Cutting and growth.

29th July 2014

The different months bring different experiences on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail.  June is typified by a wildflower display and warm conditions that promote vigorous growth of the plants along the sides of the Coast Path.  By July plants have attained their full height and most have set seed.  A bout of heavy rain will weigh down the plants and often bend and break them across the path – previously cleared paths can become choked again, particularly sunken lanes.
In late June and early July all the paths that are not on very thin soils need cutting simultaneously and it takes time to get round all of them.  For this reason parts of the Coast Path will become difficult for a while at this time of year.  By August (mid-August in a bad year) the National Park Warden Teams will have won this battle and growth stops being a major problem.
We have five teams of two Wardens who spend most of their time on maintaining the Coast Path, access paths, car parks and sites, aided by another four teams who focus on the more inland areas.
When the path is overgrown the experience can vary markedly depending on how wet it is and whether walkers have the correct equipment.  Moisture weighs down plants and bends them across the path.  The morning after rain / heavy dew or during rain can lead to one being soaked very quickly.  If one just has shorts and a raincoat, the water runs down one’s legs and soon fills one’s boots!  To be able to walk for hours in these conditions comfortably walkers should wear good quality waterproof over trousers and cagoule; if walking for more than a few hours, gaiters (that further seal the top of ones boots) can make a huge difference to comfort.  In prolonged rain the paths can become quite slippery – walking poles (sticks) can be a great help to ones feeling of stability.
Anywhere on the length of the Coast Path can become critically overgrown quite suddenly, although the NPA staff know the path very well they do not necessarily know of new issues that have recently occurred.  Walkers can help us by letting us know of problem areas straight away: Tel:+44 (0) 845 345 7275 Davemac@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk

29th July 2014
 

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