Storm bombshell for town's Great War tribute

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: WESTERN FRONT: The working party on Allington Hill prepare land for the First World War eco project       Picture: GRAHAM HUNT HG11693 WESTERN FRONT: The working party on Allington Hill prepare land for the First World War eco project Picture: GRAHAM HUNT HG11693

VOLUNTEERS are urgently wanted to help a Bridport beauty spot restoration project to provide a living, green commemoration of the outbreak of the First World War.

Local people who lost a relative in the conflict are being invited to come and plant a tree on Allington Hill in their memory.

The scheme was started early last autumn to restore the original hedgeline along the top of Cooper’s Field.

But the weeks of storms have taken their toll on the project’s progress.

Cathy Harvey, co-ordinator of the Allington Hill volunteer group, says time is running out to complete the first stage of the work.

“It has been hard going with so many storms and valuable time taken up clearing up after them,” said Mrs Harvey.

“The weather has really hampered us. To try and complete the first stage of the project we are now holding working parties every Sunday and Monday from 10am, weather permitting until mid-March. We have to complete this before the nesting season.

“We started a project early autumn to restore the original hedge line along the top of Cooper’s Field. When this was farm land there was a hedge mostly of hazel with mature trees spaced out along its length.

“Now the land is leased by Allington Parish Council it has given the volunteer group the opportunity to restore this area. It will take several years for it to return to its former glory but we have nearly completed the clearance work to allow us to start stage two.”

Mrs Harvey said that using dead material they will install a ‘dead hedge’ weaving through Cooper’s Wood, which she says will be ‘a fantastic habitat for nature’.

The rest of the material will be used to help shore up the bank which has slipped over recent years.

“Many trees have outgrown the space and have become top-heavy, falling forward and bringing the bank with them,” said Mrs Harvey.

“Nothing will go to waste, when the weather is better the rest will be turned into wood chippings to make safe the original path along the hedge line.

“In the autumn new trees and hedging will be planted in commemoration of those who died in WW1. We would like to hear from anyone in the Bridport area that lost an ancestor in the war and would like to plant a tree in this area.

“We have also uncovered an ancient wall that we wish to restore.

“We would like to think that it will be just as it was 100 years ago, once we completed the project.”

To get involved in the project in any way contact allingtonhill @gmail.com

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