At a meeting with Surrey County Council (SCC) on 19 April 2016, the Save Newlands Corner Campaign Group (SaveNC) agreed to put forward alternative arrangements for the management of Newlands Corner. SaveNC believes that the site could be managed on the basis of a ‘Friends of Newlands Corner’ model in a much more cost-effective way than is currently the case. The ‘Friends’ concept would also retain the wild and open nature of the site and avoid the commercial proposals put forward by SCC.
SCC said ‘we remain open to discuss any thoughts or proposals you may have’. SaveNC welcome this opportunity to submit our outline ideas for an alternative way forward and the reasoning behind them.
At the time of the meeting, critical information about vehicle figures and maintenance costs was still awaited. Much of that has information has recently been provided, but further clarification is being sought.
This report is, therefore, correct to the best of our knowledge. It was completed in a short time frame and we acknowledge that much more work needs to be done to firm up on the
You can read the full report here.
April began in the same way that March ended - clearing up after Storm Katie, whose
appearance put a very wet and windy dampener on Easter Monday. As you can imagine
clearing trees from a river navigation is much trickier than at other National Trust properties,as I can’t just drive up to them and log them up. Firstly I have to wait for the flow rates to decrease enough so that I can safely use a boat, and then slowly cut the trees up into bite size pieces before using a hand winch to ease them out of the river inch by inch.
Fortunately for me I had some mechanical assistance in the form of the floating excavator,
or to be more accurate two floating excavators! This was because both the National Trust
and EA dredgers happened to be passing through my length on the way to other jobs. This
meant that a day with each machine and my length was clear of fallen trees, saving me a lot of time and energy so thank you to everyone who helped.
With the weather improving all the time I am now well in to my Spring/Summer work
programme, which seems to currently involve spending a lot of hours walking behind a
mower. However I can’t complain as I do get plenty of help from my volunteers, and the
positive comments I get from boaters and other river users makes it all worthwhile. We
even managed to get Stoke Lock painted in between the unseasonal snow showers!!!
Of course, as a Lengthsman, I have to keep my knowledge up to date and skills honed. So
this month I have been on the 3-yearly chainsaw operation refresher course with some of
my colleagues from the maintenance team. It was a very practical and informative course
which helps to pick us up on the bad habits that we may have developed. I have also been
on the first of a series of half day wildflower identification course with Surrey Wildlife Trust, again this helps to keep my plant skills up to date and valid.
April finished with the first of my events for this year, Spring Has Sprung. This was a spring
themed event at our visitor centre Dapdune Wharf, with seed planting, scarecrow making
and pond dipping. Unfortunately despite the name of the event the temperatures were
definitely more suited to winter than spring, so we didn’t have as many visitors as we would have liked. I’d still like to say thank you to all the staff and volunteers who put so much effort into this event and I know those visitors who did come along really enjoyed all the activities.
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