Why didn’t we think of this?

Cowscafe-2All those years moving the cattle around Box Hill, spending hours putting up temporary fences, searching for them every day in the middle of nowhere – and the answer was obvious.  Grazing the belties by the servery gives them lots of nice grass, makes them easy to find, and helps deter the cyclists.  Not only that, but when the cafe runs short of food….

Didn’t we have a lovely day…

… the day we went to Birling Gap.

Swimming in the sea, picnic on the beach, walks on the cliffs, and not a pair of loppers in sight!  What more could we wish on a day’s volunteering.  Thanks to Jess for organising a super day out for a large group of Box Hill and Headley volunteers.  This will set the standard for future volunteering days out.

Birling

Volunteers visit the past !

P1000758 (800x600)A group of Box Hill and Headley volunteers recently visited the Mesolithic pit dwelling in Abinger Common. The dwelling is on private land and the owner, Mrs Cherry Clarke, gave us the fascinating facts about it. A former owner was intrigued by finding a number of flint artifacts on the land. He approached a museum to determine their provenance and this led to the the pit being excavated by the renowned archaeologist Sir Louis Leakey in 1950. It is considered to be anywhere between 6000 and 10,000 years old, making it one of the oldest remains of a human dwelling in Northern Europe. We were able to see the pit itself plus a number of flint tools. Mrs Clarke also showed us a Norman motte (a comparatively modern structure dating back a mere 900-odd years), also situated nearby.

The afternoon was rounded off by tea and cakes in the garden of Brian and Rachel Morgan at their not-quite-mesolithic house in the village!P1000760 (800x600) light

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Baaa Baaa Black Sheep

The sad day came a few weeks ago when our beloved Sheep baa’d their farewells and set off with their suitcases to Brockham. Since I arrived here in October the sheep and I have become pretty good friends. We saw each other every day and we would have the odd falling out when they liked to escape or when they’d get so excited about food that they’d jump on me, push me over and cause all the cyclists on the Zig Zag to cry with laughter! But we loved each other deep down. Now they’re gone there is a massive void in my work day. I may even go as far as saying I miss the phone calls and txts from David telling me the sheep are out! These sheep have worked so hard over the years and been an important part of the conservation work on Box Hill. It’s very odd to drive up the Zig Zag and not see their woolly heads pop up when they hear the vehicle. They’re off on retirement now and I’m sure they are loving it. Baa-baa-black-sheep!

Sheep-1

Ps. Anyone interested in donning a black woolly fleece and munching some grass on the Zig Zag, just let me know!

Jess

 

Benjy’s Poses competition

As ranger for Box Hill I have many duties, one of which is to keep our wonderful volunteer group entertained. So it is my pleasure to officially launch the “Benjy’s Poses” competition.

Try to capture an amusing picture of me while I lead a conservation task and if it’s not too blurry (not a mean feat to achieve as I always tend to be on the move) send it to Martyn who will decide on a winner by the end of the year. There’s a whole lot of fame to be gained by winning this competition on top of an extra cup of tea and a biscuit.

So take your cameras to our Wednesday work groups as you might get lucky…

Ranger David

PS Check out the Gallery page for some ideas to start you off snapping.