The last couple of months have been exceptionally busy with funding applications, pony training and the exhibition in Crickhowell.
Then on Wednesday I heard that the Woollenline had won the Campaign for National Parks Park Protector Award, so to all of you that have helped in whatever way ‘thank you’!
The award will be used to help run a competition to design a mechanism for a low energy solution to moving material around in the uplands. For this work bulk , not weight is the issue but in other areas moving heather or bracken brash has relied on either helicopters or quad bikes. Undoubtedly this may be the only solution for some work but smaller projects could use a lower energy solution working with hill ponies, however as with all of this work we need to experiment.
Also on Wendesday an article was published in the on-line Guardian. The comments that the piece provoked are really interesting, in particular they demonstrate two things. Firstly, until you have been up to look at or work on the scar it is impossible to imagine the extend of the fire damage or extremity of conditions up there.
The second issue is the need to answer the question ‘is it working’? This is a question I avoid answering as it really depends on who you are and what you consider success. For me that so many more people are at least aware that there is an issue is a pretty good result. That people in institutions who found it difficult to engage with one another are now talking is another result. That the first line of wool is still in place means that the peat it is covering is still there too. That algae and mosses are beginning to grow on the surface of the wool is another result as is the 50% survivial of cotton grass plugs planted alongside one of the lines on 11.11.2011. That we are able to find a use for unwanted wool from farms grazing this hill is another result and finally that you are asking the questions at all has to be important!
Questions are important, arriving with answers is also not always helpful as it can too often shut down creative dialogue so I am particularly pleased to have sparked more questions. However I did not write the article in the Guardian and so if you need more details please ask me!