Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Preparing for our upland path work

It's now the time of year when we start thinking about getting back up on the fells and resuming our upland path repair work. This means spending a few weeks filling bags with stone in preparation for them being flown to site by helicopter to the paths that need working on.

This year bag filling has proved slightly more challenging than usual as due to all the heavy snow we've struggled to get to our rock collection sites, and also finding any rock under the thick blanket of snow. You can see in the photo below just how bad it's been. In this instance we had hoped to get up and assess the path leading to Red Tarn in Ullswater to see exactly how many bags we'd need, but in the end this proved to be fruitless.

Heading up to Red Tarn

As Ullswater has suffered much worse with the snow than Grasmere we managed to fill a few bags on Helm Crag while waiting for some of the snow to melt elsewhere. These will be used for landscaping around the sub-soil path that we've been recently working on.

Bag Filling at Helm Crag

Another one of our jobs this year is repairing the path on Gowbarrow. This work will require building stone drains, culverts and resurfacing. The original path was worked on a couple of years ago using a digger to create a subsoil path, but in a few areas no decent material could be found on-site for surfacing it. This has lead to the path starting to deteriorate in patches. We therefore decided that we'd fly some gravel to site which we'll use to prevent it getting any worse. The gravel is locally sourced and compacts to a hard surface, it also doesn't wash clean so won't be too intrusive.

Filling bags for the Gowbarrow job

Thankfully we had the use of a mini-digger so it wasn't long before we had all the bags filled with gravel and ready to be flown. Now fingers crossed that the weather is a bit more onside during the helicopter lifts next week.

The bags filled and ready to be flown

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