Progress Report on the Higher Level Stewardship Capital works on 4th/5th/6th holes.
The heavy equipment was delivered on site on 5th November but has been severely restricted by weather conditions which have hampered progress within the planned timescale, nevertheless work will continue to completion.
The explanatory notices were in place in good time to explain what is going on and neighbours have been advised of the impending works.
Phase 1 of felling is now complete with the2 acre south facing slope below the left-hand side of the 5th hole cleared of most timber whilst leaving some significant trees and a few to mature. The views to the Downs will once again prove stunning when the sun comes out and visibility improves. The work will eventually be completed and the ground finally settled in drier conditions. We are confident of reasonable heather and selected specie regeneration across this cleared area. The area will be managed over the next few years to discourage faster growing species than the heather we wish to see populate the cleared site.
It is encouraging to report that there has been no problem with public unrest or criticism, to date, and that our neighbours local to the current work area are pleased to see the clearance and feel it is an enhancement of the land even if there has been some noise and smoke disruption from time to time.
No view anymore
Digger moves in
De-stumped and levelled
Stoking the Fire
The vintage 6th tee
One of three not used for 60 years
Not hard to see why
The encroaching woodland to be removed
We now have virtually a new hole!
And the Quarry has been extensively cleared by our own staff
An unhindered shot straight to the green
And notice the scrub clearance in the quarry
Before as a comparison
Looking back from the green to the previously hidden tee
Sun shining on the new tee
Frosty morning, new tee in the distance over the cleared Quarry
Taken two years ago the rediscovered tee is hidden in the trees
And also we've rediscovered the view to Heathfield from the 5th green on a clear day
The 14 tonne digger/excavator will move next to the 4th tee area in order to continue work on phase 3.
The remaining work on phase 2 which will be performed into the Ghyll and quarry at the 6th hole. Work will start assisted by the felling/thinning team when hand cutting will commence on the steep gradients on both sides of the gully and around the quarry. Some work around the additional teeing area at the 6th will soon be completed. Lost views and lines of play will be able to be enjoyed once again, whilst retaining a reasonable tree cover on the left-hand side of the hole. Some clearance has already been done around the area and some old teeing areas and paths that were used many years ago have started to see the light of day for the first time in the best part of fifty years, as have the paths that lead to the site of the old bridge over Slaughtermans Ghyll - now there is some food for thought if that was to be resurrected as was proposed not so many years ago! Old pictures of this area are displayed below in the slideshow.
Despite the hampering weather and ground conditions, there is a lot going on at present and much work still to be completed. The Club can be pleased with the standard of work to date and should rest assured that future work is expected to be completed to a similar standard. Over the next few weeks new views and resurrected playing opportunities will become more apparent at the 6th hole and it will not be long before old golfing challenges will be renewed from the renovated tee with the potential for further challenges to come in the future.
The clearance work to the left-hand side of the 4th tees is planned to go down to the Canadian War Memorial and some 40 yards back towards High Brooms Road. It is planned to leave some specimen tree cover and also open the ground to encourage light and air back into the area and hopefully encourage heather regeneration to take place.
Once the area is cleared and subject to suitable financial arrangements, there will probably be further work in the future, towards High Brooms Road as well as work at potential further sites in order to improve the air flow across the course to improve the wind factor in drying the course.
The Old footbridge across the 6th Quarry - the foundations remain. To be rebuilt one day?
Clear view to the 4th hole from the 16th tee - 6th tees clearly in evidence
1950's aerial photo showing almost no trees on the 6th and all the tees in play
Note the lack of trees between the 5th and 6th holes above Sir Henry's hands
Elliot's ball about to disappear into the woods for ever!
This report will be updated upon completion of the work when a few more pictures of past and present can be presented.