News from Pete Entwistle for April 2014

  • Path and stream crossing at Aira Force

    12:04 07 April 2014
    By Ade Mills, Pete Entwistle, Leo Walmsley

    We've recently been working again at Aira Force, where amongst a lot of exciting new developments a new bridge has been put in near High Force to create a circular route and easier access onto Gowbarrow Fell.

    The new bridge

    With the new bridge in place we needed to build a section of path that would link the bridge to the original path network.

    Before starting work

    The section immediately after the bridge was just a muddy track so we moved some boulders into position to narrow the path, and create an edge, then dug out a tray for some gravel. The gravel all had to be shovelled by hand and transported to site using power barrows.

    First section of path almost completed

    As part of the path repairs we also had a stream crossing to deal with. Originally the path went over a rocky section where the river was spanned by a narrow slate (just higher up the stream in the photo below). We wanted our crossing to be large enough to get power barrows or quads across so we can more easily gain access to other sections of the path.

    Area for new stream crossing 

    The first job was to repair the stone edging next to the river, we then put in place a large plastic pipe for the river to flow through, this was a tight fit so also helped improve the structure to the crossing.

    Starting work on the stream crossing

    With the pipe now in place we covered over the gap with some large slates to create a slate bridge.

    Stream with slates in position

    The next job was to level the ground around the slate bridge. We used stone from an old, redundant, drystone wall to fill in sections of the path around the bridge to give us a good surface to gravel on.

    Ground levelled at stream crossing

    We then built up the edges with some large boulders so we could gravel over the bridge. These were cemented in place so that there would be be no chance of them moving.

    Side stones in position

    To finish off the bridge we covered it in gravel. By using gravel the slates underneath have a bit more protection from the machinery that we'll take over.

    Gravelling the stream crossing

    Finally we set to work on improving a short section of path that led from our new crossing.

    Rough section of path

    We pulled out the largest of the stones from the path and again built an edge that would help retain the gravel.

    Putting in the side stones

    With the new section gravelled we used a wacker plate to compress the gravel and form a solid surface.

    Looking down the new path

    As a finishing touch we used some topsoil and turfs left over from a previous job to help landscape around the new path and crossing point.

    The finished path