Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Collecting Rock for the Elterwater Common Path

Over the last few days we have mostly been involved in some low level footpath repair work on Elterwater Common. The path in need of our attention had some remedial work done a few years ago that had slowed down the rate of erosion but since then the path has begun to deteriorate again. It was therefore decided that we should give the path a full overhaul which will involve a slight re-routing, the addition of some stone pitched sections, improvements in drainage, and replacing the old bridges.
Once a specification had been written detailing exactly what work would be required we had the problem of  sourcing some rock for the repairs. As there was no available rock nearby, we were forced to look a little further afield. The best site with an abundance of suitable stone was at Raise Beck a mile or so outside of Grasmere.
Over at Raise Beck, our first job was to gather the rock into small piles that would be accessible with our petrol driven power barrow.

 Nic starts gathering stone

Next the power barrow had to be manouvered to the rock piles and the stone put into it. Some of the larger pitching stones were too heavy to be lifted in so had to be rolled on top of another rock to gain enough height from where they could be rolled into the barrow, which is generally harder than you’d imagine.

  Loading up the power barrow

To get the rock from the barrow into our trailer we had to drive the barrow up a set of ramps into the trailer, from where the rock could be removed. After five or six barrow loads we were ready to transport it across to Elterwater.

  Filling the trailer

Once at the Elterwater site, the trailer could be unloaded and the stone moved to where it was needed on the path.

 Rolling the rock to site 

This involved rolling the rock (carefully) out of the trailer and then moving it down the path to the sections where work is being carried out. Each trailer load, from gathering to moving the rock to it’s final resting place took around two and a half hours, with about one and a half tonnes of rock in each load. So now we can crack on with the job of  repairing the path.

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