Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Kenilworth Common

Kenilworth Common LNR
Common Lane, Kenilworth
OS Grid Ref: SP 297 730

One of my locals!

Neolithic lowland heath, imperial gravel pits, mountain bikes, reptiles, glow worms and recreation.

The Common lays on ancient ground but the trees are relatively young and only started to grow just over a century ago. We see them today reclaiming The Odibarnes, a once large area of open lowland heath with common grazing. Like so many of our remaining historic habitats, it is man-made. Created by land cleared and exhausted through exploitation of woodland resources and over grazing, impoverished and abandoned by the early agriculture of Neolithic man.

As a child the common was playground, all mysterious nuns and nature. Divinity and imagination inspired fantasy scenarios involving quests to find the scared yet elusive serpent, to begat magical powers. My tracking skills at the time were fairly poor so I never did get to see the elusive adder and to this day, remain a mere ordinary mortal.

The original interpretation boards on the reserve are over 20 years old. It's odd how things turn out, I remember seeing them in storage at Brandon Marsh when I was a conservation trainee. Then, I had no idea it would me who has the great pleasure of replacing them with updated versions. The design and artwork is complete and will soon be going to press, installation is due by the end of 2012.

One of the original boards soon to be replaced

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