Friday, 28 February 2014

Big News!

Hello Everyone. I'm sad to say that this will be my final update on this blog, as Al is returning to the Edge and I'll be moving onto pastures new. It's been an amazing experience and something I'll never forget. But onto the update...

Big news today: the car park improvements are now complete! The new footpath to the bridleway was opened earlier today, providing easier access for walkers, horse-riders and cyclists onto the bridleway. Seven of our Hebridean sheep have also gone onto the newly fenced off area so they can close-graze the meadow, promoting the growth of wild flowers. The expanded parking area has also been completed, allowing 10-12 cars to park end-on along the semi-circle.

A local horse-rider and dog-walker trying out the new pathway with Chris and volunteer John.

Also now open is the Lime Kiln Walk Natural Play Trail, which has been my pet project for the last three months. Following the excellent help from Chris and volunteers Pete, John and John, the play trail features: an obstacle course, games area, den-building area, wild art area, a see-saw and several balance beams, which you can see in the photos below. The play trail is made up of materials sourced from Wenlock Edge and is tons of fun!

 Obstacle course made of larch logs

 Wild Art Area (the thing on the left is supposed to be a forest crocodile)

 Games Area


Apart from those two projects we've also been busy with the day-to-day management of the Edge. Several days of the last fortnight has been spent preparing and delivering firewood loads to our customers. These can either be as lengths transported on the forwarder, or as cut and split logs. The logs are produced using a very ingenious machine where the length is pushed in one side until is hits a stop, which can be adjusted to the desired size. A chainsaw blade is then brought down on an arm, and once cut the log drops into a chute. A hydraulic ram then pushes the log onto a set of axe blades, forcing it to split. The split logs then drop onto a conveyor belt that carries them up to the trailer. Here's a picture of me using it:

Chris, volunteer Pete and I also spent yesterday afternoon picking up litter along the B3471 that runs along the Edge, and as you can see from the photo below we found quite a lot of it! The grand total was five bags of rubbish,  two boxes and two bags of recyclables (plastic bottles, cans and glass), a t-shirt, a spare tyre, a stainless steel fork and a pair of high heels! It would be better if we didn't need to do it, but it is very satisfying once it is all cleaned up.

I'd like to end by saying thank you everyone I have worked with and chatted with during my time on Wenlock Edge, staff, volunteers and members of the public. It's been amazing and I am definitely going to be coming back in the future.

Thank You!

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