Friday, 8 November 2013

Welly Weather.

Wellies are a good idea, so are bananas.
Now is the season of misty, mellow mushiness. The paths at the Reserve have been dry and grassy all summer but after October’s heavy downpours they have turned to mud. Please come prepared. 

The biggest practical task we have set ourselves this year and next is to improve access all year round and enable people using our “Tramper” electric buggy to complete the Meadow Trail. The main obstacle has always been the set of steps that climb from meadow-level up to the top of the bank along the Hayling Ditch. (Actually, the top of the bank is the natural ground level; the meadow was quarried and so is a metre lower than it used to be.) Work is well on the way to completing a complicated wooden ramp to enable wheelchairs, pushchairs and electric buggies to make the ascent.The project is funded by the Friends of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve and the Anglian Co-operative Society. The contractor is local farmer Alf Peacock.
Interesting design.
The holes let the smell out?

When the ramp is finished we will need to improve the muddy sections of path that lead to it. We have made a similar new section of path near the moorings at a notoriously oozy spot and it seems to be holding out well. Of course, that path may well go under water during floods so I can’t promise that it will be open 365 days a year.

In 2014 we will be celebrating the Reserve’s 25th Birthday, so there will be a lot of special activities in the programme, which kicks off as always with our New Year’s Day “ice-breaker” event. Put on your tackiest Christmas sweater and join in! I see that Val Doonican’s old jumpers are really trendy now and, since Glastonbury went posh, wellies have become cool to wear too. In my day, when Hawkwind was top of the bill, we went hippie-barefoot. I don’t recommend it now because of the cows. Pop in to Kath Kidson, Ibbetts or B&Q to find a pair of wellies to suit your image and protect your socks. 

The Friends have agreed to pay for two new boot-brushes and scrapers to be installed near the visitor centre and car park, so you won’t have to take the mud home with you.