Friday, 30 September 2011

Finishing off the top Section of path at Mickleden

Over the last couple of weeks we've been finishing off replacing the old and steep section of path at Mickleden, and landscaping the newly built path to help it blend in with it's surroundings.

With all the pitching now completed and the drains in place, we got on with roughing up the edges of the path with left over stone to make things look a bit more natural and also to encourage people not to wander off the path and create another erosion problem.

Moving a stone into position to help reduce corner cutting

Flat sections off the path were also made less attractive to walk on by digging holes and putting in smaller stones, that had been dug out while replacing the path. These stones were covered over with the soil that had been removed from the hole and the turf placed back on top, to create bumpy areas. This also helps to tidy up the area, rather than leaving a lot of left-over waste material around the worksite.

Once this was done we put down some grass seed and fertilizer. Though it's a little late in the season there's still a good chance that much of the seed will lay dormant over winter and sprout next spring. We'll come back and check it's progress in 2012 and if required put more seed down over the next couple of years.

The completed path, with freshly seeded areas

With the main section of path now finished we've moved on to some work lower down the path. We're mostly replacing sections where the steps are a bit too high, either because of the way the path was built, or because the ground has now eroded away since they were put in. Once we've finished these last few sections it should make for a far more pleasant walk down.

Replacing one of the short sections of path

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Continuing the work at Mickleden

Since working with the National Trust volunteers on the Working Holiday, we've continued to replace the old section of pitching at Mickleden, making it more user-friendly by re-aligning the path, adding some bends and reducing the height of the steps. We've now almost fully completed this section and it's really starting to take shape.

A section of the almost finished path

You can see in the image below, with only a few metres left until the path is finished, how it now winds it's route through the landscape. The bank of soil that can be seen in the distance, between Pete and Leo, shows the original line of the path. By adding a series of bends, rather than taking a more direct route, the gradient is greatly reduced making it much easier to walk down.

The path, showing the new line and the old route

With the path being on such a steep slope, during heavy rain there is a lot of surface water that if left to it's own devices would run straight down the path and likely cause damage. To help address this problem, we arranged a day with the Fix the Fells volunteers to build a turf drain across the slope. This feeds the rainwater into a stone drain that is built into the path, which then sheds it out of the way.

Volunteers digging out a turf drain

Over the next week, we'll get the last few sections joined up, cover over much of the soil with turfs, and re-seed the whole area around the path and between the pitching. Providing that most of the seed germinates (we'll put some more down next spring/summer if it's required) by this time next year you'll hardly know that that the original route ever existed.