Friends of Harnham Slope

8th January 2019, 11:13am | By Paul Dorey |

The Friends of Harnham Slope (FOHS, pron. ‘foes’) was formed in 2002 by a group of local residents to improve the amenity value of the wooded slope to the south of Salisbury which forms a backdrop to the suburb of Harnham.
The slope at that time needed a cutting back of the dense overgrowth of foliage, thinning of excessive saplings and re-defining the network of paths. In short it was not a safe and pleasant area.
The following years endeavours by a determined group of volunteers resulted in several major projects completed and the general tidying up and opening out of the Slope’s considerable assets. Salisbury City Council, parks department and the Wiltshire Wildlife trust have been great supporters of our work, providing materials and insurance cover.
The work days and occasional meetings were very much enjoyed by the volunteer group, with energetic participation, learning new skills, lots of banter and good humour. All with the added benefit of keeping body and mind in good shape.
Now, 17 years later we are at a crossroads.
The slope is in great shape currently with new viewpoints of the cathedral and city, clear access points, pathways with a hardcore top surface and wide and open glades.
However, volunteer numbers for our planned workdays have reduced greatly during the past couple of years. Recently, reliance has been on help from two Wiltshire based support groups, The Richmond Fellowship and The Wiltshire ‘Building Bridges’ team, which is much appreciated.
To be honest as we grow older working sometimes on a steep area of the slope on chilly winter days becomes less attractive. The average age of group members is now approaching 70!
We would welcome new members to FOHS with open arms, please do come along and have a walk around the Slope, see for yourself how much of an asset the slope is for walkers, (and their dogs), keep fitters, wild life enthusiasts (a bird survey recorded 40 species) and anybody just wanting a breath of fresh air with wonderful views of our city thrown in!
If you would then like to join us to help maintain Harnham Slope for the future enjoyment of Salisbury citizens and visitors, please contact the current chairman and organiser through our website: www.southwilts.com/site/harnhamslope

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