We had three sessions in November/December at Battlestead Hill between Branston and Tatenhill, doing some upgrade work on the footpaths including installing some new steps and replacement gates and fences.
This was the second of two sessions working at a new site for us: Goose Green in Yoxall, a lovely public parkland area which forms part of the River Swarbourn flood plain. We cleared about a quarter of the vegetation from the overgrown pond, using the soil to create semi-circular bunds for an outdoor education area.
Also some tree work amongst other tasks: re-staking some community plantings and replacing tree guards, cutting back some dangerous established trees, and some crown-lifting along the river bank.
A newly-laid path, using hard-wearing Ecogrid, for visitor access to the new outdoor teaching area at Sinai.
This was a real challenge: manoeuvring a one-tonne ash-tree trunk to install it vertically in a prepared pit, in time for the forthcoming open day. This was the felled tree from beside the well. At the open day, a local sculptor will create a monk statue from the trunk, using a chainsaw!
Update: Here’s the impressive finished carving, unveiled at the Open Day the following weekend.
A session preparing a pit for a compost toilet at Sinai. This facility will serve a new outdoor teaching area at the site. We used the excavated soil to create ‘bunds’ (raised seating areas, in the background).
A full-on weekend laying and compacting a stone surface either side of each stile to create an all-weather surface. In total, around 10 tonnes of stone shifted and laid, and some late finishes to maximise use of the Wacca plate hired for the weekend.
This was the first of several summer sessions repairing some stiles on footpaths around Rolleston-on-Dove.
BCV originally installed these about 20 years ago, but after years of wear and tear some were now in quite a dangerous state so it was time to replace some of the timber fittings.
This was the first of a few sessions working in the grounds of the delightful Sinai House, a former monks’ retreat and the oldest house in Burton. Our task was to empty out a Georgian stone spring/well which was used by the Paget family as a plunge pool for bathing. We uncovered some interesting stone features including an inscription dating it to the 1820s.
We started off the year with a 6.5-mile ‘Monks and Moorings’ walk from Shobnall, past the grounds of the historic Sinai House (where we have some forthcoming restoration work) and along the ridge to Battlestead Hill before descending to Tatenhill Lock and following the canal towpath back to Shobnall.