Earlier this year the Hinksey Heights Nature Trail in Oxford was facing closure due to inappropriate usage which led to extensive damage to the boardwalk, leaving parts of the trail unsafe. The trail is a valuable local amenity for people who like to come and walk or picnic in the park, and our aim is to repair and extend the boardwalk so that this community resource can continue to operate. The Friends of Hinksey Heights boardwalk project is a volunteer-led initiative and currently receives no funding other than through donations.
We are improving the building techniques used for the boardwalk so that the repairs are long-lasting and durable. This means not only replacing the boards themselves, but the bearers and sleepers beneath. We are extremely thankful to be able to use left-over building materials from the schools’ projects and we are also reusing old boards where possible. However due to the extent of the repairs that are required, we anticipate that we will need to buy extra materials to meet the need.
Repairs to the boardwalk do not come without a cost. We estimate that around 200 individual boards need to be replaced, and in several areas the entire structure underneath, including bearers and sleepers, need to be replaced too. The timber costs alone to repair one metre of boardwalk is £53.26. This number does not take into account the cost of nails, screws and chicken wire. We set an initial aim to raise £700 which would cover the cost of materials for replacing 10m of boardwalk.
With the help of people who love the trail we are now through our initial £700 target! As autumn approaches we need to start making the trail winter-ready, so we have set ourselves the goal of raising a further £500 towards much needed tools and trialling new surface materials more suited to wet weather.
The boardwalk projects will be ongoing, with the aim to continue to maintain, repair and improve the boardwalk on a long-term basis. Please help us ensure that the nature trail can continue to be an enjoyable and safe place for next generations to visit by donating towards the boardwalk projects.
If you are interested in volunteering to help with the boardwalk project, please contact us at:
We particularly welcome volunteers with practical experience of D.I.Y. or construction. Sessions are usually held on Thursdays and Saturdays, weather depending.