This weekend the group waved goodbye to January as storm Malik hit the UK with full force.
The regular starting time of 10:00am saw the group arrive on site keen to continue working on dispersing the topsoil mound, located next to the main gates. Making the site easier to access and maintain is a key aim for our work this year, to really deliver on the aims of our National Lottery Heritage Fund project Hemingfield’s Hidden History.
Previous weeks have seen the mountainous region of the site slowly picked and shovelled away into wheelbarrows to be spread around the car park of the site. Recent weather has settled dirt laid in previous visits, allowing the group to begin grading the car park before being able to lay grass seed.
The usual arsenal of shovels, pickaxe, wheelbarrows and rakes were soon at hand ready for the day’s work to begin. Starting back at the beginning, barrel-loads of dirt were unloaded at the lip of the concrete pad, slowly progressing towards the roofless switchgear building and filling in any depressions visible to the eye.
Soon enough, with mole-hill-like mounds of overburden dotted around the car park, raking could commence, slowly spreading the mounds to create a smooth gradient surface across the entire car park. The next couple of visits will see the group continue to reduce the spoil heap into depressions found around the switchgear building.
Storm Malik raged its way through the UK on Saturday. Sweeping through the Dearne valley, the leafless trees began to look like tidal waves, swaying and swelling in the wind. The sound of the wind whistling through the branches bellowed throughout the site all day, drowning out any noise Wath road and its travelers could produce.
Turning attention to the opposite end of site, Jeff and Janet were both keen to give the garden a spring clean. Newly emerged grass shoots were the first to be plucked from the garden beds; with spring soon approaching the grass will spread like wildfire, carrying out this simple task now will ensure an easier job in the future!
With garden beds freshly weeded, attention then turned to continuing the development of the new pathways within the garden. The first path being restored will run parallel to the old stone path unearthed last year. A small trench has been developed along the original stonework, allowing the group a first look at the depth of the stone used for the pathway when originally laid.
A second footpath has begun to take shape through the centre of the garden, splitting the large (usually grassy) area into two separate planting beds. The overall layout of the garden is now beginning to take shape, with two planting beds full of plants soon to bloom and the foundations of the new pathways dug out; the removal of the cherry tree roots and preparation of the two new planting beds will be the focus of the garden over the coming weeks.
Exploring New Avenues
A new social media approach has also been adopted within the group over the past fortnight, uploading images regularly to both Instagram and Facebook, exploring different aspects found within and around Hemingfield Colliery.
Find us on instagram at “hemingfield.colliery”