Saturday, 28 November 2015

The Avenue

This morning I went for a walk with the dog all around Ham. What a lovely place, with lots of really interesting paths to walk along.

I crossed over at Teddington Lock, walked along the river path and then up from the river to the gate at Richmond Park and back to the green before heading along that beautiful path toward Ham House past the tennis club. I then dropped onto The Avenue and walked to where the Radnor Bridge will land...

By plotting my route on Strava I have managed to gather some very useful data about the landscape; relative distances and how it rises and falls around here.

For example, I now know The Avenue is nearly a kilometer long, from the river bank to the road by Ham House. I now also know the relative heights along the path (as measured from sea level).

We know the bridge will need to cross the river at a height of about 20m, to allow for sailing masts to clear beneath it at high tide. The Strava segment I have recorded shows Richard was pretty much right when he said the bank is already at about 12-15m, meaning we only need to raise the path onto the bridge by roughly 5-7m in order that the cycle route remains relatively level as it crosses the Common.

The Avenue itself needs a decent cycle path laid along it, which I am sure the walkers will welcome. After all, it is currently very muddy and full of puddles, making it quite a challenge to walk along without wellington boots on your feet.

This path, known as The Avenue, could then be lit with sensor activated lights to help make the route more safe and secure (a concern I know some people have shared). This can easily be designed to architecturally ensure the natural wildlife is undisturbed by the lighting and that any trails the wildlife need use in order to cross the Common freely will not be impeded.

The actual treatment of this path and how the natural flora and fauna are cared for could learn a lot from the fabulous work, undertaken in recent years, along the River Crane route. Here, people and wildlife exist very happily alongside each other. There is no reason why this couldn't also be achieved across Ham Common. ...just a thought.

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