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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

if you go down in the woods and pink gloves

Back in Yorkshire after a week being a Granny and it's a cold and strong wind on the Cleveland Way near Hayburn Wyke, one of my favourite places to be working. I have some warmish lined new gloves, my last pair went over the cliffs with some blackthorn last winter and the regular pair protect my hands, but don't keep them warm; I have to put up with some teasing as they are partly pink! First we have an old fence to remove, rusting wire and damaged posts, some of them very close to the cliff edge (and the wind is blowing from the land!). It is not only unsightly, but the rusty wire is dangerous to both walkers and wildlife, two years ago I startled two deer in this same place.

After an early lunch we move down into the shelter of the woods. Stone steps to clean, ditches to clear and culverts to clean out. All on the Cleveland Way, it's a national trail so has to be maintained to a very high standard. Coasties usually work on it once a month. When I lived in the London I walked the Thames Path, also a national trail, that was three years ago, and I'm afraid they didn't have the same high standards that we manage to maintain in much more rugged terrain. Perhaps I am biaised!

So if you go down to the woods today, the steps that you might have thought were mud are actually stone.

All in all a most satisfactory day, good work done, sunshine, some beautiful scenery and good company. Sorry if I sound smug, regular blog readers will know that some of my volunteering work is much more stressful, so this is a lovely and welcome antidote. Perhaps all volunteers should try for the sort of mix I have?
the pink gloves on some cleared steps
the old fence, now gone