Last autumn the Culden Faw Estate acquired the car-park at Mill End. This is at the southern end of the Hambleden Valley close to the A4094 Henley-Marlow road. It is a great spot for walkers, giving access to the Thames Path National Trail and the hills and valleys around Hambleden in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The car-park was owned by Wycombe District Council which resolved to dispose of it in July 2015. The estate, which is an amalgamation of the Culham, Hambleden and Fawley estates in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, acquired it.
When Wycombe owned the car-park it looked well-kempt and the loos were open. Many groups start and finish their walks here, so loos are important and the car-park takes the pressure off the crowded village of Hambleden.
Now the loos are locked and the Hambleden Valley information board is broken and on the ground. The place looks scruffy and neglected: a poor advertisement for Culden Faw.
Sandra Rooney, chair of the Ramblers’ Chiltern Weekend Walkers, has written to the estate to complain, saying: ‘ Surely the Hambleden Valley is a premier walking/visitor area in the Chilterns and is worthy of spending a little money for the upkeep of the toilets and tidying the car-park. At the moment it is rapidly becoming an eyesore.’
The estate’s website says: ‘We will aim to get back to you within 48 hours.’ That was nearly three weeks ago and she is still waiting for a response.