By Chris Hopkinson
Today was all about the less glamorous side of trail building: fixing and making good.
I arrived on site at the same time as Paul. We recognised a few cars in the car park but nobody was in sight. Just as we were about to head off on a search, David Stone appeared in a flat bed truck with some rocks we’d previously arranged for him to deliver. These are for a feature that only exists in our heads at the moment but will hopefully come to fruition sometime through the summer.
Just as we finished unloading, Jez appeared with JP, Sarah, Gary and Tom, who’d all made an early start repairing a worn out section down by the pond. Grabbing a shovel and a full barrow of gravel, a few of us (including Neil who had just turned up) set off to carry out a quick, easy fix on another section not too far from the car park.
In the meantime Debbie, Paul, Richard and Sharon had set off to litter-pick the site. This was the last I saw of them for the day but, given that the whole park looks a lot tidier now, they did a grand job. Litter picking is one of those thankless tasks that nobody likes having to do. It’s shameful the amount of litter that builds up down there. Just because we’ve got people prepared to do it shouldn’t mean they have to, so please everyone – if you brought it in, then take it out with you.
After a bit of a tea break, we got going again. Jez and Gary headed down to the lowest part of the trail to remove a woodwork section that was way past it’s best and had started to become unsafe. We’ve got some ideas in mind about what to replace it with: we’ve spent the last month walking the area and think we’ve spotted a line that uses the fall of the land and a natural feature well. Exciting times.
Some of us set off with three barrows full of gravel to do another repair down by the triangle entrance, while JP and Neil were to follow on with the compactor to finish things off. That done, we turned our attention to a worn out section of the Pipers Hill climb, using some gravel we’d stockpiled nearby some time ago. This done, it was time for a late lunch and another tea break. Tom and I set off to do a quick repair on the roller on the corner just before the S-bend berms, while the others shifted the rocks that had been delivered that morning.
A good day’s work from all involved – we got exactly what we wanted to do done. We’ve repaired most of the sections that had suffered with the mild winter, removed a section of woodwork that had been giving us headaches for quite some time and left the place tidier than we found it thanks to our litter pickers.
Good work y’all!