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Local and Topical

Published on April 14th, 2014 | by The Town Crier


Update from the Commons

Finally, and much to everyone’s relief, the weather seems to have relented and we appear to be in for an early Spring. In the end, it has been very much a race against time to get all our clearance work done before the birds started nesting and we just scraped in under the wire. Except for a final bit of storm clearance, we managed to complete all our tree cutting by the end of February; although the clearance of the timber, including the big fallen Beech in the Royal Victoria Grove had to wait a bit longer to allow the ground to dry.

It was a busy work period; as well as the two new clearances on Tunbridge Wells Common, we opened up two new paths on Rusthall Common and carried out a major clearance along the edge of Rusthall Road to clear scrub and Ivy covered Hawthorns and pollard or fell a number of potentially dangerous larger trees. Also on Rusthall Common, we have done a great deal of work clearing the drainage ditches to alleviate flooding issues, have cleared out bramble and invading scrub from Bulls Hollow, and with the aid of the Volunteers, have cleared Ivy to re-expose the Loaf Rock at Denny Bottom and widened a path in the same area to let  light in and the grass to grow to make it less muddy in future. There has of course also been a lot of storm damage to clear across both Commons, with a number of paths blocked by fallen trees and with broken branches suspended precariously above others. In line with current trends, we have even had a couple of sink holes to contend with, although admittedly very small ones.

Now the Winter work schedule is complete, we  have to make a start on grass cutting; this usually gets underway towards the end of March. Obviously, this is the only cutting or clearance that takes place at this time of year but as soon as my new budget is available I hope to start overhauling the drainage system on Tunbridge Wells Common. I will be watching with interest over the next couple of months to see what starts to appear on our new wildflower areas in the grass below Church Rd. Something is definitely starting to appear in the two new beds we cut into the triangles of grass outside the Old Post Office at the junction of London Road and Vale Road. At the time of writing they are so small that they could be anything but I hope it is the Poppy seed that we sowed there to help commemorate the anniversary of the First World War this year. 

Steve Budden- Commons Warden



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