First for me anyway, this year, in Warren Glen this afternoon.
Ok, I know only just, but as far as I’m concerned that counts.
As you can see, the rest of it is right across the path and it has brought a couple of smaller trees down with it too. A little further up I met a couple with a push chair who decided wisely to go back when told about the blockage.
The Charlie Rock barge along with it’s tug Afon Goch came back today with one more load of Larvikite to finish off the Fairlight berm
This barge load should be enough to finish the job and I have been told that tomorrow there will be a load dropped off at Hastings Pier. I also got a better video than last time. Watch the Cat loader closely and you will just how much lifting power it has as it picks its back wheels up right off the deck!
The final stage of the coastal protection berm at Fairlight Cove started recently. A large barge the Stema Barge II is moored offshore that is stated to be capable of carrying 21,000 tonnes of Larvikite an igneous rock similar to granite that comes from Norway.
Having checked the tides I made my way up to the cliff path east of the village to watch the smaller barge the Charlie Rock towed by the Afon Goch come in and was surprised to see some sort of landing craft leaving the beach having dropped off a dump truck. I had assumed that the heavy plant that was on the beach at Pett Level would be tracked round at low tide, so I rushed round to Cliff Way to have a better view when it returned with it’s next load.
The landing craft is called Severn Sins from the port of Bideford and a little research has revealed that it is a LCU (landing craft utility) Mk9 which were carried by the Amphibious Assault Vessels (4 each) HMS Fearless and HMS Intrepid (not the Invincible as previously stated here, many thanks to Pete who served on the Fearless for correcting that) that saw action in the Falklands.
It seems that the Stema Barge II will be empty tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how many loads it takes to complete the works.
Short video of the Charlie Rock barge unloading, shame about the sound, it was windy!
Having started my walk this afternoon in the sunshine for it only to become overcast with a distinct dampness in the air my mood was again lifted by the sight of the first bluebells on Brakey Bank. Not quite fully in bloom yet and looking at the sea of bluebell foliage we should soon be rewarded with the usual impressive display there.
It is also interesting to see bluebells coming up in places where the gorse has been cleared and the Exmoor Ponies/White Park Cattle have been active. Have these plants flowered hidden from our view in the past or have they been dormant? Either way this is an indicator of the value of recent management.
Did anyone see the Stork that has visited Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve? It has brought us a White Park calf and we are sure it must have been a Stork as there are no gooseberry bushes in the Country Park.
Happy Christmas and New Year to all Hastings Country Park volunteers and followers.
Our next scheduled day is 3rd January 2016, that’s 2 whole days to recover from New Year excesses!! It will be back to the Quarry to carry on clearing bramble regrowth to ensure that last year’s clearance work has the desired effect.
2:00 pm on Sunday 20th brought again Alex’s ever popular Christmas decoration event and was well attended again this year. The participants had the opportunity to make a wooden reindeer, large decorated fir cone, a decoration for their front door and a candle lit table decoration. Nearly all of the materials were either recycled or renewable.
Everyone got stuck in, not literally, but there was plenty of glue involved! At three o’clock it was time to make the hot chocolate drinks and the event finished on time at 3:30. This just left us to clear away the tools and leftovers.
Spotted today on the Firehills this 400 horsepower forestry mulcher making short work of the gorse. Looks like it won’t take long, so you’ll need to be quick if you want to see it in action. The signs say to keep 50m away which sounds very sensible. I stood well back and used my zoom to get this photo.