Path Restoration – October 2018

Chris Hussey

From Friday October 5th through to Sunday October 14th, a succession of volunteers helped to restore the upper path through the woods. With an array of equipment hired – a couple of mini dumpers, digger, roller, and backhoe loader – some 280 tons of gravel and surface dressing were applied, levelled and rolled. Path edges were reinforced where needed with logs or boards pinned into place. All the material was delivered to the quarry end of the woods, where the ‘depot’ was set up – a small marquee where further volunteers provided a stream of teas, coffees, sandwiches, cakes and pasties to keep the workforce going. The weather (in the form of storm Callum) interrupted the work for two days, but other than that, the dumpers were always on the go, trundling to and fro, gradually extending the length of laid path. In support, other volunteers in hi-vis jackets flitted through the woods bearing shovels and rakes, saws, hammers and pins, building up the path edges, smoothing areas the digger could not reach. By the final Sunday, the top path had been completed, laid and rolled from one end to the other, providing a fine level surface suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs.

During the first weekend, a separate campaign had improved the streamside path, removing obstructing branches and undergrowth, laying cut branches to provide footing across the boggy bits, and building a safe access path at the quarry end.

The middle path remains to be done. It is planned to raise further funds to allow this to be carried out, with another campaign of path restoration pencilled in for Spring 2019. In the meantime, the community can reflect on the remarkable achievements so far – 600 volunteer hours from a wide cross-section of parish residents – providing greatly increased accessibility to the beautiful Bosahan Woods.