Dummer Down Farm near Basingstoke is set to host a trail running event on April 15.

Organised by trail running events group Blended Trails, the farm will host two races, a 10k and a 5k. 

Open to all runners, the races start and finish at the farm, and the undulating trail routes take in open fields and woodland pathways accompanied by scenic views of Hampshire countryside. 

Following on from Blended Trails’ first two successful events, founder Oliver Steele-Perkins  said: “We’ve enjoyed crafting the race routes and are grateful to the local landowners who’ve listened to and supported our ethos by giving us access to sections of private land. 

“This gives us much more to work with and allows us to make safer routes by cutting out road crossings. 

“As a result, we’re able to achieve accurate race route distances from the start and finish point, as well as having access to cracking sections of trails that otherwise wouldn’t be accessible.’

Nestled in quiet Hampshire countryside, Dummer Down Farm, owned by the Ferguson family since 1953, is now a base for several businesses, including The Dummer Cricket Centre, The Honesty Café and the farm’s latest venture, Dummer Down Brewery and Tap Room.  

Blended Trails started after Ollie realised many people weren’t confident about finding local trails or thought running started and ended on roads. 

During the lockdown he started setting up signposted routes with a Strava digital route map, so people could run or walk when it suited them. 

They became known as the free pop-ups and were recognisable by their distinctive orange arrows, and runners could confidently explore and discover routes on trails, knowing they wouldn’t get lost. 

Both routes start with a gentle climb from the farm, then weave through Walkers Copse and around the edge of The Dell, namesake of the 5k. At the 3k mark, the 10k runners turn left, following the loop towards The Wayfarers Walk and the hamlet of Woodmancott. A chalky climb brings racers to a high point of the 10k before joining the 5k runners in the pretty Popham Down Copse and enjoying a final 1k of descent back towards the finish line.

For those less inclined to run, a generous two-hour cut-off on the fully signposted and marshalled 5k course allows walkers to enjoy the stunning countryside and woodland in the area.

As part of the running group’s ethos, encouraging people to get outside and exercise is key. 

Race director Philip Scrase  – who has held a similar role for Alton Runners for several years – said: “We are lucky to have a great venue for the trail races at Dummer Down Farm, especially with the facilities available.” 

Event details can be found on www.dummerdownfarm.com

Blended Trails free pop-up runs continue to take place about once a month. See www.blendedtrails.co.uk for details. 

Joanne Scawn