Friday, 13 January 2012

Footpath repair at Aira Force

With our work finished on the high fells until the spring we've been getting out to a few different places around the property and we've recently been working over at Aira Force. Our first job was to replace a set of old wooden risers, with some new slate ones, and also build a stone drain higher up the path, to help protect the new work.

Old risers removed and the first few slate risers in place

It's quite a change working somewhere like Aira Force, although the work is still mostly footpath repair work as it is in a more formal environment it's essential to get everything looking just right. It seems quite alien to be using a spirit level and tape measure while constructing a new path! But still the path quickly started to take shape.

The risers almost completed

With all the risers in place, it was just a matter of building up a short section of wall and gravelling between the steps. The new path should now be much more user friendly.

The Finished path

Our next job was to replace a section of wooden revetment that was retaining a gravelled footpath. As you can see in the photo below, the weight of the gravel has started to push out a section of the edging and the path has started to fall away.

Section to be replaced

The first thing to do was to dig out around the boards that had started to move out of place. We dug down a couple of feet until we reached the very bottom of the revetment, and then removed the whole section. Next we made sure everything lined up correctly and marked out where we needed to put the new posts.

Checking the positioning

Once we'd decided where the posts should go, we made some fresh holes for them with a crow bar and, as is often the way,  found the bedrock just below the surface. Fortunately the bedrock was relatively easy to break so we managed to knock the posts deeply enough into the ground. Just to be on the safe-side we added a couple of additional posts to help give the new section a bit of extra strength. Once this was done it was just a matter of nailing the reused rails back on to the posts and filling in with some fresh gravel.

Job finished

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