Sunshine and showers in April

Taking a break whilst fencing at Rhossili, Gower

April started on the Vile, where Mark, one of our other rangers, took the group out for the day to clear stones and thistles from the fields.

Sunshine and showers with Claire Hannington, Area Ranger

It certainly was a back breaking start to the month, with the unenviable task of clearing the thistles and stones from the fields. Not only did they do this all morning, they also spent half a day clearing gorse from Old Castle Camp. 

There weren’t as many of us the following day, so we took the cut gorse to Cwm Ivy in the morning and spent the afternoon sorting out our trailers and equipment at the yard. 

We returned to the Vile after a week’s break, for some more gate hanging and fencing, along with some more thistle and stone removal. 

WCADA’s first visit of the month was to help litterpick Llanrhidian marsh, returning a fortnight later to try their hand at some dry stone walling on the Vile. 

This month the Saturday group spent the day at Whiteford, a misty damp day, clearing scrub in the dune slacks. Its amazing how quickly the work down there is progressing and what instant results are being obtained. From a willow filled, dry slack to a wet slack in a couple of weeks. We await to see what the next slack looks like in a few week’s time after clearing that. 

Transformed from a dry to wet dune slack after clearance work
One of the dune slacks at Whiteford after clearance work
Transformed from a dry to wet dune slack after clearance work

Our monthly litterpick this time was at Rhossili. We had an amazing 44 volunteers and we managed to litterpick the whole beach all the way to Llangennith. There were people from different groups and individuals who used the opportunity to meet up with old work colleagues. 

That week we spent the rest of it on the Vile. It’s lovely to see the changes as we go from one field to the next, and the signs of life beginning to return. Our little trees we planted in January are starting to bud and we’ve spotted a few oil beetles. 

Whilst I, Claire, went on a relaxing holiday in the Lake District, Alys looked after the volunteers for a week. Undertaking more scrub clearance in the slacks at Whiteford and burning the remains of the cut gorse at Fall Bay. Not forgetting spending a day at Ryers Down clearing some rhododendron. 

Finally, to end the month, we have to say ‘Congratulations’ to Alys, who’s secured a job as a Ranger with the team at Mathry in North Pembrokeshire. Whilst we’re very sad to see her leave Gower, we wish her all the best for the future.