News from Leo Walmsley for February 2013

  • Footpath Repairs in Stagshaw Gardens

    11:58 28 February 2013
    By Ade Mills, Pete Entwistle, Leo Walmsley

    After finishing our work at Skelghyll Woods we moved on to nearby Stagshaw Gardens which is renowned for its impressive rhododendron and camellia collection.

    Our original plan was to replace a section of pitched footpath, which was a little awkward to walk on, with some more formal stone risers. Though once we started removing the old pitching we soon discovered that the path was sat right on top of a section of bedrock. This made it impossible to carry out the planned work as there was no way we could sink the slate riser stones deep enough into the ground. We therefore decided to alter the route of the path and put in a gravel path instead.

    The line of the new path

    Once we had decided on the route we dug out the tray for the gravel  to sit in. Using the pitching stone we'd removed, we built a stone revetment (wall) to support the lower side of the path where it cuts across the angle of the slope.

    Looking up the new path

    The soil that was dug out to form the tray was moved and placed against the revetment to help landscape the area. It was incredibly wet while we were working on the path so we'll have to go back and check whether we need to put in any drainage. It'll also give us the opportunity to seed the area and get it looking its best.

    Looking down the new path

    With the new path in place it will now be much easier for all visitors to enjoy the garden when in full bloom later on in the year.
  • Path repairs in Skelghyll Woods

    08:50 06 February 2013
    By Ade Mills, Pete Entwistle, Leo Walmsley

    We've recently been working in Skelghyll Woods, just on the outskirts of Ambleside. We've been improving the drainage as over recent years the path has started to become steadily eroded in areas.

    As there was little suitable rock on site we hand-picked the rock from the local quarry. We brought the rock in using our 4x4 and trailer then loaded it all into our mechanincal power barrows.

    Loading up the power barrows

    It wasn't long before we had distributed the rock around the woodland ready to build the drains.

    Moving the rock to site

    After all the materials were on site we set about constructing the stone drains and replacing a section of pipe. With these in place the path should now be much better prepared for any future heavy downpours.

    One of the completed drains

    Skelghyll Wood last year hit the headlines for being the home to The Grand Fir. The Grand Fir stands at 57.8m high, and is the tallest tree in Cumbria and also the tallest Grand Fir in England. It was planted in around 1860 as part of an arboretum at the Wansfell Holme country estate.

    Specialist arboriculturists were called in to measure the tree and the it was all filmed with the help of Dreamtime Film. Here's the video that tells the tale...

    We've been working hard on improving access around Skelghyll and we're also planning to create a new trail around the site that will be in place in the next few months. So this Springtime why not pen in a visit to see the tallest tree in Cumbria?