Water, Mud Men and Large Rocks on Helm Crag
'At some point we’re going to suffer for having such a dry summer' and guess what? With the arrival of October came the rain and the start of the usual round of wet weather warnings. It's a sign that the upland path season is coming to a close and more 'sheltered' work beckons (I use the word sheltered very loosely!). One of our final upland jobs was to continue our 2012 work on Helm Crag and this is the thing with path work we can be working on the same path for years, for instance I've spent the last 20 years working from time to time on Rossett Ghyll.
The theme for the day was water, mostly from the sky but also from overflowing rivers and even from under the ground. The plan was to concentrate on improving the drainage to protect the path we'd completed in 2012 with the NT Working Holiday. The nature of subsoil paths make them vulnerable to water damage if the drainage isn’t spot-on and for this particular path we’ve gone for side drains, hundreds of metres of them!
In its simplest form this involves digging a trench along the side of the path followed by lining it with turf to protect it from erosion and to ‘green it over’.
Another task we completed was the positioning of large stones to protect the more vulnerable sections from wayward feet. One of the difficulties with zigzag paths is the temptation for people to cut the corners leading to erosion and widening of the path. The larger the stones the more effective they are, unfortunately this makes them more difficult to move especially when someone decides to take a photo whilst the others struggle on!
The work generated plenty of mud and even brought out the artistic side in one of the team...........
At this point we were on a roll and found ourselves with time on our hands, this could have been the atrocious weather and the resulting 'head down-get it over and done with' mentality but whatever the reason our committment was unrelenting and we perservered with the task of 'landscaping-in' the old eroded path by covering it with turf and grass seed.
A good days work was achieved and the plan will be to get back up there in 2014 and continue what we've started.