Last week colleagues from a local company joined Rangers to help improve Hawley Meadows. We have been working together over the last five years and it was great to develop this further with four tasks this year and a total of 50 volunteer days.
It was fantastic to see the colleagues proving their mettle improving the access and visitor welcome around Hawley Meadows. Many visitors found it hard to use the kissing gates with bicycles and buggies, so these were replaced with new gates at the south and car park entrances. The path had to be widened to accommodate one new gate, so we delicately used a sledgehammer to pin the new sleeper edging in place.
Over ½ km of redundant fencing was removed ready for new paths. Intrepid explorers took to the boat to litterpick along the river, with “It’s more exciting than I expected, I found a shark whilst paddling in the river litter picking!” A colleague joined Assistant Ranger Laura to construct a new fence across the river to stop cow escapades.
Meanwhile we replaced 14 broken fence rails along the Blackwater Valley Path under the M3. Finally we installed a new wooden noticeboard, which is a great addition to the Hawley Meadows, and I even spotted a rare sighting of a spirit level.