Thursday, 23 January 2014

First Footing!

Over the last couple of months my gang of trusty volunteers (whose numbers have been swelled by a new recruit, Barnie) and I have been doing a fair amount of footpath maintenance. Winter is a good time to do footpath work as it is when the paths are at their wettest so you can see where the drainage problems are, and where more surfacing is needed. Clearing out blocked drains, topping up surfacing material and cutting back brambles and gorse are never ending tasks. Maintaining footpath furniture like gates, stiles, steps and boardwalks to ensure that they are all in working order, is important too. And also making sure that the paths are wide enough for the folk who are going to use them to be able to do so comfortably. This is especially important with our All Ability Trail, which, as the name suggest, enables folk of any ability to get to a viewpoint overlooking the cliffs at Starney Bay. The path needs to be of a prescribed width in order for wheelchairs to be able to pass along it, but grass gradually grows in from the edges causing the path to get narrower over time. So we have been digging back the encroaching grasses by hand, which is hard but satisfying work. 
Ernie and Barnie working on our All Ability Trail

Hopefully all the effort we have put in will help make people’s visits a more enjoyable experience. We take great care to make sure that any footpath work we do carry out doesn’t look too manmade or jar with its surroundings. So if you do come and visit, please don’t expect to be able to walk around without getting muddy. The best we can do is make sure you don’t get too muddy – this is the countryside after all!

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