I'm Tom and I'm lucky enough to have just started working here as a Seasonal Access Ranger. I have joined the Lizard team having previously worked over in Penwith with the Trust there. I have been here for 3 weeks now and I'm enjoying every minute of it and I'm sure you will hear plenty from me on the blog.
I'm going to be working with the full time and regular volunteers as well as groups on primarily access related projects and we have been quite busy already. To help me find my feet we have been working in the Poltesco valley close to the office and workshop on some small jobs that needed doing, but soon I will be venturing out onto the miles of coastpath that we look after around the peninsula. Much of my work will be centred around the damage that the winter weather has caused to our footpaths.
We have installed a couple of stone cross drains to help to protect the foundations of our awesome new bridge, a lot of water from 2 converging paths were being channelled towards the bridge and now it has been caught before it can get that far. The gullies have had a step placed at the bottom and then backfilled with larger stone underneath smaller surfacing material to allow good drainage and to hold the material in place. We have also patched up and strengthened the edges of the steps that were gullied out due to this water. The hedge next to our house had also collapsed into an important drainage ditch so I made a quick repair on that.
If you would like to know more about what I was previously doing in Penwith and on the life of volunteers in and out of work then you may like to check out the blog for West Cornwall
Join us this Saturday for the new craze of barefoot walking- a must-have sensory experience! Kick off your shoes and discover amazing textures under foot. Find out why barefoot walking is so good for you from Helston's barefoot podiatrist.
Meet at Helston's fairground car park, opposite the boating lake on the B3304, at 11am, £2 per person. Booking essential on 01326 554715.
Our local barn owls will be spoiled for choice thanks to two new made to measure homes! Owl boxes have been put up in a large modern livestock barn on one of our tenanted farms on the Lizard, as a way to encourage the owls to stay and possibly even breed in future years. Owls have regularly been seen about the farm, so we know they are keen on the neighbourhood. Must be a good supply of voles!
Many thanks to local barn owl experts Mark and Cat for their advice on positioning of the boxes, and to Matt and Edwin for supplying the new homes, as part of their wider voluntary work monitoring and encouraging barn owls on The Lizard. Ranger Tom and volunteer Jenna put up two boxes in the same barn, because there are times when the male and female like to roost separately, and also so the pair can escape their young when they get to the noisy teenage phase, but still keep a watchful eye on them!
Walkers passing through Carleon Cove on the Lizard are in for a treat, thanks to the completion of a stunning new footbridge that carries the South West Coast Path over the Poltesco River.
The bridge has been designed to reflect the curved lines of a boat, and is made in oak and larch, with stainless steel tension wires.
We knew the old bridge was near the end of its life, so we decided to take the opportunity to do something different, to build a bridge that really did justice to this lovely place. We wanted a bridge that encouraged people to stop and linger. Most importantly, it had to be a good place to play Pooh sticks as that’s always a favourite with the many school groups we bring here!
The bridge is nestled within sycamores, just behind the beach and the ruins of a Victorian serpentine stoneware factory, now reclaimed by nature.
The bridge was designed by local architect Matthew Robinson and constructed by Ben Harris of River Oak. Working together with Matt we wanted to incorporate something of the location, it's landscape and history, in the design, hence the boat inspired curves and local stone finials. Poltesco was once the base for a small seine netting fleet, so boats and stone are at the heart of the cove’s history.
Building it has been quite a challenge, not least because every component had to be small enough to carry in by hand down the path! The whole thing was made in Ben's workshop, before being dismantled, transported to site and then put back together like a giant 3D jigsaw.
I’m sure the many walkers out on the coast path will appreciate this fantastic new bridge. We would like to thank Natural England for their generous grant towards this project, and the South West Coast Path team for their support.
Why not pay the new bridge a visit, Pooh sticks optional!