Work is beginning next week to protect an area of Quantock Common owned by Friends of Quantock and regularly damaged by unauthorised car parking on the grassland along the road. Quantock Common is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a nationally important wildlife site, but it has had a growing problem with cars badly churning up the turf during wet weather. Concern is growing about water run-off damaging the nearby sensitive acid mire and archaeological remains are also at risk. The need for action has become especially obvious with the influx of new visitors during the pandemic.
A shallow ditch and low bank will be dug along a total of about 350m of the 1800m-long east side of the Nether Stowey to Crowcombe road. This will be done only where the terrain or old banks aren’t already enough of a barrier and will be just big enough to deter unauthorised parking.
Friends of Quantock are the independent conservation charity for the Quantock Hills and are owners of the land along the South side of the Over Stowey – Crowcombe road. They are dedicated to the conservation and protection of all the landscape of the Quantock Hills for the benefit of the public and for future generations. They continue to support a separate scheme to provide improved parking for public access at Crowcombe Park Gate as part of the QLPS.
Friends of Quantock has obtained the necessary legal consent under the Commons Act 2006, as well as the agreement of the Quantock Hills AONB, the Quantock Commoners Association and Natural England.
The work has been commissioned by Friends of Quantock with assistance from the Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme (QLPS) and will be carried out from 7th March – it should take about three days. QLPS Historic Heritage Officer Dan Broadbent will be keeping an eye on the work in case anything archaeologically interesting is uncovered.
Although we understand this will be disappointing news to some regular visitors, it is vital work to prevent further damage to the common. Parking is still available in the area at Crowcombe Park Gate, Withyman’s Pool and Dead Woman’s Ditch.