For our Sunday 26th October Work Party I decided our small but willing group of Volunteers would benefit from a more contained task, than returning to Valley Mire which might have proved a little daunting. It was therefore the ideal opportunity to revisit a project we began at the end of summer but had to curtail once full scale habitat management resumed in September - remedial works to a flight of steps on the Black Heathland Trail. An intensive cutting back session previously enabled us to get straight on with the business of assessing which steps required attention and sourcing the necessary materials. As luck would have it, utility contractors had felled some ideal timber by way of pine, oak and chestnut that we could recycle after a little preparation......

The Heathland Trail steps showing signs of erosion....

and rot.

Gerald undertakes ground works for his first step.

Richard preparing a pine log riser by removing side shoots.

Gabrielle trimming the upright post for a newly extended riser.

Gabrielle & Gerald preparing timber for uprights posts.

Richard justifiably pleased with his conservation step building debut!

Gabrielle, who believes she had a hand in building these steps originally, possibly 15 years ago, performs the all important quality control.

After additional scrub clearance, bank profiling and tread levelling, the steps now look far more inviting.

My thanks to Gabrielle for her ongoing commitment to the Sunday Work Party, to Gerald, it was a pleasure to welcome you back so soon (2 Work Parties in 5 days!) and welcome to Richard who deserves extra thanks for having trekked from London via bike then car to join us. This picture would tend to suggest you enjoyed the day as much as I and I hope fellow visitors to The Heathland benefit from your hard work.

Anonymous