Posted by: Claire Hannington | March 31, 2014

Gower Groupies

Wow! We have had lots of groups out this month helping us with our conservation tasks.

We started this month at Mewslade with the Saturday group.  We were continuing with our clearance of the burnt gorse on the cliffs above the valley. We cleared a huge area and have followed that up since with a day with our Working Holiday, a day with Kick Start, and last Friday with ASL (American School in London).  We have now cleared all the area above the valley and have about two days work left to clear the remaining pathces towards Fall Bay. It has been a tremendous effort all round and we can now see the finishing line.

 

Kick Start enjoy the fire burning the burnt gorse

Kick Start enjoy the fire burning the burnt gorse

ASL clearing gorse

ASL clearing gorse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a break on the cut gorse!

Taking a break on the cut gorse!

As mentioned we had a Working Holiday at the beginning of this month. They spent the week on a variety of tasks. The first day saw them clearing gorse from Foxhole at Pennard. This was expanding on the area cleared by Halifax bank workers last month to enable contractors to come in and clear the ever growing cotoneaster from the site. They spent the Tuesday morning litterpicking on Rhossili beach, and with the tides being just right (not at all planned!) we walked out to the Worm’s Head in the afternoon. It’s just got to be done when you come to Gower.  The following day we spent at our farm at South Pilton Green where they had a go at hedgelaying and filled in the gaps with a spot of tree planting. Then it was off for the aforementioned gorse clearance at the  Mewslade. That week we also had a work experience pupil from Olchfa School, Akshaya who got involved with all these tasks and worked really hard. It was a great week all round for everyone.

A stunning day at Foxhole

A stunning day at Foxhole

We walked the Worm!

We walked the Worm!

Our Coleg Sir Gar students spent their last two Mondays with us. They did some construction work for a change putting in some fencing at the farm and did a cracking job. We have a little bit left to finish before our tenant farmer brings the cattle back in, which we are planning on doing this Friday.

They spent their last day at Cwm Ivy clearing bramble from the Tor and then enjoyed a night in the Lodge bunkhouse. It’s been great working with them and we hope to make this a yearly event as part of the BTEC course.

Dave O and I went on a 2 day burning training course to learn about doing controlled burns as a way of managing some of our grassland/heathland. If we get the go ahead in future to do this we shall let you know but in the meantime if you see any fires it isn’t us!

The volunteers from Llanerchaeron came down for a crash course in fencing as they don’t get a chance to do much of it in their neck of the woods. After slight car trouble(!) they eventually made it and we had a really good day at the farm. The mist even cleared a bit in the afternoon for them to take a stroll and look at our magnificent bit of coast. We like their coastline too!

I also spent a morning chatting to 2 new  volunteers who are interested in visitor engagement and membership recruitment. I’m currently organising some training for them beofre we let them loose on the public at Rhossili and Pennard.

We had a major operation clearing up the beach at Rhossili with a team of volunteers from SSE as part of their Community at Heart programme. We spent 2 days and filled a whole skip and still didn’t reach Llangennith! Its all part of our ongoing task of clearing the beaches after the winter storms. We are slowly getting there so bear with us.

SSE at Rhossili

SSE at Rhossili

 

Some of the SSE volunteers

Some of the SSE volunteers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students from Gower College Swansea also came out to give us a hand and along with the Wednesday group cleared the litter from Tor Bay.

They are coming out again this week to do Mewslade Valley and the gully down to the beach.

Gower College Swansea cleaning Tor Bay

Gower College Swansea cleaning Tor Bay

We held our annual planning meeting at the St Madoc centre and staff and volunteers inputted in to our business plan for the next few years.

Lastly we said goodbye to the old bird hide at Whiteford. It had seen better days so we started pulling it down last Tuesday.  I say started as we didn’t quite finish the job as it was still a little bit robust in places but we are heading back down their tomorrow to dismantle the rest. But for those that enjoy a spot of twitching don’t worry as a new one will be built in the next few months.

The old bird hide

The old bird hide

Quite an effort to dismantle it

Quite an effort to dismantle it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a month that was! I feel quite tired writing about it let alone having done it all. So it’s off home and start a new month tomorrow! Watch out for those fools tho!!

 

 

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