Posted by: Claire Hannington | February 5, 2015

January – brash, bogs and bonfires

It’s probably a bit late now to say Happy New Year as we are flying through February already, but 2015 it is and we have started the year as busy as ever.

We finally finished clearing the gorse from Old Castle Camp that the Saturday group cut back at the beginning of December. It took several trailer loads and was prickly work on windy days but we got there. The Omega sign was repainted and replaced on Ryers Down and we removed a rather invasive patch of box leaf honeysuckle that was making its home alongside the track.

Over in Kittle the Thursday volunteers spent a long day clearing brash from our land which had unfortunately been dumped there by one of our neighbours gardeners! There is a large sink hole right in the middle of the footpath in Bishopston Valley where the path runs along the river bed. A new path is being created to avoid this and the proposed route ran straight through the pile of brash. And I mean a massive pile, but thanks to a great effort it was all cleared as required and the Council’s Rights of Way team can now get on with diverting the footpath. In return they did put a new post and gate in for me at Rhossili Cliffs 🙂

photo 4

The Saturday group came to our farm to help with our hedgerow restoration and planted about 1000 trees! They also fenced 150 metres to protect the whips. Hopefully some of the them will be back in 10 years time to lay the newly planted hedge 😉

We had a few remaining trees left over so we planted up the bank behind the orchard to try and shelter our apple trees a bit.

In March this year it is the 50th anniversary of the Neptune Campaign – the National Trust’s most successful public appeal to secure permanent protection of over 500 miles of coastline. Whiteford Burrows was the first acquisition to be made using these funds so its an exciting year for us. Combined with the breach in the Sea Wall which now means Cwm Ivy Marsh is slowly converting back to salt marsh we are very busy in the area. We undertook a site visit to look at all the tasks that needed doing and our volunteers have made a start.

Cwm Ivy Marsh Cwm Ivy Marsh 4

On a very wet day we put in posts across the Marsh to delineate transects to study the vegetation change occurring within the area due to the increased salinity.

We have been removing an unwanted fence that was originally in place to control grazing on certain areas of the Marsh. Again the weather hasn’t been so good on these days but the volunteers are just amazing and keep on smiling!

0 x fence 0 x dave keith hail 0 x frank rhydian dave keith


Volunteers and a group from Coleg Sir Gar came out and spent a bit more time on Bovehill. It’s looking really good now and one more day – planned in for the March Saturday group should see us finished for this year. We just need to keep on top of it then next winter…

0nt frank dave

We also spent a couple of crisp but dry days at Port Einon Point. Last year we had a contractor, Jo Mullett, spray the ever invasive cotoneaster that was covering a lot of the site. Once it had died off a bit we then needed to pull it up and dispose of it. So again with the help of Coleg Sir Gar and our volunteers we made a start. Its going to be a long process but will be worth it. I’m still amazed at how much Jo got sprayed on such steep slopes! Port Einon cotoneaster 0 port fire

And of course its a great excuse for a bonfire, to get rid of all the dead material.






Lastly but not least we have a new Full Time Volunteer started with us last week. His name is Gordon Price and I shall let him introduce himself tomorrow. So come back and read all about him!





  1. Claire I am pleased to see that the NT are doing some sterling work across Gower. we meet many months ago at the bottom of Widegate in Bishopston Valley and you were very enthusiastic then☺. I see that there has been great activity on the drop down into the Valley from Wellfeild which is impressive!! However the paths across the top toward Ivy? Rose Cottage and then on to the Bridle Path at Backingstone farm are awful. The wooden Steps have been destroyed by the cattle and are in a state of disrepair. Can these be sorted before someone gets hurt?

    Keep up the never ending “Good Work”

    Andy Thorburn

    • Hi Andy
      Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I will liaise with the Council’s Rights of Way section and we can put a plan into place.
      And Thank you 🙂
      Best wishes

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