Fire Brigade came to visit Cawston Greenway…. again!

Well we had it all today, howling gale, sheeting rain, bramble that was so obnoxious and rude, ripped gloves, pricked hands, a bonfire that wouldn’t start, and when it finally did, someone called the Fire Brigade!!!!

Fire Brigade.... again!!!

It’s just a bit annoying that someone who is in real need of the Fire Brigade could be compromised because they are having to deal with the call to us. We have a fire every weekend in the cutting season so it really should be obvious that it is us. If you see smoke and a fire, please just take a minute to see if there are a load of sensible people tending to it before dialling 999.

A couple of other niggles too, a resident has been moaning that we are driving all the wildlife out by cutting back the path. Obviously we are not trying to do this at all. By cutting back and letting the sunlight in, we will encourage nectar-rich wild flowers to grow, which will attract insects, which will attract mammals and birds.

Just remember what the greenway was like before we started. Broken glass and loads of other rubbish dumped down there, stinging nettles and brambles making the muddy narrow path impassable without getting badly stung or your clothes snagged, and generally a feeling of enclosed and unsafe wilderness. We need the path to be wide so that all the users of the greenway are not forced to walk on the same muddy strip and make it even muddier. We are also trying to make it interesting so that children and dogs can get up and down the banks and run around the trees, rather than just march in a narrow straight line.

If any resident wants to talk to me about what we are doing on the greenway, please come along to a workday and I will gladly explain what our aims and objectives are. Please remember that the users include walkers, runners, mountain bikers, dog walkers and horse riders. If the path is not wide enough to accommodate all these different users, it will become a badly churned up quagmire.

I also wonder if we have made any negative impact with the noise from the Relief Road. The road opened in September 2010 and was not really an established route through the winter of 2010. Since then it has got a lot busier and the leaves on the trees are obviously not there in the winter to soften and block the noise. I also note that the wind tends to blow west to east, which is right onto the estate, more often than not.

Right then, about today! A tough one, but we made it to the end!! I didn’t think we were going to do it but we did, and at one point we were tantalisingly close and I saw a ray of sunshine on the end almost saying to me “COME ON!!”

I looked up and saw a ray of sunshine on the end bit - it was like a welcome beacon.

We chopped back a lot of scrub today and tomorrow we really need to clear up and burn it off. We were too far away from the fire to drag it all the way down to it. The greenway fought back today and my hands are ripped to bits from the bramble, plus I smacked my head with a spiky Hawthorn branch and also poked myself in the eye with another branch.

A 'before' shot looking south down the path - all the scrub came out.

However, it was worth the pain to get to the end. We now can either work our way back and tidy, after finishing tomorrow, or we can start on the area working towards the underpass and come back to this area later on to tidy it and cut scallops onto the remaining bramble.

The Ash coppice at the end.

Thanks to the six of us who made it today. I never quite know how Saturday workdays will pan out, but we did well. I will put some more dates on the calendar later today or tomorrow and try and mix them up a bit so that everyone has a chance to come along.

We are creating something that is quite special for Cawston!

Paul

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