Nestled in the heart of our village, the South Foreland Valley is a treasured gem in our community’s crown. It’s not just a place of breathtaking natural beauty but a testament to the dedication and hard work of numerous volunteers who pour their time and energy into preserving this splendid asset. In the following reports, we invite you to journey alongside us, uncovering the labor of love that goes into maintaining the South Foreland Valley, with the hope that the stories shared will kindle your own passion for volunteering and inspire you to join hands in safeguarding this vital piece of our village heritage.
Recent Works – South Foreland Valley (June to August 2023)
In the heart of South Foreland Valley, a dedicated team of volunteers and staff has been actively engaged in preserving and maintaining this beautiful natural asset for our community. I encourage you to read their full report, which includes fantastic pictures, but if you don’t have time here’s a snapshot of their commendable efforts over the past few months:
- Lighthouse & Pines Field (June 1st): Management activities included vegetation clearance along rides and tracks, keeping access points clear.
- All Compartments (June 7th): Cattle grids were numbered for reference and inspected for repairs or replacement. Invasives management involved cutting back white poplars, aspens, and sycamores regrowth shoots.
- Staff Site Visit (June 22nd): A team inspected past and upcoming management needs, and rare flora, such as Chalk fragrant orchids, were discovered.
- Deal Scout Group (June 24th): The group assisted in removing invasive species from Pines field. The day concluded with a guided walk to appreciate the valley’s flora and fauna.
- Lighthouse Field (July 3rd): Temporary safety measures were taken due to a damaged cattle grid near the lighthouse, and steps were taken to clear scrub along Beach Road for potential grant funding.
- Volunteer Task (July 27th): Six volunteers focused on step maintenance and vegetation clearance for safer site use.
- Site Safety Checks (August 3rd): A post-storm safety assessment was carried out, with no significant damage reported.
- Pines and Central Fields (August 11th): Brush cutting of vegetation encroaching on footpaths and steps to enhance visitor access.
- Green Gang Event (August 16th): A nature trail event focused on wildlife spotting in the valley as part of WCCP’s Big Summer Festival.
- Lighthouse Field (August 17th): Treatment of Japanese knotweed using a targeted herbicide approach.
- Asian Hornet Monitoring (August): A report on Asian hornet activity and monitoring in the valley.
- Volunteer Task (August 31st): Seven volunteers worked on cutting invasive trees and shrubs, especially white poplar and aspen saplings.
- Grazing: Dexter cattle will return for winter grazing, benefiting both the botanical and wildlife diversity in the valley.
- Wildlife Observations: Notable sightings included Chalk fragrant orchids, Emperor dragonflies, Belladona plants, and various bird species, among others.
These diligent efforts have contributed to the preservation and enhancement of the South Foreland Valley, ensuring it remains a cherished and thriving natural haven for all.