Tuesday 28 February 2017
This month's task was to install two gates, clear and maintain the flow of culverts and drains.
Just our walk to the site gave an insight of what was to come, as we trudged and struggled through water and mud on the farm track leading to the work site which we found to be deep in mud and especially so where we had to work being where two paths crossed.
Installing the gates was the first job to be assessed as the wooden stiles and fencing already there had to be dealt with. Some of it was replaced and some in good condition incorporated into the new gates. Richard from Derbyshire County Council Countryside Service provided us with his expert guidance and as can be seen the task was completed to a very high standard.
Progressing simultaneously was the work of another group of us, cutting back blackthorn encroaching on the drainage ditches either side of the junction of the paths. As can be seen a good deal of leaf detritus was removed assisting the flow and even as we worked the waterlogged deep mud on the paths could be seen to be draining into the newly cleared channel.
We left the site in much better condition than we found it, which made the days muddy cold endeavours seem satisfyingly worthwhile. The day ended with our bidding a farewell to Richard, as his post of 25 years experience was at an end, due to Council cutbacks. Michael Poyser, our path maintenance leader, commented that he would not let the good work of the footpaths group, with its growing number of volunteers, diminish and forthcoming meetings are due to be held on the future direction of our work group. It is expected that readers will be informed further in due course.
Pictures and text supplied by Peter W.