Wednesday, April 4, 2018

CHARLESTOWN, HARDCASTLE CRAGS & WIDDOP GATE

Remember last Wednesday, above Oakville Road in Charlestown?


The slippery slope where 21 steps put in 20 years ago had rotted away





So we replaced half of them...















.......and today Stella and Bernard slithered around in the mud, finished these steps, and cut back the holly so you can get up them.  A warmer, wetter day, with even  more birdsong.



Fred, Stuart and Rich finished off the steps on the current Railway path at Widdop Gate.

New risers and pegs all in place

From the bottom

Then we dealt with some drainage issues - scraping the path, putting in channels and grips.

Water standing on the path and lots of mud

Path widened, grips and channels put it - a lot better
 
Meanwhile, on the Slurring Rock Path, excavations continued on the high level section that contours along the hillside to link the two ends of the former 'Red Route'. Dick and RJ (working East to West) and Gerald, Paul and Frank H (working West to East) installed revetments, widened paths, banked slippery edges, severed dead roots and improved steps until the two teams eventually met! Consequently this section of the route is nearly completed:- although it needs a walk-through to check and tidy-up any odds and ends.
 
No pictures from Frank's camera as it went into 'sulky mode' and refused to function for some trivial reason connected with being immersed in water! Fortunately, Paul captured the moment(s) on his phone camera so we have:


Typical sloping path that may need revetment.


Revetment consisting of two sections of  10 cm x 5 cm 'sawn' timber, then further sections recycled from felled trees


More of the same with a blurred Frank H in the background
 
 
More revetment re-cycled from felled trees

Even more of the same, but with Gerald (blurred in the background) finishing the path surface
 using a technique he mastered in Canada. We think it's something to do with bear traps (mmm!) . . .
. . . but it is fair to say that the day was completely free of ursine predators!

As an additional bit of entertainment (ish!) and with apologies to Sir Henry Newbolt (1862-1938) here is a parody of 'Vitae Lampada',
 
                                           There's a breathless hush in the woods today-
                                           Wind is light and the rain is thin-
                                           Knee-deep in mud with a path to lay,
                                           Four hours to go and we're nigh done in.
                                           But we've shed our hat and old top coat,
                                           And bent our back, almost with glee,
                                           As our leader's hand on our shoulder smote-
                                          'Dig on! Dig on!:- no time for tea!'
 
Back to reality next week.