Mixed results in restoration

In the even light during the rain yesterday, it was easier to photograph how the grass is growing in some of our fire place restoration sites.


However, the sites that are most compacted or get full sunlight (where grass germinated but then died in the recent drought) are not doing so well.  We have started reseeding those again, hoping that we’ll get enough rain over the next month.

Really frustrating, though, is the fact that in the last week someone has had another fire, close to a “No Fires” sign, and destroyed nearly a square metre of grass.  It is hard to understand the mentality of people who think that they can damage a beautiful place and that it is someone else’s responsibility to get it looking nice again before they come again.

Worse, there are also little piles of toilet paper and wet wipes in places.  As COVID-19 remains active in faeces for some time, we are reluctant to clean these up quickly.  And, as long as COVID-19 is with us, we don’t see how we will be able to give permission for people to camp in future since we know that illegal campers are doing this (and by giving permission we are raising our legal duty of care).

Any suggestions welcome!

All camping suspended

We are unfortunately obliged to forbid anyone to camp at Piles during the coronavirus restrictions.  This is mainly because, if you had an accident or became ill while you were there, you would cause unnecessary risk to the rescuers.

Meanwhile, the good news is that the growing season is coming, and reduced footfall will hopefully allow the ground to recover more quickly.  After a very wet autumn and winter, path and general sward damage has been exceptional.  Increased numbers of walkers when it has been very wet has led to unprecedented wear on many routes.  Also, someone rode a horse through the copse when it was very wet, leaving hoof marks depressing the turf by around 50 mm.  It will be years before these disappear.