Monday, 23 January 2012

Repairing the footpath at Wetheral Woods

Recently we've been working at the far northern end of the Central & Eastern Lakes property, over at Wetheral Woods, a few miles outside of Carlisle. Wetheral Woods is a twenty-one acre broadleaved woodland and is home to St Constantine's Cells, a hermit's refuge that is thought to have been in existence during the Roman times.

Our work was to clear away any overhanging branches and repair the footpath, as over the years it had started to become narrow and sloping towards the river.

Our first job was to dig the bank next to the path that had started to fall away. We would then be able to erect some shuttering to prevent the side of the path from eroding away any more.

Digging out the bank

Once we'd dug out a long enough section of the banking, we used wooden rails to create the shuttering, these were firmly attached with nails to some long wooden fence posts to keep them in position.

Fixing the shuttering in place

With all the shuttering in place we used a couple of the large trees that had been felled in the past to create a new edge. The trunks of the trees were cut into three metre sections and then rolled into position next to the path. A trench was dug out where we wanted the path edge to be, and the logs were then sat into this channel. Finally we knocked in some posts against the logs to stop there being any chance of them moving.

Staking the logs into position

On occasion when the river Eden floods it has been known to reach the path. To try and give the path a bit more protection we laid a couple of trees in the most vulnerable area, to produce a short section of hedgerow. We also took a few cuttings from a nearby willow and planted them up. We're hoping that if the hedge has the chance to grow for a few years, without being damaged by floodwater, it should help to stabilise the bank and reduce the damage to the path in the event of any flooding.

The newly laid hedge

Finally, to finish off we graded the bank (on the left hand side of the picture below) to make the path slightly wider and level out the worst of the undulations.

The completed section of path

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