Bosahan Woods Path Restoration Work

Chris Hussey

(Reproduced from Constant Times Volume 8, Issue 5; authored by Liz Pearce)

When Bosahan Woods was given to the charity, Constantine Enterprise Company, one of the conditions of the gift, was the restoration of the main paths through the woods, which was last done in 1988 by the Manpower Services Commission. Last October we worked on the top path with volunteers giving over 600 hours of their time, trying to make the path as accessible as possible to everyone. This October we wanted to complete the path from the quarry to the Bridge. After much planning and organisation we started work on Wednesday 9th October, which was made very difficult by the persistent rain, day after day, I have never been so bedraggled in my life. The first two days we could not erect the tent for refreshments as it was too windy. Muriel our benefactor and Martin Day turned a transit van into a mobile canteen serving hot drinks and food. On the Saturday we managed to get a tent up and this became the centre for breaks and lunches. We have to say a huge thank you to all those who provided cakes, sandwiches, sausage rolls, snacks, fruit and Muriel for the hot drinks and pasties, supplied at discount by The Spar Shop, so thank you Kevin. We managed to speak to almost everyone who used the paths, over the 7 day period, as we were on site from 7.30 am: hikers, runners, walkers, dog walkers, horse riders and families, which amounted to hundreds of people. Almost all were very pleased with the restoration work. One lady actually said “I can now walk beside my friend and we can have a conversation, instead of carefully picking our way through the woods one behind the other, in silence”. Another said “we have such beautiful views of the stream now, instead of looking where our feet are”. We watched two daughters take their elderly mother down the new path, one on either side of her. Her first visit to this part of the woods in 10 years.

We obtained a felling licence for essential work and with the invaluable help of Richard Mann and John Williams, who gave their time and expertise free of charge, Richard even brought his own digger, plus over 400 hours of volunteer time, we almost completed the path.

Path Restoration

Big thank you John and Bridget Olds and family for their continued support allowing us to use the quarry as a base of operations, also to Alan, Adrian, Chris, Lucy, Janet, Bridget, Phoebe, Lee, Muriel, Elfie, Stuart, Stewart, Mark, Steve, Nick, Robin, Carol, Jenny, Stephan, Michelle, Shirley, Emily, Martin, Kevin, Luci, Becci, Angela, Jane, Paula, Jenny S., Steve S., Leo, Elsie and Jem. Although it was hard work, we all enjoyed working together, if you feel you would like to join our band of helpers, please let me know, we will probably have to finish the job by hand, due to the nature of the remaining bit of path – perhaps in the spring of next year, when it is drier. The next big area of work will be in the long term management of the woods/trees, and we will be looking to secure expert advice, putting together a 20 year plan. There are many things to consider: e.g. the type of wood, the range of tree species, the saplings, the many Sycamore seedlings, the standing and felled dead wood, the canopy with regard to the bluebells, Ash die back (which has reached Penryn), to thin or not to thin, to plant more trees or not, the eco system, the carbon footprint, the sustainability etc, etc.