Dino Trail

The railway path is called the Lias Line. This is because it is built on limestone that was formed in the earliest part of the Jurassic period, lasting from about 208 to 178 million years ago. The system of rocks deposited during the Lias, consisting of shales and limestones rich in dinosaur fossils.

With this in mind, I have been trying to put together a trail that has some significance to the path, and is also a fun activity for our younger users.

Meet the team!!

The idea is to have a dino trail with the fellas on circular roundels along the path. I can put a downloadable tick sheet on the blog and hopefully we can eventually get the Augmented Reality bit to work and make everything come alive.

Other that that, me, Marcus and Mick cut back the encroaching growth and litter-picked from Berrybanks to The Bear.

And that really is about it for this week. Lots and lots of hard work ahead when the bird nesting season in over, but for now we are just enjoying the relaxed workdays.

Paul

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Snippety snip!

Once again me and Marcus snipped back about half a mile with our sheers!!! It is pretty tough going. But the coffee and cookies help.

Everybody more than welcome to come along and join in.

Collected poppy seeds from another of my projects. Will be making an area that is just rich in poppies. Looking forwards to that. Imagine wandering through a path of poppies. Devine.

Quick look up and down…

A few more fots of wildflowers. Everything seems to be coming to the end and going over!!! Strange times…

Well done to Lizzie for recording all the wildlife and flora that she is spotting, on iRecord (see tab at the top for more information).

Until next time,

Paul

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Weekender

Our second post-lockdown weekender. Lovely to get out on a Saturday and see loads of different people using the path. We did an urgent cut back on the bit from the snowdrop bench to Potford Dam. It was really getting tight.

We had joggers, walkers and mountain-bikers up and down, so good to feel like we are adding value.

Nice to have a different kind of cookie on our break, great to chat and laugh about stuff. This is such a great thing for mental health. It was pretty hard going today just chopping back the nettles for two hours, but we got there.

Our wildflowers are looking good and seed collection has started for autumn, when we will create new glades and clearings.

We are really happy with how the greenway is shaping up and getting more and more colourful and diverse.

Paul

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Batman and Robin

Well actually bat boxes and a robin nesting box that we needed to get up. What could possibly go wrong?!

After consulting with our wildlife expert, Mick, we felt that the landing-ladders on the boxes were a tadge too short. Luckily we had the tools to improvise and the old boxes to utilise.

Lots of fun getting the things up and really looking forward to them being used.

This clearing has so much going for it. Our bench, bat boxes, the historic bridge, loads of wildflowers coming up where we eased back scrub in the winter, the Cawston Bridleway connection. It is such a great place to be, and holds so many memories of past workdays. I think this was our first clearing some eleven years ago when we started this great adventure.

Here is us having our coffee break and chat.

Thanks to everyone today, we were all superheroes in the way we got around the challenges, and Andrew, for making the things in the first place.

And another superhero is Jade, who sent me these beautiful pics of our wildflowers.

Proper talent and I really hope Jade becomes a regular contributor to the blog.

Next one is our weekender. Saturday 24th. All welcome, sturdy footwear and good gloves. Bring your own snippers so we are not passing stuff back and forth. Meet at the snowdrop bench at 10am

Paul

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This is where the Mental Health bit really kicks in…

Blokes – we don’t like talking about our feelings do we? Luckily, because we provide a safe and secure environment, I was able to talk, and talk, and talk. This is what we do. Try and turn to the funny side of life and raise a smile, but understand the gravity of where each of us might find one another.

It was great to chat and also to get from Berrybanks all the way to the start, which is kind of where the cycle path along the Western Relief Road forks, with the greenway to the left and the cycle path on the right.

The start

We just snipped back brambles reaching into the path and a few tree branches that had become heavy.

Loads of happy and chatty people along the way who all seemed to enjoy our efforts.

We have found our first area where we will be clearing out all the scrub in September. Mick identified about 25 wildflowers and because the ground has been disturbed recently with the building of the underpass, there will be loads more waiting to break free.

Next week we are putting up bat boxes that our great friend, Andrew, has made for us. There is also a weekender somewhere in the month so all welcome and all you need is decent footwear, good gloves and bring your own snipping tools so we are not passing stuff back and forth.

Paul

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Love this…

We have now snipped back bramble and litter-picked two thirds of the path. Just Berrybanks to the start left to do, before the cycle starts again.

It’s lovely to see the wildflowers everywhere. Lots of rosebay willowherb about to burst into flower as well.

Look up and down.

Our biggest job in the autumn/winter is clearing back more of the bramble and letting even more wildflowers come up.

Plenty of places to sit and enjoy a picnic or coffee, or even just listen to the birdsong and take in the views across the heath.

Will update July workdays in a bit.

Paul

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Weekenders are back!!

Lovely to get a group together on a weekend workday. It has been a long time.

Two black bags of litter picked up and loads of bramble runners snipped back.

We started at the snowdrop bench and worked all the way down to Berrybanks. Just over half a mile. I thought it was more than that but not to worry. We have plenty of workdays to carry on.

Views from the gate bench and the quadrant. Quite green this year but the greenway is about to burst into colour.

Lovely views across the heath.

Really happy with how we are looking and got loads of plans to add colour to the nettles. Will update July workdays soon. Everybody welcome but you must bring cake. Joke! Normally me or Marcus brings cake but we forgot today.

Paul

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Honestly, this is the last post about ruddy benches…

Our good friend, Andrew, made us a replacement bench for our quadrant. The missing bench was kicked over and I reused it at the snowdrop clearing. This bench sits a little higher that the rest so that people who do not want to sit quite so squat, can do so.

Great place to meet, chat, socially distance, talk about your day, share a coffee, bring your own coffee and not physically connect. It is just a great place.

A look up and down. Pretty clean and there is going to be a real burst of colour anytime soon.

Lastly, our coffee break. Nice to break off and just chat and chill.

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Next one is a weekender – come along and help out. It is all good fun.

Paul

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Bench maintenance southbound

For those who worried that we had chopped the path too wide – nature has fought back!! It is no longer wide.

Really good to see a lot of new wildflowers coming up in what was scrubby bramble or invasive ivy. There is going to be a huge burst of colour along this path anytime soon.

We slapped another coat of Ronseal on the benches and got rid of the vegetation growing underneath. What we are trying to do is make it so you kinda discover the benches as a bit of a surprise and are encouraged to sit and relax.

Lastly a coffee and cookie break next to our wildflowers. I really hope to get the wildflowers to be more and the nettles to be less.

Workdays are back and published on the side bit.

Paul

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Schoolboy Error

We placed our lovely refurbished bench under a tree. It did look rather nice, until our feathered friends started plopping on it.

Nobody is going to risk sitting here!

So, after carefully checking for any nesting birds, we made a clearing next to the tree with clear blue sky above.

That’s better.

Loads of happy and chatty people using the path. I don’t know why, but the green space does seem to bring out the best in people.

Customary look up and down the path.

And that really was it.

Next week we are meeting at the snowdrop bench and will either go north or south, depending on whether I can get any postfix.

Paul

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