Issued by Duncan Smart, Holmer & Shelwick Footpath Officer, 7th March 2021
25th February a quick check on footpath HO8 from Attwood Lane to the Roman Road – still had a stream running down it. Other paths, especially at pinch points such as stiles and gateways together with fields that had been ploughed and re-sown were extremely muddy. HO8A footpath mud between Attwood Lane and the Furlongs is not helped by horses still being taken through on this footpath.
28th February 5.3 mile circuit walked from Holmer to include Pipe & Lyde, Elton’s Marsh, Hereford Point and Ayles Brook. Only about half of that within Holmer & Shelwick parish including path HO4 from Highfield House and HO1 from north of Hereford Point – using the HO1 temporary route through The Point to the Roman Road.
6th March 10.5 mile circuit from home to Shelwick via paths HO8A, HO6 and HO13. Then to Shelwick Green and paths HO16 and HO17 to the River Lugg, over the Lugg Bridge and up bridleway HO18, continuing to Sutton St Nicholas on ST15 and then using Sutton, Marden and Pipe & Lyde paths to visit Sutton Walls hillfort, returning to our parish via Lyde Cross and then down path HO4 to Highfield House.
Most of the fields had dried out well with mud and water limited to certain stiles, gates and tractor tracks.
The parish has now acquired a Stihl HSA86 battery powered hedge cutter. This, together with the strimmer will make path vegetation clearing much quicker. The cutter was very kindly delivered to me by Parish Councillor Andy Coultas.
Timing for testing it out may not good for me at present because hedge cutting restrictions apply between March and August to protect nesting birds under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981. However, so long as I do not put birds at risk I should be fine – especially as the new cutter is very quiet compared to a petrol one.