Monthly Diary

September 2019 marked the start of our ninth year of volunteer work on Poets’ Walk. Following is a photographic record of our activities in reverse chronological  order …

See also our second year (September 2012 – August 2013),  third year (September 2013 – August 2014), fourth year (September 2014 – August 2015), fifth year (September 2015 – August 2016), sixth year (September 2016 – 2017), seventh year (September 2017 – 2018) and our eighth year (September 2018- 2019)

July 2020

Pulling nettles in the quarry glade. An informal trail leads from here up to the hilltop.

June 2020

Church Hill – nettles & dock are pulled or forked out in the old quarry while overhanging blackthorn is cut back along the path and the green gate bank is scythed & raked off.

The 1923 path and zigzag steps on Church Hill are made fully accessible again by trimming back overgrown vegetation. Long grass bordering Hack’s Way is also trimmed.

Regrowth of sycamore from stumps of recently felled saplings is cut back to promote the development of this Church Hill slope as a sunny, species-rich grass and scrub habitat.

Mowing and raking off nettles on the lower rampart slope on Wain’s Hill. Nettles are also cut and raked off beside the path behind the cemetery allotments to restore good access.

This Church Hill glade is further enlarged by forking out nettles and brambles. With continued scrub control, this area will become colonised by grasses & wild flower species.

May 2020

Prickly sow thistles & nettles are pulled from the recently cleared glade on Church Hill. Banks of nettles are forked out beside the formal path leading up from Salthouse carpark.

Forking out nettles on the bank near St Andrew’s Church and along the formal path

Hack’s Way and the 1923 path over Church Hill are mown to improve access.

Nettles spreading into the woodland path up to Wain’s Hill gun battery site are forked out.

Cutting back encroaching brambles on Church Hill, and wild radish grubbing

A socially-distanced team of three grub out invasive wild radish. Plants that were missed last year have produced multiple, tall flowering shoots from stems trailing on the ground.

Beauty on Church Hill in early May

April 2020

Hack’s Way and the 1923 grass path over Church Hill are mown to maintain good access.  The edges of the green gate bank at St Andrew’s and the grassy triangle are also mown.

This enhanced woodland glade on Church Hill looks very green and inviting this month. The adjacent patch that was first cleared during the winter of 2018/19 is coming on well.

Mid March 2020

On Monday, March 16th the Government announced a national lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and all working parties had to be suspended till further notice. This did not stop single volunteers litter picking or bramble trimming while exercising!

Early March 2020

Wain’s Hill – a section of the rampart slope,  left uncut last year, needs scything to control scrub regrowth. Brambles encroaching into the grassland above are cut and grubbed out.

Enhancing a woodland glade on Church Hill (behind Salthouse Flats)

Enhancing a woodland glade on Church Hill by grubbing out bramble roots. An elder is pollarded to prevent toppling over, and non-native, invasive 3-cornered leek is removed.

February 2020

The area around the coast path seats is tidied, and ivy is cut back from the rock face.

Trimming back brambles along the 1923 path. Cutting out Holm oak on the slope above the coast path to promote growth of native species including hawthorn and blackthorn.

Enhancing the rocky slope habitat above the coastal path by trimming back invasive ivy, and restoring the path width by removing accumulated soil and debris along the sides

Cutting out invasive, non-native Holm oak on Church Hill to restore good scrub habitat

Improving the coastal path at Wain’s Hill headland by trimming and widening

The woodland glade behind the Salthouse Flats is improved by cutting out brambles and some invasive tree suckers, trimming buddleia and removing dangerous dead branches.

January 2020

Tidying the coastal path beside St Andrew’s Church Glebe field.

Pollarding elder trees along the path to the Wain’s Hill battery site to rejuvinate them and prevent these shallow-rooted trees collapsing over the path under their own weight.

The coastal path is routinely tidied to maintain good access for walkers by trimming back vegetation, removing mud from the edges and sweeping.

Church Hill – shoots of sycamore arising from old stumps are removed in order to maintain this dense thicket as a valuable habitat and shelter for wildlife.

Church Hill – the spread of wild cherry suckers is controlled, and the view to the Pier from the top of the zig zag path is improved by reducing the height of shrubby vegetation.

December 2019

The coastal path past the cemetery, leading towards Wain’s Hill, is well maintained.

Enhancing the site of the old quarry on Church Hill

November 2019

the coast path towards Wain's Hill

The edges of the coast path are cleared of mud and debris and vegetation trimmed back.

Clearing nettles and brambles along the right of way behind the cemetery allotments

The badger bridge on the coast path is regularly tidied and swept.

Weeding and tidying at Wain’s Hill battery and clearing nettles beside the approach path

Church Hill – clearing autumn leaves, mud & weeds, and pulling nettles beside the path

Scrub control on Church Hill – clearing marginal brambles and removing sycamore shoots

October 2019

The coastal path to Wain’s Hill is cleared of accumulated mud and weeds.

Maintaining good access along a Church Hill path by clearing nettles and low branches

Church Hill – clearing away strimmed nettles along the central path and raking off mown grass on the steep slope above; cutting back brambles encroaching on the 1923 grass path

Grass on Wain’s Hill ramparts, recently mown and partly raked down by Green Mantle, is taken further into the woodland to create habitat piles. More nettles are hand pulled.

Overgrown nettles bordering the central formal path are strimmed and then raked off.

The coastal path near the lookout tidied and swept and an old seat cleared of weeds

Wain’s Hill rampart grassland, much improved by twice-yearly scything, has been mown this autumn by the council contractor Green Mantle. Steep grassland on Church Hill is mown, and arisings then raked off, by our volunteers.  Marginal brambles are cut back.

Removing a fallen tree from the trail, clearing nettles and tidying in Church Hill quarry

September 2019

The coastal path on Church Hill near the lookout is tidied and swept.

Church Hill – raking off the cut grass after Monday’s mowing, and cutting back brambles

Church Hill plateau has been tractor mown but steep slopes must be brush-cut or scythed.