Ascension : Ascension Island Conservation Department
Submitted by The Islander (Conservation Office) 07.02.2013 (Article Archived on 21.02.2013)
Nicky Andrews and Charlie Dooley from AIG Conservation have been busy with the arduous task of getting Green Mountainís most popular footpaths
Green Mountain Footpaths Update
Contributed by Charlie Dooley and Kenickie Andrews
As part of a project funded by AIG and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Nicky Andrews and Charlie Dooley from AIG Conservation have been busy with the arduous task of getting Green Mountainís most popular footpaths back into good condition to ensure the public can enjoy the fantastic walks the mountain has to offer.
Nicky and Charlie on ropes clearing buddleia from the
P. purpurascens site, with help on the ground from Tyler
The project started with the clearance of Elliotís Pass, a 3km trail that circles the mountain at 730m. The footpath has been widened and improved as part of a bigger project aimed at protecting natural populations of the endemic fern Ptisana Purpurascens (formerly known as Marattia purpurascens). Half way round the footpath, a large population of P. purpurascens has been cleared of invasive vegetation to create bare ground upon which it is hoped natural regeneration can occur. Ptisana ferns propagated in the nursery have been planted out to increase numbers. The awkward slope has also been fenced to prevent the islandís feral inhabitants (sheep and rabbits) from grazing on the newly accessible endemic ferns.
An educational trail has also been created, with new interpretation boards and signs produced. The signposts and notice boards will be installed in February and the final improvements to Elliotís Pass will be carried out. Once this has been completed, AIG Conservation will be holding an open afternoon for the public to come up and experience the new educational footpath, see some of Ascensionís unique flora and hopefully (weather permittingÖ) enjoy the fantastic views!
Nicky and Charlie have also been busy on some of Green Mountainís other historical footpaths. With help from other AIG Conservation staff and hardworking volunteers, including the RAF íMoversí and an Army Exped team from the Desert Rats (organised by David Leo), Rupertís and Cronkís footpaths have now been cleared and widened. On a sunny day, the views are incredible from both paths and you can do a loop from Garden cottage, along Ruperts, down to the old ruin of North East Cottage and back along Cronkís to Garden Cottage in under an hour and a half. Clearance of Bishops is also underway, and once completed, Nicky and Charlie
will be starting on the currently impassable Scouts!
Watch this space for more updates on walks to enjoy up Green Mountain to get a nice, breezy break from the swealtering heat of Georgetown! We will be also be updating you on news about when Elliotís Pass educational footpath is installed and details about our open day. Enjoy!
Please be advised that due to on-going field work the Conservation Office will open from 7.30am -10am during week days. We open as normal on Saturdays, 10am-12noon, signs will be posted on the door when the office is closed. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
Volunteers welcome. Please contact Natasha Williams or Jolene Sim. Ascension Island Conservation Department. Georgetown. Tel: 6359. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com