TAG Trail Conservation Day 30th April

The weather delivered bright sunshine which encouraged a good turnout and made for a very pleasant time at Ceasars Camp training area . Armed with a motley selection of shovels, rakes and our trusty barrow we headed out at 10am.

First order of the day was to re-route a section of trail away from an Iron Age barrow on Beacon Hill which was quickly accomplished and then one sharp eyed member spotted another barrow marking that was new to us and so we re-routed around that as well and covered it with brash to discourage foxhole digging.

Then it was down the hill to clear some catchment ditches and clean up the crossing points so that the water could flow. Very muddy smelly job but the dogs loved it and were wading around in the mud to cool down. Here it was important to ensure that trail crossings did not block water movement and to remove all the old roots and rubbish from the drains that was blocking them up.

While this was all going on a second group had tackled the closure of two trails which crossed the Iron Age defensive ditches which adorn the plateau at Ceasars Camp. These required an extensive barrier of ‘dead hedging’ so much hedging material had to be searched for and brought up onto the site by van. Stakes then had to be drivven in to support the hedge across the trail entrance and then filled with the collected ‘brash’. With the ground so dry hammering stakes in was no easy task but the lads persevered and made a super job of it.

Then it was onwards to a sandy descent where youngsters had been digging pits and making little jumps. These pits were very dangerous at night and had caused some accidents, so they needed filling in and the jumps removed. The youngsters had also left a lots of drinks cartons and pop bottles so this rubbish was collected up from this area and taken away.

At this point everyone was ready for a beer so we called it a day with a quick de-brief with the Landmarc Training Area Warden, Steve Plain who reviewed the days work and said “This is a great help in managing the area and excellent standard of work. It shows what volunteer groups can achieve by working cooperatively with Landmarc. Well done.”

Thanks to everyone who attended particularly first timers and we will hope to see you all next month.

The team making hedge posts

Using recently felled natural materials to create the dead hedge posts

Dead hedge blocking a trail

In addition to perserving the iron age ramparts the dead hedges will act as shelter to small mammals and reptiles

A completed dead hedge

One of the six dead hedges

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2 thoughts on “TAG Trail Conservation Day 30th April

  1. What are you doing about the motorbikes. Are they ok? I regulary see then at ceasars camp where that picture is taken and see them using that track. They aren’t the nicest people around and I think thats why you leave them alone. M/B users are an easy target! Don’t the new cattle track destroy SSRI areas? Why are there no bins for dog mess. Maybe this would encourage people to use them.

  2. As and when TAG come across Motorbikes they are stopped and told that they are not allowed on MoD Land and asked to leave, along with being reported and at times they have their bike confiscated for disposal, please feel free to report them using the numbers provided on the TAG website and the numbers on the notices dotted around the training area.

    As to your comment about the cattle, certain areas have been cleared of trees and scrub to return the land to heathland and provide a suitable environment for rare ground-nesting birds including Dartford Warbler and nightjar. The cattle are brought in to graze and help maintain the habitat.

    Bins hopefully will be put up at a later stage when we get funding.

    Thank you for your concerns

    TAG

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