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Oldminster Sidings

Work has now started on slowly and carefully clearing the vegetation in Oldminster sidings in order to reveal the existing track. It has taken nearly 3 years to get to this point, with the last 2 years spent conducting detailed ecology studies, eventually resulting in a license from Network Rail in March.

VBR will sensitively clear the site over the next year, working within the 1981 Wildlife & Countryside act as well as the advice in the ecology report and according to the terms of Network Rail’s license. To this ends we have produced an approved detailed method & work statement which all volunteers will strictly adhere to under the guidance of responsible team leaders.

Progress

April 2018

Due to the bird nesting season, we’re currently unable to remove any trees, but we are permitted to manually cut back the undergrowth, so long as the temperature is above 16degC, to ensure any reptiles are mobile.

Finally towards the end of April, the temperature warmed up enough for a few days, which enabled a small team of volunteers, who had been waiting for the right temperature, to start initial clearing work. This marks a milestone for the VBR and hopefully the beginning of the heritage railway.

Luckily the temperature remained above the limit for a further few days which gave the opportunity for a team of people to work on site each day.

 

Network Rail also paid a visit to the site and are happy with our processes, but unfortunately by the end of April temperatures had dropped again and so no further work could take place. Hopefully things will improve in May.