Views from the first Hilltop North of Tenby on the Coast Path could be expected to be worth seeing; so it was that the southern end of the hilltop along the Path was donated in 1965 to The Friends of Tenby “For the quiet enjoyment of the Public” by Jessie Allen, living next door in “Clovers”.
Views South included Tenby, Worms Head, North Devon, Caldey, Lundy, Giltar Point, Penally, the Ridgeway and the Ritec marshes. Soon a further area of adjoining land was added, gifted by Roger Hainsworth of Manorbier, landscaper for Jessie Allen. The views from this are north to the coast, Monkstone Point and the shores of Carmarthen Bay beyond.
The Friends became Tenby Civic Society and settled to over 50 years of Trusteeship, cut a path through Blackthorn thickets, installed a hut, a stone viewpoint cairn and put in planting and trees. Local bodies donated teak benches
Up till 2010 costs had been low. By 2015 several problems surfaced with over-mature Blackthorns and Leylandii trees, overgrowth of bramble scrub, ivy, hedges and the shed. Two members mapped the trees, then a full professional tree survey confirmed safety and set a five year program to monitor trees.
The Executive Committee made a 50th Anniversary Appeal to improve the site: felling and re-planting as recommended; information notices; opening up some views; gates; planting to strengthen hedges and hide the high metal fence on the east, and to reinforce flower glades. Bird boxes, picnic tables, bulbs, some plants, hedging and young trees were donated. The Appeal did well with Society members, the public and the Town Council, but only two local businesses donated. Expensive items were put on hold; volunteer time and donations in kind were prioritized, alongside tree work as specified in the tree survey.
Then Tenby Rotary asked to fund a project at Allen’s View so we suggested some bird carvings from tall leylandii stumps left after felling. Dan Badham, of Church Farm Landscapes, produced an epic perched Red Kite and a beautifully accurate Peregrine Falcon ( there was a nest nearby) and four chunky owl logs, to be sunk like posts alongside footpaths.
Vandalism happens in an isolated site; two 30 year old teak benches were broken and burnt by young vandals, so the committee decided to “ target harden”! Replacements would be in galvanized wrought iron, modeled on an existing bench and this year the two benches, crafted by Mike Davies of Manorbier were installed by him, gleaming and firmly fixed into the ground !