Site Visit with WDC

21 Sept 2017 – Members from WDC and Friends of Abbey Fields walked down to the gate to see how the travellers had removed it to gain access – minimal damage, but they had removed it from its pintles. When we arrived, there were some 6 caravans parked on the grass adjacent to the tennis courts. We were advised that there had been some discussion regarding the gate (at Thickthorn), and by the time we completed the journey around Abbey Fields the travellers had departed, leaving only a small amount of litter.

The trip through Abbey Fields was interesting, seeing it from the perspective of the maintenance activities. Jon and his team appeared to notice every little item that was awry, noting those which needed attention and their urgency. These included (but not limited to) a missing section of chain and some improperly attached chain near St Nicholas Church, ‘wear protection’ areas in front of benches, the way in which mowing/bramble clearance had been completed, the state of the water inflow culvert into the lake, windblown branches on the meadow, places where heavy vehicles had compacted/rutted the ground. The WDC representative explained all the issues and how they should be rectified.

And at the same time, he was explaining why dead trees were left standing with their suits of ivy that helped to provide ecological habitats but which were checked regularly to ensure that they were not in any danger of falling. I think I learned more about Abbey Fields and its habitats today than I have done in the whole of the time I have been living in Kenilworth.

I should also add that I have seen more bat and bird boxes than ever before, and we even saw a little Owl at the entrance of one of them.

All in all I felt it to be a useful meeting identifying maintenance work that needs to be completed and an excellent lesson for me regarding many of the interesting features of Abbey Fields.

– David Emsley

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