Friday, 24 February 2012

Path improvements at Allan Bank

As part of our ongoing improvements to the network of footpaths at Allan Bank we've been working on a section of wooden risers (steps) that run from the slate steps to the entrance of the tunnel. We decided that wooden risers were needed for this section as it's pretty steep and if left alone it's likely that the path would have deteriorated.

Constructing the risers

The risers are constructed using wooden posts and rails. The rail is cut into lengths the width of the footpath and once the ground level has been established a trench is dug out for the rail to sit in. Once this is done, two posts are knocked in at either side of the rail and the rail is then nailed to the posts. Another one or two lengths of rail are then attached depending on how high you want each step to be. This is repeated until you reach an incline that is less steep and therefore less likely to erode.

Once all the risers were in position the next thing to do was to edge them with timber. Several small trees have been recently felled both for safety reasons and also for thinning the woodland. So we took advantage of this and cut them into suitable lengths and put them into position against the edge of the path.

Edging with some felled tree trunks 

With the edging in place it was time to gravel in between the risers. For this we were assisted by the Fix the Fells volunteers.

Moving the gravel 

With all hands on deck we shifted the gravel with a fleet of wheelbarrows and we soon had the new risers filled in with a good layer of gravel.

Freshly gravelled risers

After a lot more shovelling and many more wheelbarrow loads we were finally gravelled all the way into the tunnel.

Entrance to the tunnel

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