Sunday 25th March was a beautiful day for our workday on NCN Route 52 in Gracedieu woods in Thringstone, Leics. Our work party of 7 consisted of Eric, Shawn, Ben, Kev, myself (Robert), ably assisted by Jack (a new volunteer) and my son Alex. I arrived by car at about 10 15 am with a trailer full of wheelbarrows, spades, shovels and sweeping brushes, some of them had been borrowed from kind neighbours. I quickly set up notices informing the public that work was being done on the path.
As soon as the volunteers arrived we set about trying clear a section of an old railway cutting (originally the Nuneaton to Loughborough line) - about 230 metres need to be cleared of collected debris. This consisted of leaves which had by now composted down, an ideal growing ground for the blackberry bramble (the cyclist’s favourite bush - anyone who has caught one in the crook of their arm riding at speed knows why they are favourite!) In total we managed to clear about 150 metres, removing 100+ barrowloads of assorted debris - brambles, old bits of branches etc. We increased the narrow path back to a comfortable 2 - 3 metre width, finishing at 1.00pm - not a bad morning’s work.
I was pleased at this point to depart to a local hostelry as I was feeling somewhat tired and in need of refreshment; I don't know how those helpers who had cycled to Thringstone summoned up the energy to ride home, as they had already cycled in for about 1.5 hours. Kev - who had been transported by car to the work site and then unloaded his bike and trailer, intended to make the return journey by bike which apparently would take about 3 hours. Thanks very much to you all, a great effort and I am sure that this will be appreciated by all who use this route.
Footnote: several local residents commented on the day that they were pleased to see the clearing work being done, as this is a very popular section of route 52 and well used by both cyclist and walkers.
thanks again to all involved.
Robert ROBINSON Ranger on NCN 52, 6, 15 Coalville to Wilson