Students probe Troopers Hill mud mystery
A TEAM of students is trying to find out why part of a field turns into a quagmire every winter, as a project to build a path across it begins.
The section of Troopers Hill Field, between the play area and Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve, is a muddy mess impassable to anyone not wearing boots at this time of year, meaning anyone visiting the nature reserve has to walk around the edge of the field on a combination of path and rough track, which is impossible to use in a wheelchair because of puddles, mud and grit.
Work to build a new path tarmac path and surface the rough track along the edge of the field is due to start in February, after the Friends of Troopers Hill secured a total of £62,500 to pay for it.
The Friends applied for funding in 2018 after a survey found local people wanted it.
They secured funding from the Enovert Community Trust and the Ibstock Enovert Trust, along with Bristol City Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding, after St George Troopers Hill ward councillor Fabian Breckels championed their cause.
The work to build the new path and improve the track is due to take five weeks, after which the Friends hope it will be easier for people to reach the nature reserve over the winter months.
Last month, before work got underway, six geography students from Bristol University took soil and water samples to try to find why that section of the field is so boggy.
The Friends of Troopers Hill have asked them to identify whether any of the water soaking the field is mains water, from a leaking pipe. The students are due to publish their results in March.
Rob Acton-Campbell, who made the grant applications on behalf of the Friends, said: "We hope to see families with children in buggies, people in wheelchairs and anyone who would usually be put off by the mud, enjoying year round access to this beautiful Local Nature Reserve."