Work to stabilise the district council-owned land above Folkestone’s Road of Remembrance has been completed but more surveys are to be carried out.

The preventative work at the top of the hill has reduced the weight on the bank to help prevent future landslips and erosion.

The top of Road of Remembrance with vegetation cleared from bank and properties behind.

Work completed Photo FHDC

Following the landslip on 27 January, which brought trees down and blocked the road, the district council has been working with Kent County Council to get the road reopened at the earliest opportunity. A further landslip on Monday (26 February) brought more debris onto the road and Kent Highways is assessing the damage. Under the supervision of the district council’s tree specialist, all shrub growth and sycamore trees have been removed from the F&HDC land. The stumps have been treated to prevent regrowth enabling the shrub layer to naturally regenerate. In addition, 12 evergreen oak trees have been coppiced to a height that will allow them to regenerate rapidly and form a low hedge. A pine tree has also been removed and all the work has been carried out before the bird nesting season begins.

Photo: Hawkinge Gazette

Cllr Jeremy Speakman, Cabinet member for Assets and Operations said:

“We appreciate that the work at this stage may look severe, but anyone concerned should be reassured that this work has been undertaken professionally and is aimed at reducing the weight on the bank whilst maintaining its structure.

“There have been further landslips and the most important issue for the council is the need to do what we can to ensure public safety. If the trees that fell in the early hours of 27 January had done so in the early afternoon, then we may have been dealing with a very different situation.”

A geotechnical survey to examine the cliff along the length of the road will be carried out early next month. This will help investigate the cliff’s stability and establish whether any further work needs to be carried out. Unfortunately, the ‘rosemary for remembrance’ bushes planted at the foot of the bank have had to be removed. The bushes had become strangled by brambles and other vegetation and maintaining them created problems due to the need to ensure the safety of anyone working there. In place of the rosemary, the council is planting wild flowers, mainly poppies, that will be easier to maintain and will mark the historical significance of the road as the route to the port for the millions leaving for the Western Front in WW1.

By Ed

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