A new month and I move on with the hope of finer weather to come, but it is still very early in the year and the rain forecast didnâ€™t look good so, undeterred I made an early start, even though the late night lunar eclipse experience has left me feeling a little tired.
Needless to say 8:45am on The Line and itâ€™s a very different experience than the other few weeks. A very chill wind and the threat of rain on the horizon, no people encouraging you, not to mention the bramble roots are getting really hard work â€“ sometimes itâ€™s little lonely being the only guerrilla gardener in Standish (only one to my knowledge anyway).
I get a panel cleared and make up some of the path further up, clear out the bramble twigs and move the debris from the week before. The amount of rubbish buried under all those brambles is amazing, stuff going back years, tin cans that have turned to rust and plastic crisp bags thatâ€™ve lost almost all of their print â€“ people (including me once) really donâ€™t appreciate the impact rubbish has on the environment, it takes an age to disappear.
Anyway with one panel cleared I start to pick up the rubbish, clearing for next week. Raking first to loosen any broken glass that may be lurking, then I unearth a hypodermic needle, the full job!!! To say I was saddened was an understatement, I know these things go on and who knows how long itâ€™s been there, but just chucked like that!!! Sad, really sad. Who knows how many more Iâ€™ll find? The rubbish was once some kind of strange adventure, what will I find next, something of value maybe, but (and ok I may be naÃ¯ve) finding a needle puts a bit of a different slant on safety from here on in.
So lots and lots of raking first before picking litter will be the order of the day from here on in. Itâ€™s strange that although the brambles must have been a hiding place for all manner of wildlife, they have actually been a collection point for so much litter. The area thatâ€™s been cleared hasnâ€™t got any litter around at all, I suppose it hasnâ€™t got anything stopping it, if itâ€™s blowing through and maybe even the most careless drug taker wouldnâ€™t just lash a needle on open ground. But who knows?
Anyhow, the project has had a bit of publicity, an article in the local magazine (thanks to the guys at Standish Life magazine), letâ€™s see if the publicity draws any other volunteers out of the woodwork. Iâ€™m quite surprised that I havenâ€™t had any help from neighbours who know what Iâ€™m up to, not even half an hour. A very odd day really.
Total distance cleared to date approx 26 meters â€“ which only leaves (from the stretch I want to cover â€“ approx 266 meters. Looks like Iâ€™ve at least 12 months or so left to do before I get to the end of the track. Which means by next summer, we could all enjoy a nice walk along a path of wild flowers, and in winter be able to get to the village without being knee deep in mud.