We are pleased to announce that Phase 1 of the Pump Track at Acklings is completed. Catherine Harrison and Cllr Steve Brown were the brains behind the scheme and project managed the build, securing backing from the Parish Council and finding a local builder, Will Brown, who had the experience in building these sorts of tracks to oversee the design and build.
Emma Newman, who joined the project team to help with the fundraising and volunteering, said: “Thanks to the hard work of an amazing team of volunteers, fuelled by wonderful bakes and treats provided by the village and supported by a team of first aiders, which fortunately we did not need to call on, the Pump Track is built.”
“It‘s not quite ready for use yet as it needs another week to settle, so we need everyone to be patient until next weekend. As soon as it’s ready, we’ll take down the orange fencing and let everyone know. Phase 1 will be a “soft” opening to settle in the new surface which will take a few weeks. It may then need a top up of the special gravel for Phase 2 which will ensure greater longevity of the track.
“Thank you to everybody who has helped to bring this project to fruition. It’s been another fantastic example of village generosity, community spirit and kindness. And the pump track team were especially impressed with the young volunteers – Lewis, Ollie, Ben, Galvin and Connor – who helped with the design and the shovelling, testing the track out and scattering the grass seed.”
“There will be further opportunities to get involved in Phase 2, maintenance and other plans for the site. We also hope to hold a celebratory event later in the Summer to which everyone will be invited, when we can show off the team’s efforts.”
Hate to say it after all the hard work that has gone in, but looking it it walking the dogs today, the design looks highly dangerous. Steep drops to either side on the various jumps. I have never seen a track like it, most have gentle slopes on either side. I can ssee it will only be a matter of time before someone misjudges a jump, slips off and breaks their leg or worse.
I am not some health and safety nutter, but it’s evidently dangerous. Maybe there is still extra work to do. But if it opens in it’s current form (working in insurance myself) I hope the PC’s public liability insurance is up to date because they will very likely be needing it soon.
Hi Deborah, Thanks for your concerns.
The Pumptrack team had expert advice both in the design, preparation and building of the track.
We also had the benefit of at least 5 or 6 active pump track riders who helped to build the track.
We will of course monitor how it works and adjust if necessary but the riders who helped build it have tried it and it seems to work really well.
We have also built in lower and more gentle features so that younger children can play here too.
On behalf of the Pumptrack Project Team.
I hope you are right. But I have been to plenty of pump tracks (son used to be into BMXing) and I have never seen ones with steep drops either side of the jumps.
It is certainly very different to South Moreton which I thought was the “inspiration”.
I really think someone should stand on the jumps and think “what will happen if someone misjudges this and runs over the edge?”. Because the answer is they will slide out of control down the slope. Sometimes it is easy to be a bit too close -understandably – if you have worked on the project so you could ask someone independent such as a teacher from the school for their thoughts.
Sorry to be pedantic but I would hate to say nothing and find out a child has been hurt. Look at South Moreton, Upton etc. They all have gentle slopes on each side of the jump.
Hi Deborah. We are planning to incorporate some amendments to parts of the track as part of the maintenance we are doing this weekend from 10.30am – 1.00pm on Saturday 10th July. It would be good if you were able to join us to more clearly point out your specific areas of concern, and perhaps lend a hand, or bring a cake to spur on the volunteers! Do let me know if you are able to get involved. Many thanks.
Those steep bits make it more fun, leave it alone for the sake of the riders who get enjoyment from it..
The track is a great facility for the village but having seen a couple of nasty falls today including one where a boy rode off the edge of the jump.on the west side, I’m not sure whether the design might need to be tweaked a little or chicken lines put in.
Unfortunately I was working nights the two build weekends but happy to join a day sorting out any teething issues and patching up any areas.
Thanks to everyone who worked hard on creating it.
While your concerns are well intended I think they are unfair on this occasion.
It has been suggested that you have been supervising children on the track but you have all ignored the very first rule on the notice board: helmets must be worn at all times.
The rules are there for everyone’s safety, and the most important way to keep everyone safe is to set an example and encourage everyone to use the facility responsibly. Anyone unable to follow the rules should, quite frankly, not use the track.
Children will always play and explore the track in new ways, and inevitably have some scrapes. Therefore it is extremely important they are shown how to use the facility safely, primarily by wearing the appropriate equipment.
I would like to say a huge thank you to the organisers and everyone who gave their free time to build the track.
My 4 year thoroughly enjoyed it today and it was also great fun for my 2 year old on a balance bike with assistance.
It is nice to see that the designers have made it so that youngsters are able to ride around the entire track, and there are some additional elements for older more experienced riders.
Hi Chris. We are planning some amendments and maintenance this weekend on Saturday 10th July from 10.30am and 1.00pm and hope that we can take you up on your offer to come and help? Please let me know. Many thanks.
What a fantastic resource for the village. I think the track is really well thought out and designed, as it caters for young children, beginners and better riders too. My young children haven’t been on a pump track before, but they think it’s brilliant and I love the fact that they were fascinated, watching slightly older kids who were clearly enjoying themselves so much!
I am so grateful to the Pump team for all their hard work and for getting my kids away from screens!
My sons loved it when we briefly visited the pump track. Thank you to all the volunteers and supporters that have worked so hard to get it built – we are very lucky to have such a great community spirit and amazing organisers / volunteers willing to put so much hard work and effort in to make it happen. We are really looking forward to returning for a longer visit as soon as we can.
We love the pump track – Such a great addition to the village and a place that we will be making regular visits to now!. The Pump Track rules are in place to ensure everyone’s safety and if adhered to by all that visit then it should be safe and enjoyable for everyone. Well done to the team of people behind the pump track, it is a great addition to encourage people to keep active.
Thanks to everyone who helped build the Pump Track. It’s a great addition to the village and something the young people (and older!) are going to love using. If you use it properly then it should be safe. Happy riding!
Can I ask where the pump track is located please? Can’t find an address to visit, thank you
The Pump Track is at the Acklings Play Area which is at the west end of the viilage. Go to the end of High Street and Acklings is on the left. The nearest post code is OX14 4QE.
Thank you! Will definitely check it out with my bike mad kids!
What a great asset to the village the pump track is. My kids cannot wait to use it having seen some in action already. Thanks all for the village effort in putting this together
Our lads have loved helping out with this project and are really looking forward to using it. It’s great to have outdoor places for children of all ages to enjoy in the village.
It’s been really impressive how quickly this has come together – a great idea, well thought through to work to make it work for young children and teens, and very well supported by lots of people from across the village.
The kids in our house (age 6, 8 and 41) have all really enjoyed getting involved in this project and using the pump track too. A delightful aspect of this project has been the level of support and contribution from the older residents towards creating something for the kids in the village, and the number of 30-50 year olds that have emerged as ex-BMXers, excited to return to their own teen years by making something for their kids.
My 8 year old whizzes around it with surprising agility. I have also ran around it holding the saddle of my little girl as she gets to grips with her developing abilities, and cycled it myself. We have had small falls and scrapes, from which we have got up with pride and got straight back on our bikes.
I am very happy knowing that this is a great way for kids to test their limits and become better bike riders, so that they are then safer on the roads around the village. And as they get older, they will have an exciting facility in the village which will delay the inevitable urge to got into town to seek thrills… and another lever to get them away from screens.
Thank you to everyone who has helped enable, support, finance, create and use this track.
Hi, my name is Dan. I’m a mountain biker in Didcot and I’ve just been told about this pump track. I’m campaigning Didcot Town Council for a mountain bike park in Didcot to serve as a training area for all ages and abilities, as well as a facility to entice the community into taking up a sport for the health benefits. I have a petition here https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/didcot-mountain-bike-park. Please feel free to sign and share. It is still very early days and just an idea but I am just starting to get some traction with the Council. If anyone wants to get involved please email me via the petition.
Hi all, for those interested in biking please see my Facebook page for my campaign for a bike park in Didcot https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Sports/Didcot-Bike-Park-108503815050761/