WCP day 13 volunteering NR5
Deborah Carpenter and a group of Easton students came for a guided walk about the conflicts between recreation and conservation. They were shown round by Matt Larkman who is a Navigation ranger on the Bure.
Maths in Countryside
After the half-term break, NR5 group were a little difficult, and not much progress was made with the steps up from the Lime Kiln to the woods on the hill - we did three steps and two post-holes.
We set up camp at the top of the hill for a change, away from the Lime Kiln site where the group expected to be, and where there is a bench which the group had built some weeks back.
We still had a fire and they cooked food and made hot drinks, but they did not settle well and fooled around aggressively.
When building steps up a hillside, the size of the task is less apparent when starting at the bottom, because you cannot see the top, but from the top you see the whole path. Building materials and tools need to be carried, and so the base-camp needs to be closer to the section being worked - at the top or at the bottom. The logic of this however is that having spent weeks in the valley the group finds itself on an exposed hillside and is told to abandon their special cosy place.
If you start at the top amongst the trees, you can pick a route which avoids the roots and as you progress you find things get easier.
However the mechanics of step-making are easier working upwards - you always have a level place to stand on and what you cut out falls down to fill the holes you made earlier. This is the traditional practical working method, and is best for normal working situations.
The rails at the side of steps are usually at a height of just over a metre and fixed to posts every 2 metres. The posts have to be sunk in holes over a metre deep and kept vertical as the holes are tamped full. Twice during this project have the post holes been dug in positions which were too far apart simply by ignoring the obvious geometry.