Where did did the year go? So much done and yet always more to do as the cycle of seasons inexorably comes round full circle. Very soon another year will begin and the on-going winter management tasks will continue with hedge laying, pollarding and fencing repairs. There is also the prospect of new projects.
Looking back to early summer consideration was given to taking action to secure the access to Friars Meadow. Quite possibly the reason for this has already been forgotten as, at the time, the matter received no publicity. Friars Meadow, however, was the first camp for a group of travellers who subsequently became well known as they moved around a number of sites in the locality throughout the summer and autumn.
During their time on Friars Meadow there were objections from disgruntled people concerned at the presence of the travellers. When the court order requiring them to vacate the site was obtained it merely stipulated that they should not return within a period of three months! Therefore a satisfactory deterrent to prevent future incursions was a necessity. An effective deterrent also means that the Sudbury Common Lands Charity which manages the meadow as well as much of the Cornard riverside has no suitable vehicular access via Bullock’s Lane.
Although a minority of users are clearly concerned about the slight increase in tractor and Land Rover movements along the Valley trail the choice is clear and the charity rangers only use the trail for access when necessary. It is to be hoped that the concrete blocks at Bullock’s Lane means that last summer’s third visit by travellers to Friars Meadow in recent years will be the last and everyone else can continue to enjoy this amenity unhindered. The heavy blocks can be moved aside for special events such as the annual regatta.
It is appropriate at this time of year to publicly thank those Volunteer Rangers who have been out and about during the year in their distinctive uniform tops keeping an eye on cattle welfare and acting as points of contact for visitors to the beautiful riverside. Thanks are certainly owed to the Riverside Project Team members who have carried out an enormous amount of voluntary work on a number of Tuesdays throughout the year. Without them the charity staff could not possibly ensure that the management programme remains on target. Most of the team members are fit retired people who enjoy getting stuck in to practical tasks. Thanks also to the small but growing band of supporters who appreciate what the charity is trying to achieve on the riverside.