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The opportunity is now being taken to tidy up the banks and embankments. Using a combination of strimmers and hand tools, vegetation that has grown up during the past two years is being cut back and burnt. This kind of work is particularly suitable for anyone who is steady on their feet and doesn't mind working in the (sometimes very) fresh air.
Work commenced near the cattle creep near Hazelden Farm and will continue north towards Imberhorne tip. If we complete that before the weather improves then a start will be made working south from Hazelden. The picture was taken looking north towards the tip before work started.
Just a short note regarding the previous news "First pass clearing
Foster's Tip". This has been interpreted by some of the national
railway press as indicating that we are half way through clearing
Imberhorne tip. Unfortunately these are two entirely separate tips, and
Imberhorne tip will be a much bigger undertaking!
The photograph shows that we are beginning to see something approaching the
original width of trackbed.
Work is also now being undertaken by contractors on the refurbishment of
Hill Place viaduct on the outskirts of East Grinstead. This photo by Jon
Bowers shows progress in clearing the vegetation which was damaging the brickwork, and repairs to the parapet, including the relacement of original blue
capping bricks. It must be emphasised
that there is absolutely no access to the Viaduct as it is a working
In recent weeks we have commenced excavating the waste that had been dumped on the trackbed on the land that was purchased from Ash Lea Farm. This will take some time as it comprises a mixture of soil, scrap metal and general farm waste. Hopefully the weather will continue to remain favourable as heavy rain will cause the formation to become soft and deteriorate under the weight of the JCB and dumpers. When it becomes too wet we shall stop this type of work until it is suitable to use the plant again.
The picture on the left was taken on Saturday 24th August and is looking north
between Ash Lea Farm and Mr. Steer's land. The current work can be seen on
the left. Once the first "pass" is complete a second pass will be made to
reinstate the alignment of the original cutting. The current rate of
progress is about ten meters per day so there is still a considerable amount
The good news is that the large majority of callers were very supportive of Bluebell and welcomed its arrival. Several neighbours asked if we could leave a screen of trees which we have accommodated but have left a "corridor" by the base of the viaduct and ensured the clearance is as environmentally friendly as possible. Fencing has been re-instated in accordance with the requirements of the HSE.
We would like to remind everyone that the viaduct is now a construction site and access will not be permissible under any circumstances unless approved and under escort.
Lack of news does not mean that nothing has been happening during the last few months. We have been tidying the trackbed and banks that have already been cleared. We have also installed a drain across the width of the trackbed south of Mr Steer's land to link with the drainage ditch that flows along the boundary of Ash Lea Farm. This has enabled the land purchased from Mr Steer to be scraped down to the original trackbed and the water here now drains along the east side. On 11th May work finally started on the removal of the dam across the width of the trackbed at Keepers. This will take some time but will allow the drainage north of the dam to be improved.
The photographs taken last Saturday (courtesy of Nigel Longdon) show the removal of the dam which formerly retained a large pond on the trackbed at Keepers.
The latest Extension Progress page is here.
Archive 10 (2011).
Archive 9 (2010).
Archive 8 (2009).
Archive 7 (2008).
Archive 6 (2006-7).
Archive 5 (2004-5).
Archive 4 (2003).
Archive 3 (2002).
Archive 2 (April - Dec 2001).
Archive 1 (October 2000 - February 2001).
An eariler report on progress (April 2000) from Extension Director Jim Turtle is in the News Archive.
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