Clearing the Path – Trowse Millgate

Friday 23rd June 2017

Today is our annual pilgrimage to ‘Trowse Millgate’ to keep open the footpath that follows the River Yare from ‘Old Lakenham’ to ‘Trowse’. Some of the residents at the ‘Trowse’ end of the footpath do a valiant job of keeping that end of the path trimmed and clear of litter but help is needed past the ‘Millgate’ and on towards Old Lakenham. Along this stretch of the river ‘Nettles’ and ‘Purple Loosestrife’ (Lythrum salicaria) are rampant and dense with most already over two metres tall, blocking the view of the river and all interspersed with ‘Bindweed’.

Views along the footpath that we cleared and some of the Purple Loosestrife that we saw.

The Nettles in particular cause a major hindrance to walkers, especially on a sunny day, like today, because as they grow taller they flop over across the path reducing the width to barely a person’s width, which makes for an uncomfortable passage for those wearing short sleeves or shorts. Conversely the Purple Loosestrife grows straight but has rigid stems and these require more effort to cut down.

Initially this was tackled with a motorised mower which has a rotary blade but a combination of very uneven river bank and Bindweed holding the mower back, slow progress was made.

Brushcutting and mowing the footpath with a local resident helping out by doing a litter pick.

Eventually a brush cutter was brought to rescue this situation but not until the parts of the path that it was being used on (where the mower could not be used) was completed.

It being a hot and sunny day frequent drink stops were needed and by lunch time, a hot and perspiring team were glad of a well-earned rest.  Not a full day’s work but we were all happy to call it a day.