Hello and welcome to this month’s addition of the Rangers Blog. In early May, it was decided that if myself and Nick felt comfortable doing so, we would be able to return to work, and it has been great to be back! We are following the Government safety guidelines and ensuring that all members of the team are safe and are working within the current legislation. It is now our eighth week back and we have successfully created a safe and efficient working routine which has allowed us to manage the sites and ensure that they are safe and open to the public.
Myself and Nick have been working nonstop maintaining and managing the sites and ensuring that they are safe for the public. We have managed to visit all of the Gift to Nature sites & carry out various works to them. As we were unable to work on any of the sites for 6 weeks whilst on lockdown, there was concern that they had become overgrown and we would have to battle through the summer in order to return the sites to a manageable state. However, due to the hot and dry weather conditions the grassy areas have not grown as vigorously as we believed they would, allowing us to cut the grass, open the pathways and ensure visitors have access to the sites. Our strimmer’s and mowers have been running nonstop across all of the sites and I am glad to say that they are looking fantastic. Whilst out on the sites I have had many visitors approach me and explain how important the sites are to them and how they have been visiting them as part of their daily exercise routine during these trying times. It is encouraging to hear members of the public have such passion and enjoyment for their local sites, giving them the chance to have a closer connection to nature locally to them. We hope that you are able to visit our many sites and enjoy the tranquillity and beauty which they possess.
On one of our woodland trails at Sibden Hill there was a section of path which had become very narrow with the edge of the path eroding away down a steep slope. The section was potentially hazardous and we decided that we needed to widen the path and erect rails which would help prevent walkers slipping over the edge. I was tasked with cutting into the bank and widening the pathway whilst putting in the rails which ran across the eroding edge of the path. I was pleased to be working in the shade as it turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year and I think I would have wilted if I was in direct sun light. The job was successful and I had plenty of regular visitors to the site walk past and provide me with positive feedback which always makes the job worthwhile. My job allows me to have great variety of work whilst also being out and about and meeting people who love our sites as much as we do and are positive to the work we carry out, making our work all the more satisfying knowing that our work and team are appreciated.
Work on the Golden Hill Country Park Project has restarted following the lock-down. Recently we have installed a new welcome sign and bicycle racks in the car park (the signs are due to be attached in the next couple of weeks). Alongside this work we have also instructed a contractor to restore the main bridleway surface on the left hand entrance to the park up to and just beyond the first gate. This is now complete and should hopefully solve the problems with large puddles and mud in front of the gate in the winter.
We will not really know until we get some decent rain but it should only need some minor adjustments if any. In the last couple of weeks another contractor has been installing new information boards, way markers and information posts around the park following our new Wildlife, Red Squirrel and Veiwpoint walks. This is very nearly complete and just requires a directional fingerpost to complete. Already we have had many positive comments from the passing public using the site.
Thank you to everyone who is following and supporting us and we all hope that you are well and keeping safe in these difficult times. We hope that our sites are a welcome distraction from everything that is happening at present and would love for you to visit your local Gift to Nature Site if you are able to do so safely and without endangering yourself and others. If you have any information, pictures or queries about our sites please feel free to get in touch with us as we would love to hear from you.
Stay safe and until next time.