New route for walkers

After a series of incidents involving four wheel drive vehicles entering the old wood and causing problems we blocked off the southern part of the woods with tree trunks.
However the move proved unpopular with walkers who accessed the wood that way. We have now cut a way through the tree trunks so that walkers can once again access the wood from that direction.

Path reinstated

Rare teasel appears on Breadwalk

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Rare teasel spotted on the Breadwalk

Small Teasel (Dipsacus pilosus) is not a common species in Shropshire but it has appeared on The BreadWalk. It differs from the more frequently seen Teasel (D. fullonum) by its having smaller and spherical flowering heads compared to the conical heads of Teasel. The latter is often found around Ludlow on waste ground and churchyards etc. whereas, Small Teasel has been spotted in Ludlow Castle last year. Now we have it growing nicely along the Breadwalk. It is biennial and likes damp shady conditions, si its present site on Whitcliffe is ideal and the plants can be admired by passing walkers.

Senseless vandalism of theft?

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Senseless vandalism or just plain theft? Whichever it is, it has been condemned by the voluntary group which cares for the Ludlow beauty spot of Whitcliffe Common.
Both have happened at the common in the past couple of weeks, actions which have angered the Friends of Whitcliffe Common.
Vandalism or theft have seen four slabs ripped up and taken from the popular picnic table area at Dinham. “It has happened in two separate incidents,” said chairman Daphne Jones. “It has seen two slabs taken each time so it is either someone intent on vandalism or on stealing slabs for themselves.
“Whichever it is we are very angry. We are only a very small charity which cares for the common. Like everyone else in this Coronavirus crisis our fund raising has come to a complete halt. And we rely on that fund raising to help us keep the common in top condition and safe for the public to use.
“It is very sad at any time but particularly now when the common has become an even more popular place for people to go for fresh air and exercise.”
Mrs Jones added that further vandalism had been done to “No Cycling” signs and posts on which they had been erected. “Cycling is not allowed on the common as it is dangerous to people who enjoy walking there.
“We can only appeal to members of the public who walk on Whitcliffe to be vigilant and report any unsocial behaviour to me.”
Her telephone number is 01584 874773.

Another year on Whitcliffe

Friends of Whitcliffe Common. End of year 2019/20 Report.

We work with Shropshire Wildlife Trust to keep Whitcliffe a safe and enjoyable environment for the public., while remembering it is a wildlife reserve.
This is of the utmost importance, being such a popular public place.
Now, in Covid19 lockdown, it is extremely popular for outdoor walking.

Money spent must be raised and this year, at present, our fundraising activities taken away!

During the past year approx. £12,000 has been spent (see year end accounts for details) while keeping £35.000 ring fenced for any emergency. This in agreement with Accountants, Whittingham Riddell and Charity Commission.

A large amount of this spent in 2 ways.
1. The wet and windy Winter weather brought down and split off too many branches over paths needing to be removed for safety reasons. A huge tree came down across the popular Breadwalk and into the river requiring the walk to be closed for a few days. The removal of this one tree needed 2 day’s work by a tree surgeon and workers.

2. The invasive major quick growing Himalayan Balsam weed which needed to be dealt with by professionals.

This year we have planted 20 trees on Whitcliffe – a mix of oak and hornbeam.

Volunteers have given 253 hours working on the Common.
Added to this, our Whitcliffe Ranger visits the Common twice a day.

Outside the general tidying of seats and paths, mending of seats and fences etc, the following is a continual problem — fly tipping in the car park ( this year including asbestos) and cyclists.
“No Cycling,” notices have now been installed on new strong posts BUT, already one of these broken off and retrieved from down the bank at the end of the Mortimer Trail path. Lockdown has, at present, prevented renewal and many cyclists are seen ignoring the request.
A new picnic table has been placed at Dinham. The old one taken by our Ludlow Town Council Representative, Graeme Perks, for use on other projects in town.

Our volunteer workers, generally, can be seen out working twice a month but more often when necessary.

We are always pleased to work with others.

Through the year we have co-operated with Severn Rivers Trust for the completion of the Mill St Weir fish pass.
Chair of Trustees met with Ludlow in Bloom judges and spoke with them about the fish pass and the Whitcliffe wildflower project.
Worked with Cllr. Andy Boddington for placement of a homeless person living on Whitcliffe.
Erected a soldier by the 1914/18 memorial seat, for short periods of time, around any celebration.
Worked with a keen student, as part of his studies, from Hereford College.
Supported the Wildlife Watch family group, gathering monthly on Whitcliffe at the Dinham picnic area.

We are grateful for the co-operation of others.

Graeme Perks has agreeably worked with us on a number of projects – a helpful asset for F.o.W.C.
Proff. Michael Rosenbaum gave us direction for the clearing of the rock faces, requested by the Geological Society.
Morris Bufton & Co, are extremely helpful keeping our machinery in good order, thanks go to them. Thanks also to Fishmore Hall Hotel and The Cliff Hotel for hosting our fundraising lunches and coffee mornings and the large number of local shops and people who supply us with goods for prizes.

Big thanks go to those who have become a “Friend.” Their annual donation, of no more than £15, is invaluable.

Daphne Jones —- Chair of Trustees.

Breadwalk reopens

5B17D42E-2335-46D1-8C65-DD85B91786FE 8FBBA1FD-DB39-483F-B3E2-ED847C21F28C AB7507E3-A6B8-41FE-A79A-5BF8ECC30994 B561C98A-4989-4D06-988D-B07E3DE248F1 10DFA9C0-A594-4799-BF51-2484CC6DF179 7AA05127-2230-45B0-8CFA-D5F116F15610The BreadWalk reopened today, five days after a 70 foot sycamore, it’s roots loosened by heavy rain, crashed down from the cliff above.
the work was carried out by tree surgeon Alan Jones and his crew who have removed most of the wood. The root ball, which is now stable, will remain on the cliff face for the time being.

View accidentally restored

1C53E8CD-CFE7-41C6-BB08-33BBE4A78ECBThree trees down and two paths blocked so the volunteers were in action to clear up, and when they did so they found a view down to the River Teme, unseen for many years, had been restored.

DCDB8954-5460-470A-8E44-7EBC4F1BEC13The casualties were a hornbeam and an oak, both uprooted by the heavy rain. We also took the opportunity to clear some paths of leaves.

A further casualty has left the BreadWalk temporarily closed. It’s too big and too precarious for the volunteers to tackle so awaits the attention of the professionals.

several walkers are still scrambling under and over this tree, despite signs saying the path is closed. Please be aware this tree weighs many tonnes and, if it shifts as you scramble under it, we are not responsible for the consequences.

Wider view

1F0E42F9-75FE-4EAC-B597-73D8D614E844 1E17B55D-7F3D-47FA-B83B-BB2E4E25093AThe Friends of Whitcliffe work team have been hard at work removing scrub and overgrown branches alongside the main road above Ledford lay-by in order to improve the sight lines for vehicles leaving the lay-by.

Seat renovated

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A wooden seat on Ludlow’s Whitcliffe Common, installed in memory of a long-time supporter, has been renovated.
The seat looks northward from its site above the old quarry and was erected some years ago in memory of the late Ray Sykes.
Mr Sykes, a Ludlow accountant, was a long time supporter of the Friends of Whitcliffe Common, the volunteer group which cares for the common in association with its leaseholders Shropshire Wildlife Trust.
He began his connection when the group was the former Whitcliffe Commoners Association. He audited its books free of charge from then until his retirement over 20 years later.
Mr Sykes was also instrumental in helping the group meet the cost of two major projects through his role as controller of a trust set up to aid local causes.
The first was a donation towards the cost of the work needed to restore the damage done by the storms of 2007.
The second was a larger donation which enabled the then now FOWC to complete the £70,000 revetment of the riverbank which was threatening to undercut the famous Breadwalk.
When he died the charity decided to install the seat as a memorial to him. Over the years it had deteriorated and the decision was made recently to renovate it.
This has now been done with the assistance of Graeme Perks, the town council’s representative on the FOWC Trustees, who is a skilled woodworker.
“I had an old railway sleeper in my garage which belonged to my son Harry. He had obtained it for something but it never got used. It has proved perfect for renovating Ray’s seat,” said Graeme.
Chair Daphne Jones said, “We are very grateful to Graeme for doing this work. Ray was a much-respected supporter of our group. We are delighted that it will continue to remind walkers on Whitcliffe of the debt the common owes to people like Ray.”

PHOTO: The photograph shows the memorial seat being replaced. On the left is FOWC vice chairman Harvey Griffiths and on the right volunteer group co-ordinator Rick Summers. In the centre Graeme Perks, who carried out the renovation work, shows the damage time had done to part of the original seat.