As part of our ongoing work on the Heights we hold regular monthly workdays. These are always on the third Sunday of each month, January to November. We have December off as its Christmas when we try and organise a more social get together or occasionally special trips to places that aren’t normally open!
The workdays are open to all, irrespective of ability, age, skill set or energy levels! We have no expectations on the day and everybody works at their own pace. All personal protective equipment and tools are provided by us, we only ask that you bring food, appropriate clothing, and a sense of humour.
Work sites tend to vary depending on the task and the time of the year. We are not allowed into the fort between the end of September and the beginning of April due to hibernating bats so generally we work outside during the winter months doing things like scrub and weed growth clearance, maintaining access points, clearing the ditches of old dumped rubble and the like. It’s sometimes wet, sometimes cold, occasionally warm but always good fun.
In the summer (open) months from April to September we generally work inside the fort or North Entrance carrying out tidying, clearance and preparatory work for our open events. We are currently engaged in a multi-year project cleaning gun emplacements of old grass and weed growth and replacing it with weed control fabric and gravel. The work can be physically demanding, moving gravel, clearing rubble or cutting grass or if you fancy something more sedentary, a bit of weeding or pruning maybe!
WHPS are committed to working with the landowners English Heritage and Dover District Council and in accordance with the law. As a scheduled ancient monument the site is protected by law against unauthorised work that could damage the structure or environment so all work has to be approved via the a Scheduled Monument Consent order (“SMC”) which we will have in place before we start.
Once a year we also help out our friends on the White Cliffs Countryside Project with some of their tasks usually on the banks of the Western Heights, cutting, clearing and burning!
There’s no age limit although young children must be closely supervised due to the nature of the site and it’s not really suitable for pushchair or buggy access and we have no on site toilet facilities.
We also have full public indemnity insurances in place covering our workdays and events and will ask all volunteers to sign a workday attendance sheet prior to starting.
January workday arrived and time to blow out all those Xmas cobwebs! Fortunately the day was sunny albeit a bit cold and ‘two skips Sunday’ as it was lovingly referred to by our volunters was born. The task was to clear the accumulated rubble from previous workays collected from various dumping sites around the ditch […]
The August workday was tough!! Our plan was to revisit the sterling work done the two months before clearing the gun emplacements and cover them with weed control fabric and then gravel. This required large amounts af gravel (and people) to manage the logisitics of moving 100 x 25kg bags from the van down into […]
So the June workday arrived and damn it was hot!! We therefore chose this day to do a mass movement of timber from the sally port gun rooms to the main magazine, coupled with some heavy duty turf clearance from the gun emplacements on the top of the fort! I was getting slightly nervous beforehand […]