Monday, 23 July 2012

Continuing our path repairs at Helm Crag

Since our last update the rain has continued to fall but with the mild temperatures and occasional glimpse of sunshine it's been great weather for our grass seed to grow.

The recently landscaped area has already turned a lush green colour and combined with the low level of grazing in the area it's also reached a good length. Sheep love it when we put down grass seed but when they graze freshly sown seed they tend to pull it out of the ground as the root system is not strong enough to hold it in place. So hopefully it will continue to grow, and strengthen, before the sheep notice we've put it down.

The grass seed beginning to grow

Over the last couple of weeks as we've completed a few more sections of footpath we've been landscaping the path along the way.

Landscaping is an essential part of the job as it helps the path to blend in with it's surroundings and also helps stop people wandering off the path and causing further erosion damage.

When we repair a path we often generate large amounts of rubble and soil and this is used to create banks, fill in eroded areas near to the path and also fill gaps between the pitching. Nothing goes to waste.

During landscaping work

You can see in the photograph above a bank of soil to the right of the path. This soil has been used to cover over rubble (which takes a long time to weather and blend in) and also to create a bank and drain to the left of the path. The soil has been shaped to create a natural looking mound and rock is dug into it at strategic points where people may wander off the path. Digging in weathered stone also helps create a more natural looking bank.

Filling in the gaps with soil

The photo above shows another bank of soil. Much of this was dragged to site using old heli-bags from a section being worked on where there was a surplus of soil. The soil here has been used to cover over, and stabilise, a patch of rubble that was dug out while repairing the path. It's also being used to fill in gaps between the pitching prior to seeding. 

Once these newly landscaped areas are covered with grass seed it hopefully won't take too long until they too green up and blend in nicely with their surroundings.

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