Hello Conservation Volunteers
A big thank you to all the volunteers who attended our special work morning/afternoon where we were in Whitely Woods repairing the worst sections of bridleways and footpaths.
We had 20 tons of aggregate delivered to Wire Mill car park the previous day and the PROW team brought a digger and small dumper truck to move the aggregate to the various locations, which saved us having to wheelbarrow it around!
Some of the volunteers were stationed at various points to act as marshals to ensure members of the public were safe from the dumper truck which was running around the footpath and bridleway and across the narrow concrete bridge (where the driver had little room either side for error!).
Over on the bridleway, Matt had brought in additional rangers to help install a revetment on the steep bank side, whilst volunteers collected stones from the river to fill in the gaps at the base of it. The steep slope and uneven surface proved too much for the dumper truck on its maiden dump to reach the far end of the section where we were due to start repairing, and instead the first few dumper loads were used to improve the approach. After each load of aggregate had been dumped, the team of volunteers sprang into action to rake it and spread evenly over the path. Eventually, after many dumper loads the correct depth and camber had been reached and it was then ready for the final compaction with the "wacker plate". Those volunteers who were wearing steel toe capped boots were allowed to use it, which proved tougher than it looked, especially with the steep uphill slope and camber down to the river!
Overgrown foliage and vegetation on the paths was also cut back during the session.
After having a peaceful lunch break sat on the benches at Wire Mill Dam watching the ducks and fish, those volunteers staying for the afternoon session ventured up to the footpath between Ivy Cottage Lane and the tarmacked footpath which runs between Forge Dam and Wire Mill Dam, where about 3 tons of aggregate had been dumped into the deep gulley which had been eroded along the length of the path. This needed to be raked out evenly but as this was filling a deep void it did not need compacting.
What we need now is some nice gentle rain to settle it all down!
The next work morning is on Tuesday 26th July. An email will be sent out requesting volunteers nearer the time.
A Selection of photos from the work morning
Loading the dumper truck at Wire Mill Dam car park
First load being dumped on the bridleway
Dumper truck crossing the narrow concrete bridge
Filling with stones from the river
Dumping and raking
Nick and Matt on the wacker
The completed section
Dave and John completing the raking over on the footpath near Ivy Cottage Lane