Treated like Royalty…

We smashed it again today and got the whole of the section in cutting, cut back so people have the option of walking on drier and higher ground.

This is before…

And this is after…

Hard to imagine that we cleared all this off last year, and this is just one year of new growth. Here is a 360 of the area.

We made habitat piles with the cuttings and enjoyed a lovely cake baked by Victoria. To say it was lush is such an understatement.

Next week we are in the same area cutting the stumps to ground level and generally tidying the area up.

I have to say, I love it when we get the path this wide. I have always wanted the “woodland ride” look.

As always, if you like using the path, please drop us a couple of quid a month via the Patron link. It all helps keeping the bird feeders full and the benches stained and fresh looking.

Thanks for reading and until next week!

Paul

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This is the width that we need

Five of us made the workday this week and after a very cold start, we all warmed up quite well.

Just to recap – the path needs to be wide so that there is higher and drier ground to walk on. The centre of the path is a mud bath. Sustrans advise that people need to have an open and clear 100-metre view ahead so as not to feel anxious, and getting rid of the scrub allows more wildflowers to pop up in the summer.

Here is what we managed.

It also allows people to walk side-by-side and actually have a conversation.

What else do I need to share-

The geocaching trail is half done and active. Sign up at http://www.geocaching.com to find them. I should have it totally working by the end of the weekend.

We have branded merchandise in the colour and design of the original LNWR scheme.

We have started to widen the Dunchurch Bridleway and the R168 Right of Way links this with the greenway. It is well worth a trek just to enjoy the green views.

Lastly, our all important coffee and cookie break.

If you want to come along and help, or just hang out, or even share a coffee and have a bit of human contact, just do it. You don’t even have to make any conversation because us lot are gabbling on ten-to-the-dozen as it is. January can be a bit depressing at the best of times!! If you want to support us financially you can click on the Patron link and pledge a couple of quid a month, or click the Crowdfunding tab if you would prefer to give us a one-off payment. It all helps to keep the show on the road. Thanks to those who already do help us.

Until next week!

Paul

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Welcome to Season 13

Yes, you read that right – this is the thirteenth year of us lot doing the path!!

That’s three more than the hit TV series, Friends.

Today was graft! Hard graft!! We need to clear the ridge of higher ground in the long cutting. The path really puddles up badly from now to about March so it gives people a slightly higher, and much drier option to walk on. The difficulty though, was that we only had manual tools.

Looking up and down, you can see how much we got done, and the puddles starting to happen. After March or April, a load of wildflowers will pop up on this cleared ground, as the main part of the path becomes dry and more useable. We will give it a quick buzz over with the strimmer next week to tidy it up.

A much-needed steaming cup of coffee was needed at the halfway mark. My back, arms, shoulders, and legs ached badly later in the day.

A couple of other bits – If you have a teenage child looking to do their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze or Silver award we can help with volunteering tasks. We have done loads over the years so we know what we are doing and how to get youngsters signed off.

The geocaching will go live very soon. I had to make some adjustments and today is the first day where I have been able to get out and do what I needed to do. Sorry for the delay.

Cawston Wildflower Meadow starts in the spring. It’s the big oblong of land off Trussell Way that sits between older Cawston and the newer part. If you would like to get involved and help out just keep your eyes peeled.

We have the OK to put an information board along the path – let me know what you would like to see on it and whereabouts it should go, in the comments below.

If you want to come along and help, or just hang out, or even share a coffee and have a bit of human contact, just do it. You don’t even have to make any conversation because us lot are gabbling on ten-to-the-dozen as it is. January can be a bit depressing at the best of times!! If you want to support us financially you can click on the Patron link and pledge a couple of quid a month, or click the Crowdfunding tab if you would prefer to give us a one-off payment. It all helps to keep the show on the road. Thanks to those who already do help us.

Lastly, if you like what we are doing click the like button below so we know and leave a comment telling us what you would like more, or less, of.

Until next week,

Paul

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Last Workday for 2021

Well that’s is. Twelve seasons of maintaining the path, pushing back the scrub and seeing the wildflowers and wildlife flourish. Making friends and having plenty of laughs along the way.

We had a festive mince pie and coffee on our break.

The path looks so much better when it is wide.

In the New Year we will continue pushing northbound and hopefully by March, we will have a decent path for walking and cycling.

Plans are off the drawing board and actually happening at the Leamington end to connect the whole railway path to the Offchurch Greenway, which leads into Leamington Spa. The section from Draycote to Potford Dam is in the plan and a foot/cycle bridge will cross where the spine road cuts across the path, south of Potford Dam roundabout. The plan is to connect to the cycle path along the Western Relief Road so I guess Cawston Greenway will be a two mile alternative route, should people wish to use it. Exciting times.

Well that’s it for this week, this month and this year. Support us if you can via Patron or Crowdfunding. Thank you to those that do.

Have a great Christmas and see you in the New Year.

Paul

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Solo Sunday

This was our first weekender in a while. Coffee for one!! Loads of people walking past though, so not a problem.

Really leisurely couple of hours and got about 30 metres of path pushed back. Actually remembered before and after photos today.

We are using the line of trees as the path edge and just clearing around the back of them, to allow each tree to be free of tangled scrub, and just look a bit more proud. There are also a few self-seeded baby whips that we can encourage.

We need a ladder to clear out the birdboxes and to repair the ones that have been damaged around the entrance hole. I am on the hunt for one.

Our dino geocaching is in place (tab above) and just needs geocaching.com to make the thing go live. This should be by the 14th December.

The last workday for the year is this Wednesday. I shall try to remember mince pies.

As always, if you like what we do and enjoy the path, you can bung us a couple of quid a month via the Patron link on the right. It really helps with food for the birds, wildflower seeds, stain for the benches, public liability insurance and all the other bits and bobs that require actual cash.

Thanks for reading and thanks for all the kind words from the passing folk today. It really does send a little shiver of appreciation down the spine when people are so encouraging.

Paul

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How wide?

So how wide should the path be? Someone from Sustrans suggested three metres. Cannot remember who it was, and it was a long time ago. I probably have the email somewhere. So why three metres –

1, If people cannot see a good distance ahead they will feel anxious as they walk or cycle.

2, The path gets very puddled in the winter and pushing the edges out gives way to slightly higher ground.

3, Removing the scrubby bramble allows less invasive wildflowers to germinate.

4, It allows walkers and cyclists to share the path without having to fight for the same bit of ground.

We are using the line of trees as a guide to the edge and clearing just behind them, so each tree is free from scrub. I like it and it creates a nice avenue feeling.

Thank you to all of our Patrons. It gives us a warm tingly feeling when people show their appreciation. You know who you are. Just £2, £3 or £5 helps to keep the show on the road. The crowdfunding tab is open again if you would rather help us with a one-off payment rather than a monthly amount. Just click the link above.

Mental Health – Hand-on-heart I can say that the path has saved me from being in a mentally catastrophic place. Whenever I feel low, I walk or mountain-bike the greenway and feel in such a mentally better place. With Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and facebook showing everyone having what looks like a great time, it can be hard on some of us. If you need, come along to a workday, or just pop along for a chat and a coffee (11am). There is always spare coffee and cookies going. You don’t have to do any work and you don’t even have to strike up any conversation because us lot are talking ten-to-the-dozen anyway. The offer is always there, but especially so in December.

I have finally got over my clipart fears and made a map for the Dino Trail. The Geocache labels have also arrived so will get that done this week hopefully. It just gives everyone stuff to do in the holidays.

Click on the Dino Trail tab above and save the map to your PC and print it. It fits a sheet of A4 paper perfectly.

As far as I can tell the R168 Right of Way paths that lead to the Dunchurch Nature Trail (another one of my projects) will survive the mass development that is going to happen. The Dunchurch Nature Trail leads to the National Cycle Network 41, so we are actually connected to the mothership. Nice warm fuzzy feeling knowing that we are not just some random slither of redundant railway path.

Well, that’s it for this week. Thanks for reading and enjoy the path…

Paul

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Weekenders Are Back

From next month we will be running a workday on the weekend. The first one will be Sunday 12th December from 10am to 12, and just gives everyone who is at work in the week, a chance to get involved and help out.

We are currently working on the southern section, but moving in a northwards direction, if that makes sense. We are just pushing the edges of the path out so that when it starts to get rainy there is slightly higher dry ground to walk or cycle on.

Looking north before-and-after, and then south before-and-after. We will make a lot of progress with this over the next few weeks.

We also did a litter pick around the benches in the area.

Mostly beer bottles, probably from the summer. Drinking beer down there at this time of year will probably lead to hypothermia!

As always, if you like what we do and cannot physically help out, you can become a Patron and gift us a couple of quid a month. It really helps toward the cost of food for the birds, bird-boxes, wood stain for the benches and other stuff that requires cash payment.

Thanks for reading,

Paul

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Two Abreast

One thing that we learned this year and last, is that the path works so much better when it is wide. This is because it feels far less intimidating if people can see 100 metres or so ahead of themselves whilst walking or cycling. It also means people can walk two or more abreast and actually have a conversation and lastly, removing the bramble scrub on the edge of the path means wildflowers pop up and make it much more interesting for wildlife.

Now that we have our three statement wildflower glades, the rest of the autumn and winter will be spent gently pushing out the width and just general maintenance.

We finished the Potford Dam glade and seeded it with a lot of locally harvested seeds and the remains of our bought seed mix. There is a good mixture of perennials and annuals so long-term the wildflower clearings should start to look after themselves. They just need cutting and clearing once a year around September time.

Setting up, views across the heath and our coffee and cookie break.

We cleared out this year’s spent wildflowers and all the bramble before seeding. It will look amazing in the summer and will attract a lot of wildlife.

If you enjoy the greenway please think about supporting us via the Patron link on the right. It helps to cover the cost of food for the birdfeeders, wildflower seed, wood stain for the benches, public liability insurance and everything else that requires actual cash payment.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave any feedback.

Paul

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Dino Trail is Back

We have redone the Dino Trail. I have possibly gone too far the other way and made them a bit too camouflaged. I will let your children be the judge. Please pass on their feedback. Just to remind you – there is a crude map in the tabs above (I will get this updated at some point) and every dino is by a bench with a white dino footprint on. There are nine to spot in total.

What we are trying to do is to create three wildflower glades. The idea being that as people walk along the path they suddenly find themselves in an open glade with a picnic bench and a load of wildlife to watch and enjoy.

This is the Potford Dam glade and is on embankment, rather that cutting, so has some lovely views across the heath.

These photos show the ends of the clearing, the actual clearing and the picnic bench and views. We have cleared out this year’s wildflowers and extended it. It worked really well this year and all the seeds will have dropped so next year should be even better

The benches vary greatly. Some are set up for groups and some for just one or two people. Some are picnic style and others just allow a rest.

Basically, we are trying to cater for as many different types of greenway user as possible.

If you like what we do and want to support us, feel free to click on the Patron link. £2 goes towards food for the birds or wood stain for the benches. It just helps to keep the path interesting and varied.

Thanks,

Paul

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Birdfeeder Glade Done

A big thank you to those who have given us a little to keep the show on the road via our Patron link on the right. If enough people give us between £2 and £5 a month it means we can keep the bird feeders full and the benches stained, as well as the path full of wildflowers and all the other little things that make it special.

This week we got our birdfeeder clearing seeded with loads of locally harvested seeds and some bought specialist seed mix.

It’s a case of raking, seeding, raking and walking all over the ground to get as much soil contact as possible.

There will be a huge amount of seed in the soil already, but it is good to add new stuff and just move the ground about to kick start germination.

It is also useful to clear away the year’s bramble growth or very few wildflowers will grow next year.

Once we finished this area we had a cuppa and cookie, and then moved south to start on our Potford Dam glade. Much the same really with just clearing out this year’s growth. It is nice doing this one because David, the old ecologist from Sustrans, helped us to set it up a few years back. He even gave us a load of Lady’s Bedstraw and Hedge Bedstraw seeds to sow into it.

A quick look up and down and that was about it for this week. It will be fantastic to have our three statement wildflower glades with benches and enough going on to do a bit of wildlife monitoring and recording next year.

Paul

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