Posted by: Claire Hannington | January 3, 2014

December Diary

Happy new Year! This is a shock to the system having been off for a fortnight but in a way it’s nice to be back.

It’as blowing a gale out there but hopefully that will ease for our first Saturday group of 2014 tomorrow (fingers and toes crossed).

Last year(!) December kept us busy right through until Christmas. We installed another replacement memorial bench at Rhossili – that will be the last one for some time as all the rest are in a good state of repair and will last for several years.

Memorial bench at Rhossili

Memorial bench at Rhossili

We spent two days at the farm with a hedgelaying course in conjunction with Countryside Connections and Malcolm – our expert hedgelayer on this occasion. It’s a fantastic skill to learn with a real sense of achievement seeing a straggly bit of blackthorn and willow become a beautifully landscaped hedgeline. We will be holding a couple more workshops in the next couple of months.

New hedge shaping up

New hedge shaping up

The Saturday group spent the day at Pennard clearing the scrub alongside the road to improve the line of sight for motorists. We also tried removing some of the goldenrod that has spread around the top car park – which we found forms a really dense matt of strong roots several inches under the surface. A good area was cleared but we will be monitoring its regrowth this year to see if would be an effective way to clear it as it really was very hard work! Thanks to those who perservered with it and thanks also to everyone who attended.

Clearing the scrub at Pennard

Clearing the scrub at Pennard

I had another(!) week off so under Kathryn’s captaincy the volunteers spent the week undertaking our annual maintenace on the Lodge including painting, repairs and general tidying. They also continued with the fencing at Whiteford and replaced the gate at the entrance to Penmaen Burrows.

The last week before Christmas saw us delivering logs to all the holiday cottages so they would be stocked up for the two week break. Whilst at Cwm Ivy we also repaired some fencing by the beach gate and cleared some fallen branches from along the track.

Stunning @Cwm Ivy Woods (courtesy of Emma B)

Stunning @Cwm Ivy Woods (courtesy of Emma B)

The last day of work saw us take an outing up to Brecon to help with some tree planting. It was a beautiful day to begin with but we found ourselves thick in snow by the end of the day. It was a strange drive home from snowy scenes, through rain and then glorious sunshine back in Swansea.

Volunteers tree planting - somewhere in the snow!

We had our Christmas lunch at the Oxwich Bay Hotel on the Friday where volunteers and staff enjoyed a lovely meal and a chance to unwind at the end of the year. Special thanks went out to Paul and Veronica Shenston who received their 15 year long service awards as Voluntary Wardens. And thanks went out to everyone who helped make 2013 a success on Gower. What will 2014 bring…..

Happy 2014 from all at Gower (Courtesy of Emma B)

Happy 2014 from all at Gower (Courtesy of Emma B)

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