March 21 2017 footpath maintenance along the Ecclesbourne Valley.
A sunny cold blustery morning over the Ecclesbourne Way at Duffield was the site for our work today. The aim was to improve two wicket gates and their support posts and also some clearing.
Bringing up to standard aged and infirm woodwork and equally aged fences seems to now be a speciality of the groups expertise. It involves quite a bit of work digging, choosing replacement timber of the right size and making it look right as "picture book" countryside, not neglected and needing repair countryside. Then all the out of view time consuming jobs, removing screws and nails holding the rickety old wood together, replacing fittings, drilling and reinstalling them so they work as intended. The results can be seen with the gates now as sturdy as the pictures show.
Amber Valley Ramblers are part of the network of volunteer groups doing this work, which has been supported County wide by Derbyshire County Council Countryside Service. Now because of constraints on budgets it is threatened with reduction. Today was the last session supported by Steve Cresswell, who has been our guiding light since our groups foundation. Michael Poyser, our footpath maintenance coordinator, is to seek to continue this work, helping to keep our footpaths from becoming neglected and unwalkable, as best the restrained Council can arrange, readers can expect more news as it becomes available.