Saturday, 10 August 2013

Drain building on the Red Tarn path, Ullswater

Since finishing work on the path to Esk Hause most of our time has been spent working up on the path leading from the Helvellyn Youth Hostel, in Glenridding, to Red Tarn.

The path we're working on is a sub-soil path and was built several years ago using a digger. Since then with all the heavy use that it gets the path has started to become mobile and this has been made worse by surface water running down the path when it rains.

Although there are numerous drains already in the path we decided that to slow down the erosion process more drains were required.

Almost completed drain

So earlier on in the year we selected some suitable drain stone and had it flown to site. The picture above shows the work in progress. The piles of stone around the drain is some of what had been flown in but has not been used. The majority, in this instance, is smaller stone used to build the base of the drain. The sides of the drain are built using much larger stone (stones in excess of 2 feet deep are not uncommon) this means if the path below the drain should ever erode it will be a long time before the drain falls out.

Finished Drain with Landscaping

The photograph above shows the completed drain. Left over stone has been used to narrow the path. By doing this it also protects the top end of the drain by stopping people walking there. If a track was to develop in this area it's possible for water to bypass the drain thus making the drain redundant.

 Clearing the end of a newly built drain

The photograph above shows another drain almost completed. The end of the drain is being dug out to allow water to flow smoothly through the drain and away from the path. This is something that we also do as part of our regular maintenance work. 

The soil that has been generated while building the drain will later be seeded making it nicely blend in with the rest of the area. 

Finished Drain

Altogether we've put in roughly an extra 12 drains which should mean a lot less water running down the path. Of course all these new drains will have to be maintained regularly throughout the year by both ourselves and the Fix the Fells lengthsmen.