Finishing the wall repairs at Mount Folly Farm, Bigbury-On-Sea

By Justin Clifford, DRST Trainee

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Work started early on Monday morning before the sun and its Mediterranean temperates had time to start taking effect on work productivity. Those who have contributed to rebuilding and recommissioning this section of the Mount Folly Farm Wall will appreciate the added value this brings to the Farm its animals, livestock and the many visitors that walk along the permissive path on their way down to Bigbury who comment on this feature. Its completed 51 metre length is very impressive and can now be seen from the very tip of Burgh Island itself.

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Much of the first day’s training was digging out the foundation and bedding in large stones that would act as both ground and below ground level foundation stones, upon which we were to build the Quoin, which I am really pleased and proud of.

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This photograph shows the final aspect of the wall that we finished off as it leads up to and into the Quoin itself. It also depicts how the wall looks with the coping adorned to its top. It has to be said we had to be really creative with the stone we had left for the coping but we just about got there with a final harvest of stone from Farmer Tuckers quarry area.

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The completed Quoin with a great feature top stone to finish it off.

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Countryside Stewardship Scheme

From Di Smurthwaite

Hugh Townsend of the Western Morning News has provided some top tips for Countryside Stewardship applications, as the deadline is now imminent. The main applications have to be in by 31st July, but in the case of Hedgerow RLE1s, the applications have to be in by 6th July. If farmers and landowners intend to include options for management, laying or coppicing hedgerows, they need to check their hedgerow data on the RPA online system, and confirm that the information represents what is taking place on the ground. If corrections need to be made, these must be using a RLE1 form and sketch map submitted to the RPA by 6th July.

Whether applicants choose a Mid Tier application or a Wildlife Offer, they need to take into account HEFER (Historic Environment Farm Environment Record) if they have a scheduled monument on their land, which must be registered to their SBI. This must be included on their application, and the relevant box ticked.

In completing their applications, it is important to consider their previous Basic Payment Scheme applications and how they may impact upon the CSS application. All parcels of land which applicants wish to include in their application for either a Mid Tier or Wildlife Offer must be registered with the RPA, and a completed RLE 1 form and an accompanying map submitted to the RPA prior to their application.

Natural England found last year that some application forms were not completed correctly, and they recommend that applicants seek professional advice when completing their forms, or at least have them double checked before submission.

Extra Stone Walling course coming up!

At short notice and due to popular demand we have arranged a Stone Facing course for July 28th near Buckfastliegh.

Stone facing is the art of using stone to create a solid face along an earth bank. It shares many of the principles of dry stone walling, but uses soil to pack in behind the stone work. Many of Devon’s ancient hedgebanks are faced with stone but stone facing is also popular in gardens to create retaining walls.

For details and to book click here.