The bridge over troubled water

To ensure the safety of visitors here at Yarner wood regular checks are carried out on the manmade structures around the reserve. As part of our role as conservation assistants James and I assisted with these checks and are now making a start on the necessary work that needs to be completed under the guidance of the reserves warden.

One of the tasks that we identified was that a small foot bridge was being undermined by the furious winter currents of the tributary running through the wood.

Our task was to create a support to the stream sides under the existing bridge to prevent further erosion. “This is a great opportunity to learn these unique skills and reuse old materials that would have otherwise have gone to waste” (James).

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P1020687
Bridge before work had begun (Robyn Owen)

 

We recycled old railway sleepers as the main support to the bankside which were further supported with fence posts. With the stream abundant with rocks, it was a pretty herculean task to ram the posts in with the post basher. We returned the hand rail to its original position…one day I hope to hammer in a nail without bending it. That’s a work in progress!

 

We used the plentiful supply of large rocks to further support the bank sides. Next week we will fill in the sides of the bridge with stone so there is a smooth ramp from the path to the bridge. Preventing any trip hazards!

It was a great opportunity to learn bridge making best practice and an excuse to splash about in the water and mud!

So feel free to test out the revamped bridge. It may be a little wonky in places, but it’s as sturdy as the Clapper Bridge, let’s hope it lasts as long!

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