Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Repairing the path up to the Esk Hause shelter

Over the last couple of weeks we've started work on this years upland path repairs, with our first job being a section of path leading up to the stone shelter at Esk Hause. It's on the far edge of our "patch" and getting there is a bit of a trek. It generally takes us over an hour to walk to site each day before we even start our work.

The path that we're repairing had previously been worked on over 20 years ago. When this original path was built all the stone was collected by hand from the fell-side, this meant that the selection of rock was fairly limited. Because of this, smaller stone had to be used, the path had to be narrow and there was little landscaping carried out to help encourage people to stay on the path. All this has led to people wandering off the path and causing erosion problems. You can see in the photograph below that this has also produced an increased amount of rubble, which again leads to people not using the path.

Old pitching

It was therefore decided that extra stone would be flown to site by helicopter so that we could widen the path and improve upon the landscaping. As there is now a lack of suitable rock in the nearby area, without the use of a helicopter it's unlikely that we could have ever made these improvements. As part of our work extra drains are also being added to help shed water and to catch any surplus rubble.

Starting to replace the path

By using some of the original stone plus the stone that was flown in, after just a few weeks of work the path is now really taking shape. There's still a lot of of landscaping to do once the footpath is completed but we're progressing along nicely.

New section of path

Being over 2000 feet high we tend to get a real variety of weather. Usually at this time of year the weather consists of strong winds, low cloud and rain (or a combination of them all) and we don't often get to see the sun for long! Even though Esk Hause tends to get it's fair share of bad weather we were still surprised by a recent reminder that winter wasn't quite over. As we approached the work site on the 23rd May we were greeted by a fresh covering of snow. Much of this melted off over the course of the day but there were several heavy hail showers throughout, and the temperature remained low.

Unseasonal snow