Verge restoration work
Last Modified: Wednesday, 8th May 2019
FORESTRY COMMISSION RPORT ON VERGE WORK FOR EAST BOLDRE
The verge restoration works around East Boldre are now complete. The new bank work along the Main Road has been one of our more complex projects for a number of reasons but primarily due to the close proximity of utilities. The various utility companies were unable to advise us precisely on the location of their facilities, so great care needed to be taken when conducting the work to avoid damage to these and any unnecessary interruption in service for local residents. We found many of the utilities to be buried in the ground at very shallow depth, many being less than 30cms below the surface. This meant we were unable to dig a new ditch and bank and have instead created a single bank closer to the road.
When restoring the verges we always take special account of the New Forest’s status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This means we are unable to import any additional soil due to bio-security. To take account of this we have taken great care to lift the turf off the old bank and used the existing soil to help make a new bank closer to the road and to use the soil to help with the reinstatement. As the old bank did not contain a lot of soil this has meant that some of the banks are relatively shallow. We recognise, because of the processes we have to follow, that when the works are first done they can look a little harsh. However, our experience of other projects shows us that they will quickly recover and that the benefits to the New Forest habitat of restoring these areas are considerable.
Works on the laybys by the shop and garage are progressing well. The shop layby is still the same depth but has been remodelled. We have dug down as far as was feasibly possible and re profiled the surface, laid hoggin and compacted it with a roller. The only bit that has been removed is the narrower eroded area which has gradually grown over the years. All of the new laybys have been re profiled to help with surface water. There is still some work to be done to finish this area off as there is still a bit of bank to be lifted and some reinstatement work. If the shop/bus stop layby is used as intended i.e. no permanent or overnight parking, visitors to the shop/bus stop will be encouraged to use the facility provided and have space to park.
The garage lay by has also been levelled. I have worked closely with the garage to ensure that there is sufficient space. We have installed signage for both the garage and in front of the shop. There is still some reinstatement to be done where the trailer and old barrier was located which will be done in due course,
We have made good progress in installing some of the dragons teeth around the village but have a little more work to do to complete this.
We absolutely understand the need to assess and monitor the effectiveness of this work, and we will continue to monitor the outcomes and gather feedback from all parties. I am intending to continue to visit the site to engage with people about why these measures have been taken.
Although I have had some adverse comments for removing what some residents perceive as their personal parking, on the whole most appreciate how in the long-term it will help protect the New Forest’s precious habitats. I would like to thank the Parish Council for their support and help in this project.