We won’t get the birch for this…
Working on the SSSI site of Beeston Common is always a boost to the spirits, whatever the weather! This October, we Workout Group volunteers were given the task of clearing an area of dry heathland, which had become overgrown with invasive birch saplings. So, as the rain came down, so did the trees.
We were really glad when Sally called tea break, and we could stop and look back over what we’d achieved together in just a few hours. A newly cleared patch, ready to play host to all sorts of interesting flora and fauna in the near future.
On the trail of the Norfolk Trails
This was something a bit different for the Workout Group; we were going for a walk to find some conservation work! Usually we arrive at our worksites, and the site manager will give us pre-planned work to do during the afternoon…but here we were, going searching for it ourselves.
We had chosen a circular walk of about four miles to stroll along, surveying the trees and shrubs, and looking out for any footpath maintenance that needed doing, and we’d then report back to the Trails Officer with our findings. The plan is to undertake the small amount of practical work later in the year, keeping the Trail open for all walkers to enjoy. A simple idea, really!
Strolling along to the Shrieking Pits
This Halloween, the Workout volunteers braved Overstrand’s terrifying Shrieking Pits. We were particularly brave as we had to find our way there along the footpaths said to be haunted by Norfolk’s own demonic hound Black Shuck!
Luckily we didn’t see anything too spooky, apart from these three ghastly characters, out enjoying the autumnal sunshine on a record-breakingly warm Samhain…
Storming the castle and defending the coast!
This November the Workout walkers have enjoyed two lovely historically-themed walks; on one afternoon we took in the farmland around the dramatic ruins of Baconsthorpe Castle, and on another afternoon we learnt about the archaeology of Sheringham Park, right from prehistory to WWII.
At Baconsthorpe, we saw seven swans a swimming, sang happy birthday to JB and Steve, and read about the rise and fall of the lords of the manor. While at Sheringham Park, National Trust expert Rupert guided us on a fascinating walk; we learnt all about tumuli, wood banks, saw mills, Humphry Repton’s parkland design, pill boxes, anti tank defences, mortar spigots and much more! So thank you to Andrew P for leading the Bodham to Baconsthorpe stroll, and thanks to Rupert for an absorbing historical afternoon!
The fox and birches
One November afternoon, the Workout Group were happily clearing birch saplings from the wet bog area of Beeston Common… As we moved from one successfully cleared area to start work on another group of trees (which needed removing to improve the SSSI habitat), we stumbled across a skeleton!
Laid out before us, was a skull, jawbones, spine, ribs, pelvis… it was a complete fox skeleton. It was a brilliant find, and it’s one way to get close to a previous inhabitant of this beautiful worksite!
(Thanks to Andrew G for the photos which he put up on ispot to get a definite identification)
The saucer barrow and a blackthorn thicket
This month at Kelling Heath, we dodged the showers and helped clear a (possibly) prehistoric saucer barrow – and restore a view down to the pretty village of Weybourne. The barrow feature had become overgrown by small birch trees and gorse, while the view was being lost behind a thicket of blackthorn.
Now the view is open once more, giving visitors a good view of Weybourne windmill and the coast beyond. Another good autumnal afternoon’s work!