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Friends of Grosvenor & Hilbert Park

Grosvenor & Hilbert Park News

Here are the posts for July 2015
Meet The New Community Engagement Officer
Date Published: Fri 31st Jul 2015

SteffFollowing Cally's return to the Kent High Weald Project to concentrate on tasks such as rebuilding the boardwalk in Hilbert Woods we are pleased to welcome Steff who has just taken on the role. We'll let her introduce herself.

As the new CEO of Grosvenor and Hilbert Park I would like to say a big warm hello to everyone who reads this newsletter! It is with great pleasure that I take up the position of HLF Community Engagement Officer, and I certainly have big boots to fill.

My name is Stephanie D'Agorne (Steff) and I am an outdoorsy enthusiastic person. In my spare time I enjoy doing a wide variety of activities, from testing out the local pubs in Hastings where I live, to climbing the rock faces at High Rocks, to sitting in a lovely quiet room sewing. I grew up on the South coast of Devon, and ended up at university in Sussex.

I won’t bore you all with my long list of previous jobs, but I will just touch on the most recent one in Vancouver, Canada. I worked as a restoration technician for a year, improving the river edges, the highlights of which were watching beavers swimming in tranquil streams, as well as counting spawning salmon making their way up river.

I have been working in conservation since I graduated over four years ago, but have never had the opportunity to get my teeth into a project, as I have been given here. I am very excited about getting to know everyone in and around the Park and I hope to encourage many more people to get involved!

I will be getting the regular Thursday conservation volunteer team back up, and hopefully engage a few more volunteers to join in. Please email me if you are interested in joining this team or to find out more at steff.dagorne@tunbridgewells.gov.uk

Hopefully you will get to meet me out and about in the Park soon, and if you do, please feel free to come up and say hello, I promise I won't bite!

Horsing Around
Author: Chris & Mary Hughes, Date Published: Sat 11th Jul 2015

On Saturday 11th July the Working Horse Trust brought four of their heavy horses to the Park for the day. They were here to move four large pieces of timber into the recently planted Community Orchard to create seating. Drew, the grey Shire, and Monty, the roan Ardennes, came along for people to meet and pet them!

Families got up close to the horses, with Working Horse Trust members on hand to explain about the horses, the work of the Trust and to answer any questions. The Trust used their Ardennes heavy horse Hamish to move the wood, each journey accompanied by a troop of followers. We admired the skill and patience of the volunteers as they worked with the horses. Each of the 4 large logs was first moved onto a trailer, with Hamish providing the power to roll the timber up the ramp. He made easy work of pulling the trailer up the slope into the orchard. It was a glimpse into the non-mechanised past, when things happened at a more considered pace. Once all 4 logs were in the orchard, Ellie-May made some final position adjustments.

The Working Horse Trust is a locally based charity, run mainly by volunteers to preserve and promote traditional breeds of heavy working horses. Heavy horses are endangered, and breeding, along with training horses and handlers, is an important aspect of their work. This event is one of many in which the Trust shows, works and promotes heavy horses in south-east England (www.theworkinghorsetrust.org/events).

Also on hand were Kent High Weald Partnership with woodland activities, while the Rendevous Restaurant offered a BBQ for any who were hungry. FoGH had an information stand and sold locally grown cherries and apple juice from Pippins Farm in Pembury. All donations received on the day were given to the Working Horse Trust to support their work.The event was organised byFoGH, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It would have been easy to put in off the shelf seating, but we wanted to use wood felled in the Park. As the area where the orchard is sited used to be farmland, it was appropriate to use heavy horses to move the timber, as it would have happened in the past. It was a great day, thoroughly enjoyed by the hundreds who came along.

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