Local charity provides Ramsey Island with new sustainable steps

By Paul Evans   |   Content editor   |
Sunday 19th June 2022 7:01 pm
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Ramsey Island steps
(Pic supplied )

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In late May a work party of eleven volunteers from the Friends of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park spent a glorious spring day on Ramsey Island constructing some much-needed replacement steps.

The thirty steps climb the steep bank leading up from the farmhouse to the farm’s outbuildings and the paths which traverse the island. They are used constantly by both island staff and the 4,000 visitors a year to the RSPB reserve.

The old steps were supported by wooden planks which deteriorate in a few years in the harsh offshore climate and have been replaced many times. The timbers were badly worn and had started to rot, making the steps unsafe.

The new steps have been built using plastic planks and stakes made from recycled silage wrap and should last for up to 100 years.

More expensive than timber, the materials were paid for through a grant of £670 from the Friends’ Project Fund.

RSPB warden, Nia Stephens, said: “We’re extremely grateful to the Friends for funding the new steps and to the wonderful team of volunteers for installing them. It was great to meet everyone and nice to see everyone still smiling at the end of the day!”

Friends’ chairman, Steve Drinkwater MBE, said: “This was a great opportunity for the Friends to do something practical for Ramsey Island which has hosted many guided visits for our members over the last 30 years.

“We are pleased that we were able both to fund the materials for the new steps and also to send our trusted work party out to the island to complete the work in a single day.”

The Friends of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is an independent local charity which welcomes new members of all ages and runs a comprehensive series of events including visits, walks and talks as well as campaigning to protect the future of the Park.

The Friends’ work party meets weekly to carry out conservation and enhancement projects within the Park. As well as path and step construction, the team can turn their hands to vegetation management, litter clearing, painting, fencing and building restoration.

The Friends’ Project Fund was established three years ago to provide small grants to local schools and other organisations for projects and activities that further the charity’s aims – to conserve the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, or to enhance understanding of its special qualities.

Application forms for grants can be downloaded from: www.fpcnp.org.uk/friends-project-fund/

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