Ranger News May 2011

Monday May 2nd North Somerset Show

Dry, warm and busy! A successful day spent on the AONB stand talking to members of the public about Mendip. There was a lot of interest in a variety of subjects and many enjoyed referring to the large map and then taking away the latest information leaflet. There were also good sales of Adrian Boots ‘8 Wild Walks’.

Saturday May 7th Burrington Ham

A glorious fresh feeling in the air after the first rain for several weeks. Everything seemed to sparkle especially up through the wood where the bluebells (scent and sight of) are breath taking. Walking up from Burrington to the path above the combe and looking across to Blackdown there is a blue haze where the bluebells are flowering on the hillside. I look forward to this view each year! Very little litter, thankfully, with so much of nature’s best on display. Back to the car park and plenty of ‘little bits’ of rubbish, including many cigarrette-ends, but not as bad as we had expected given the public holidays that we have all recently enjoyed.

Tuesday 10th May Deer Leap

Fairly litter-free here today with the exception of dozens of cigarrette-ends. I found a large black crock shoe by the memorial amongst the scrub – no sign of the other one or the owner! Some graffitti on the bench top that is quite recent and will undoubtedly attract more. One elderly couple arrived while we were clearing. They walked their dog across to one of the seats and back, gave him some water and left!

Tuesday 10th May Blackmoor

There were several cars and a minibus parked when we arrived at the Reserve. In walking round we passed two groups of people walking their dogs. We also found the sites of three fires. The first, adjacent to the wall of the ruined stables by the flues, the other two beside the car park. One of them is a favourite place that has been used many times before. We found that stones had been used to surround it and considerable preparation had been made to gather large boughs of wood that had been left charred beside the fire. Cooking pots and pans had been used as there were scorch marks on the grass where they had been placed. The other fire had been lit in the hollow above the information board. This was full of charcoal, brush and branches from a nearby tree. Someone had also used two wooden posts from somewhere on the site to keep the fire going. We felt quite concerned about discovering these quite large fires. In view of the very dry weather and the high winds that we are currently experiencing these could present a very serious hazard.

Monday 16th May Blackdown

Fairly litter free apart from a cutting-disc probably discarded by the contractors who are patching the road up throuch the Combe. The group of Nordic Walkers arrived and went off in the direction of Burrington Ham. Their advertising poster is on the footpath post by Ellick House. Walking up along the perimeter wall to the left of the signpost all looked tidy after the CLIC 24. Thanks to the dry weather there was no significant added erosion and we only found two rear reflectors and one water bottle! We met dog walkers coming down from the Trig Point where we found a lot of broken glass just approaching the high point. The stone covering at the Trig Point is really beginning to bed down and with plants growing in the crevices looking more natural. Some of the edging stones are pulling away. Probably as much due to the dry weather as having been deliberately dislodged. Walking back down the path facing Burrington Ham the wind was strong and keen. The bonus, blowing in our direction, being the strong scent from the magnificent carpet of bluebells all over this side of the hill!

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