Posted by: Claire Hannington | May 2, 2014

A Rubbish month

April was actually a really good month but we did spend a lot of it clearing rubbish off the beaches. April Fool’s Day saw us spending a second day at Whiteford taking down the old bird hide that had become a little worse for wear. We now have a contractor building a new hide which we hope to be ready to open at the end of May.

Nowhere to hide

Nowhere to hide

Gower College Swansea came back out for their second visit and cleared Mewslade Valley of litter, whilst the same day the regular vols litterpicked Rhossili Cliffs and finished repairing a section of dry stone wall. The next day found us on Rhossili Down in really eerie conditions moving some previously cut gorse. One minute we could see nothing and the next the Worm reared it’s head out of the clouds.

Eerie worm

The Saturday group met up on Whiteford beach to start the spring clean up. Well I say the beach..we started at the beginning of the track onto the beach, cleared litter for 5 hours and didn’t actually get to the beach. The amount of small bits of plastic and netting that were washed up onto the dunes in the winter storms were phenomenal and it takes a long time to clear a small area. But we perservered, ignored the rain and celebrated 5 years of the Saturday Group.

Morriston Comprehnsive School pupils came out the following week and continued where we left off. They made it onto the beach and cleared the larger bits of plastic – well over a trailer load. Morriston Comp

 

 

That week we also did some more fencing at our farm, around the newly layed hedgebank, to protect it from the cattle that have now come back from their winter quarters.

 

 

 

The Lodge hosted a Working Holiday Leaders Weekend – a chance for our volunteer leaders to get together and share ideas and best practice and also exchange recipes! We had a cracking weekend for it and between the discussions and training they managed to squeeze in some work for me – moving brash and repairing a section of fence.

Working Holiday leaders getting stuck in

Working Holiday leaders getting stuck in

The following week saw major rubbish removal. Bob Denley and a working party from the Gower Society spent a day at Lucas Bay – between Horton and Oxwich Point. It is one of those areas that was inundated with plastic during the storms. Between them and locals three large piles of rubbish were collected and bagged. We have since spent 2 days down there shifting the bags to a point where I can get a vehicle to. That part of the coast is fairly inaccessible, so its good old fashioned wheelbarrows all the way! Fair play to the volunteers who walked several miles pushing the barrows back and forth.Slade litter

It’s not a bad spot for a picnic either!

Slade lunch break

Nicholaston also got the locals attention with several people coming out to make a start on the rubbish collected round the pill and reed beds. Thanks to Rob Davies for getting the word out and to our Tuesday vols – with access being easier via Oxwich we pulled out 2 full trailer loads. One thing we weren’t expecting to see was Jo Brand walking past enjoying a day on the beach with friends! What will we see this month when we return to finish the job?

With help from Huw LLoyd, Gower AONB Ranger and volunteers from RipnRock – an outdoor activities provider based in South Wales, Three Cliffs Bay got the makeover as well. Huw and his team worked from Parkmill along the valley whilst me and my volunteers came down from Penmaen and started from the stepping stones. We didn’t quite meet up – but hopefully 1 more day will see it all cleared..for now…

Easter Saturday saw us hold our Cadbury’s Easter Egg Trail at Rhossili. And what a day it was. I have never seen it so busy and we ran out of eggs! We had volunteers setting people on their way and also assisting with activites from the ’50 things to do’ list predominantly rockpooling on the Causeway.

 

It was with sadness but also celebration that we said goodbye to our 2 Full Time Volunteers – Dave and Emma. They have both gained employment with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre, Llanelli. They have been absolutely amazing during their time with us and have worked so hard and also kept us entertained. Thank you to both of them for being a part of our team and I wish them the very best for the future. On their last day we had a little celebration at the Lodge and definitely did it the National Trust way – more cake anyone?!!!

 

More cake!

 

 

 

 

 

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