New Bridge – No Sweat!

Details of the Working Party 22 July 2021

On one of the hottest days of the year so far, we were again at Knowle Hill, but this time on the Badsey side. We planned to replace two old wooden stiles with pedestrian gates and also replace a rotting ditch crossing.

Thankfully, the landowner had agreed to allow us to park our cars close to the footpath, which meant that all the materials and tools for the job were to hand.

Our first task was to remove the old ditch crossing and the two stiles, and this was speedily achieved. Glyn and Stefan worked on the stile adjoining an orchard while the rest of the group concentrated on removing the rotten planks and the second stile. Pam (along with John and Alastair, attending their first Work Party) was tasked with clearing the brambles and tree branches hanging over the stream and she proved very adept at brandishing secateurs.

We assumed that the County would send the usual sized gates and we began digging holes for the uprights based on the dimensions we were expecting. However, when Nick from the County arrived with the materials, the gates he brought were much wider, so we had to re-think how we were to accommodate them.

Pam now proved very useful in removing loose soil from the holes we were digging and was quickly given the nickname ‘Mole’.

Although the larger group was working in a shaded area, Glyn and Stefan were not so lucky and had to toil in the blazing sun trying to remove the roots of a plum tree before the gate could be put in position. However, perseverance paid off, and all of the work was completed in good time.

These two gates and the ditch crossing now complete all the improvements we had identified for Circular Walk 2 – Badsey, Wickhamford and Aldington.

Thanks to everyone for a job well done. The next Working Party is scheduled for Thursday 19 August.

Alan Saunders