe big kids too?)
All those involved in this project are very grateful to Haddenham Parish Council for listening to our concerns and wishes for the BMX Track, and ultimately helping to bring the site back up to great condition.
To see more on how the BMX Track now looks, and how this was celebrated on Sunday 9th July, click here