On the 1st of April, 2006, apparently we ventured down into the Dene once again to finish the job of clearing this once pristine fairy glen of all the accumulated rubbish. We started this time from the Recreation Ground, venturing down the steep bank to collect the accumulated detritus and hoik it back up to the top for appropriate disposal.
I was definitely part of this effort, because I remember so well how lovely the fairy glen down there appeared when the junk was gone. I even sent a PR note on our activity to the Hexham Courant (which went unpublished), if my report is to be believed as recorded in the business meeting minutes of May. Unfortunately, my email archive seems to have truncated itself back to only 2007 these days, and I can’t access my own enthusiasms! And there are no photographs about, it seems, of that second Dene Clean adventure. Hence the time-travelling image heading up this entry.
We couldn’t know the future, not back then, but less than fifteen years hence the Dene Woodland would be opened up with a path and a lovely bridge across the burn, thanks to a huge Landscape Partnership grant to the North Pennines AONB. That process is recounted in 2019’s Allendale Diary. But would that future have even been contemplated if we intrepid Lions had decided to pass on the Dene Clean effort? Or was that effort itself the impetus to create a better access to woodland nature, right in the heart of the village?
I guess the point of today’s entry in this ongoing social history blog is that when we work as if we’re living in the early days of a better village, we are!