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Saturday, 28 July 2007

Clear local paths

The High Weald Landscape Trail passes through Cuckfield. And after New England Wood, heading west, it was hopelessly overgrown with bracken and brambles. This is a disgrace! One should complain to someone... or sharpen a sickle, grab some tree loppers and sort it out.

Blooded by brambles and bitten by horse flies, I hacked my way through this bracken forest over a couple of days.

If one could clear a 2 meter strip, would the local (and longer distance) walkers then keep it clear of bracken?
Who knows?
I returned the following week with shears to tidy up anything missed; further widen the 2m. strip; and cut back brambles that grow like mad.
I was encouraged to meet various walkers, on the trail that I had just cleared. Again bloodied by brambles and stung by nettles, which I cleared on this third attack, I was happy to keep this lovely path open for local people and long distance walkers to enjoy. It used to be horrible to walk through if the bracken was drenched with rain, You just got soaked. Now I have even developed a technique of pushing hedge shears through the wire fence to cut bracken outside of the path. It will be interesting to see if such actions reduce the bracken growth next year.

After a couple of "bracken free" months and several follow up visits to admire my handiwork and further expand the path, it is looking quite different. Grass is growing well and there are two wild flowers in bloom, one a ragged robin.

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