Tuesdays in February = gorse bashing and burning for the Whin Sill Geology and Grasslands Project and six volunteers gathered yesterday in lifting cloud to begin the mammoth task of gorse removal on Kippy Heugh, near Budle Bay.
With loppers, bow saws and Michael's strange carving knife tool, we've made two dints on the swathe of gorse that encircles the highest outcrop of whin on Kippy Heugh.
Six or seven years ago, Kippy Heugh was one of the Northumberland Wildlife Trust and partners' six case study sites into the management of this delicate and relatively rare habitat across Northumberland. Part of the case study was to clear gorse from the heugh, to fence it off and introduce a new grazing regime. For the large part, this work was successful but the gorse is still a problem on the site hence the intervention by Peregrini volunteers.
Read here for more about the Whin Sill Geology and Grasslands Project.
Over the next three Tuesdays (14th, 21st and 28th) between 10am and 3pm, we'll be onsite clearing back the gorse - have a look at the pics for a flavour of this activity and note the spectacular views from Kippy Heugh. The gorse stumps will be treated with a herbicide to ensure this exercise is not just pruning (!) and will be followed up by plant and wildlife surveys in the spring and early summer months.
If you'd like to come and help out please do get in touch with Sarah as soon as possible. Thank you!