End of Season Progress Report for Stinchcombe Hill Conservation Group 2008 - 2009

The large hillside cutting and raking planned for March/April by the County Rural team failed due to tractor breakdown; and this loss is marked in heavy growth along the Hollow Combe to Lanterns and both hillsides at Drakestone. I also miss the use of their superb powerful Skag hand machine in parallel. At least we were able to employ the large Cotswold Vale manual team for two full days in March at the Cam Spur S.S.S.I. above Kingshill: total expenses £120, and the Cotswold Wardens completed excellent scrub clearance with us on the Stancombe hillside around The Point in early April. Finally the Golf Club helped with a tractor cut to The Village Green summit.

The generally moist early summer has promoted strong growth; well seen at the Hollow Combe throat area which we cleared last Winter and now is difficult to pass through. To help walkers, particularly in wet weather, I have strimmed most of the old Cotswold Way paths so popular with parishioners and continued to date with clearance of the listed archaeological site in hope that further survey work may be encouraged. During these mornings many walkers found the Site of interest and paused to enjoy the views from the Green. This has just been very well cut again by the Golf Club tractor with Matt Ayres taking the cut as far as possible over the shoulder paths.

We hope the County machine will be available soon and can expect costs in the region of £500 per day; which is the reason for care to conserve reserves despite loss of the previous SDC annual £500 grant.

With such large changes to the locality which has at least confirmed the value of The Hill to many parishioners, probably now is the time to re-launch the conservation effort in ways to appeal and gain their practical support.

To end I wish to again thank all those who have worked so hard over the years and have seen the regained open views merit the complete Cotswold Trail circuit bold on the maps!