Work on Bamburgh Castle reaping rewards for the environment

Ivy clearance from the ramparts of Bamburgh Castle is reaping environmental rewards.

Sunday, 5th January 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 9:52 am
Coast Care volunteers at Bamburgh Castle.

Volunteers with Coast Care, the lottery-funded project helping to manage and conserve the north Northumberland coastline, have been carrying out regular work at the fortress since last winter.

And they got their own reward in December after being invited for a VIP tour of the castle with Rob Turner as thanks for their efforts.

The project started in January 2019 when the Young Rangers group began removing ivy at low levels.

Ivy clearance work at Bamburgh Castle. Picture: Coast Care

This was followed by several volunteer group task days up to the end of March and the beginning of the bird nesting season.

The focus then shifted to removing invasive plant species within the dunes to preserve and encourage natural dune plant species to flourish.

A survey carried out in August found 24 plant species on the ramparts that previously were not present.

The volunteers also improved access across the dunes by making pathways more stable and they even built a new stile which included a safe passage for dogs too.

Ivy at Bamburgh Castle before clearance work started.

Work resumed back in late September to continue with the ivy removal with eight volunteer group sessions.

In total, 24 volunteers amassing 362 hours have been engaged in conservation efforts across Bamburgh Estates, which has also included corporate work groups.

Kristian Purchase, Coast Care project assistant (training and conservation), said: "I am so proud of what the volunteers have achieved at this site.

“It started in January with the Young Rangers and they set a brilliant standard that the adult volunteers in Coast Care have continued and built upon.

“From the ivy clearance to the work in the dunes removing invasive species and managing scrub encroachment, at the end of every session they've left the site in a better state for nature than at the start of the day.

“I know the regular volunteers are chomping at the bit to return in the new year, and hopefully we'll be joined by some new faces keen to make a difference too!"

They will be holding group activities at Bamburgh Castle to continue removing the ivy every Thursday in January and February 10am-2pm (except the week of school half term).