Beech Bottom Dyke Action Day 1 – FoBH clears the way


Will secateurs and loppers do the job? Maybe we’ll need something more serious!

Friends of Bernards Heath made a big effort to start clearing paths at Beech Bottom Dyke on Saturday morning.  Thank you everyone who took part.

Where, and what is Beech Bottom Dyke?  It is a major pre-Roman ancient earth work that begins at the junction of Townsend Drive and Batchwood Drive and runs for the first part parallel to Beech Road, then on across Valley Road to the railway embankment.  The Dyke is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) under the protection of Historic England and owned and managed by St Albans District Council.  The Google aerial view below makes the prominent part of the location clear and shows where we carried out path clearance work.  Read more about the Dyke here.


The dashed line shows where path clearance was done over the first 600 yards or so at the bottom of the Dyke and the dotted line the path on the southern bank.

Beech Bottom Dyke was the subject of a Greenspace Action Plan (GAP) to improve public access and signage in April 2014, but sadly nothing has been done to implement the this to date.  FoBH feels that the very neglected Dyke deserves attention, and that the clearance of fallen trees and undergrowth would be a good start.  This was done and several bags of litter were also removed.

Take a look at what we did – of course, no digging was allowed on this ancient site.


before clearance work



… and after



and a jungle



… opened up



several substantial fallen tree trunks were moved aside



Just a few of those who took part and yes, Cherry thinks something more serious was needed!

Brambles and other undergrowth along the path on the top of the southern bank were cleared.  We hope to continue later in the summer.

Photos: DP



Posted in Action Days, Beech Bottom Dyke, Maintenance