Our work

Our great big gates project

 Installing the kissing gates was a labour of love for our team

Installing the kissing gates was a labour of love for our team

Regular visitors might've spotted we've gradually been replacing stiles with far more user-friendly kissing gates. We've now completed the mammoth task of replacing all 22 stiles on the Golden Cap stretch of the South West Coast Path with new oak gates. The project, which was mostly funded by Natural England, will improve access for the thousands of walkers who enjoy this six-mile stretch of the coast path. We're grateful to the volunteers who helped our rangers to build and install the new kissing gates.

Step replacement

The steep steps to St Gabriel's Beach are an important access point to the coast between Golden Cap and Charmouth. They were damaged beyond repair in the winter storms of 2011 and had to be closed.

In 2014 we were finally able to replace them. Nick, one of the rangers involved in the big task this time round, explains how the team did it.

Pressing matters

The restored cider press will make good use of the estate’s apples

A group of rangers and volunteers have restored the old cider press at Shedbush. The current orchard had a bumper crop of old cider apples in 2013 and the team were keen to put them to good use. We think it's the first time the Shedbush press has been used in 50 years. It was thirsty work but their efforts have proved fruitful with an estimated 600 pints of cider.

Stonebarrow shop

Our talented volunteer Richard handcrafted this beautiful oak counter top

Thanks to a generous donation from the Golden Cap Association (West Dorset), we've recently given the small shop at Stonebarrow a much needed facelift. There are new purpose-built shelves and cupboards for displaying stock and a magnificent counter top handcrafted by our very talented volunteer Richard from a piece of oak from the Golden Cap Estate.

Follow the action

Our rangers regularly post updates on our Facebook page. It's a great place to keep up with the latest news and get a behind the scenes look at life on the estate. Got a question about work you've seen us doing? Post it here and we'll give you the lowdown.

Hedgelaying

We use hedgelaying as a wildlife-friendly form of hedgerow management on the estate. Not so long ago this traditional method of maintaining field boundaries was a dying art, but it's enjoying a comeback. It's a rewarding task and three times a year we receive help from working holiday groups who come to learn a rural skill in spectacular surroundings.

Tree inspections

Our volunteer ecologist John Newbould has been surveying many of the hedgerows and trees on the estate. Surveys have indicated that our hedges harbour some large and potentially ancient trees that need mapping.

John and teams of volunteers aim to map as many veteran trees as possible. They'll also be using a special GPS unit to measure hedges identified as important.

Our partnerships

Enjoy far reaching views across the unspoilt Marshwood Vale from Golden Cap

We're proud to work with a number of organisations to enhance, promote and care for our coast and countryside: Dorset AONB, South West Coast Path, Natural England and Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Working together to achieve shared objectives allows us to be more efficient with our resources and achieve far more. A great example of this is the current Litter Free Coast and Sea project.

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