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What do you do when the weather's bad?
We just keep on working. If we didn't work on all the wet and windy days we have in the Lake District we wouldn't get a great deal done! The only time weather stops us from working is if there's been a lot of heavy rain and the becks are too unsafe to cross. Or if there's a lot of deep snow, which makes much of our work virtually impossible and potentially very dangerous if we're moving large rocks about.
How much stone footpath do you build in a day?
When writing the specifications we estimate that we'll complete an average of a metre and a half each day. On a good day you can get around three metres of path pitched, on a really bad day you might only get one stone in the ground. Generally the ease of digging dictates how much path we can build each day. If there's a lot of large boulders that have to be removed before you can start pitching, or bedrock that has to be chipped out, or incredibly compressed ground (you have to see it to believe it), it can really slow things down.
When you're path building up on the fells, how do you move all those heavy rocks about?
All the rocks are moved by hand, assisted by a winch if they're exceptionally large. We use crowbars to help move larger rocks and when required a few of us will work together to move very big rocks. Where possible we'll always move rocks downhill and let gravity help. Occasionally we'll use a petrol-driven power barrow to help move rock about, but all the rock has to be put in the barrow by hand.