Conservation Work on L’Eperquerie
If you’ve walked on L’Eperquerie Common lately you may have seen signs of conservation work by a volunteer party from La Société Sercquaise. Gorse has been removed from around the Butts tower and parapet, so that work to stabilize the masonry can go forward. These defence features were built around 1800, during war with revolutionary France, when Sark’s militia was boosted with cannon and muskets from Guernsey. The space between the two monuments has become overgrown with gorse, some of which is being removed, to stop it smothering the heather. The aim is to make this, maybe the most beautiful target-practice area in the world, more accessible. Volunteers are also clearing and rooting out blackthorn along the great wall, the remains of a rare promontory fort built in the mid 16th century. Other work will see the removal of gorse and blackthorn at other overgrown locations on the common to recreate areas of open heathland which is especially important for wildlife such as the extremely rare Silver-studded blue butterfly that relies on heather.
Pictures by Sue Daly, left to right
Clearing gorse by the Butts tower
Revealing the great wall