Sunday, 11 July 2010

Community spirit

Today's safari was to join a group of Green Lane enthusiasts led by the County Council's Rights of Way Officer in partnership with the local Green Lane Association (GLASS) representatives to repair one of our very few local byways; one that has sadly been trashed by irresponsible numpties. Obviously we couldn't join in the works so we took some pics for a record of the day. We felt we had to show our face as we have used and enjoyed this lane several times. It's not particularly long and it's not that technical but it is a bit different to your average Sunday drive out in the countryside.
Here we are a few weeks ago having to make three attempts at a particularly sticky bit. The muddy tracks to the left are OFF the Right of Way where people have driven round the obstacle, a big hole and very steep lift out - we managed it at the third attempt cocking a back wheel in the air as we went over it.
It was an exceptional turn out with over 35 people in 22 vehicles willing to give up their time showing the strong commitment to responsible laning in this part of the world.At the start of the lane there is a bit of a washed out drop off which hopefully will have been repaired by the end of the day. A little further down the numpties had made an alternative track through the woods destroying the vegetation in the process - access was prevented by using logs cut from fallen trees blocking the river.Many hands made light work of the job which could have been a very muddy experience but the lack of very much rain recently made the work more comfortable if not easier.
The track is steep and generally stony but where water seeps out of the hillside it can get very muddy. See below, no tyre track one side whereas the other side shows an obvious one.
This is where we got stuckish (1st pic), trying to get the front wheel out of the drop on the right going up the hill, without going into the muddy 'off-piste' ruts on the left. We're looking up the hill here - need 3-D pics. The hole is about two feet deep as can bee seen from the clay on the right of the picture.The numpties have been entering the stream, driving under the bridge and hauling themselves out further up creating big wheel ruts in the soft ground. These were backfilled and the egress point hidden with vegetation.
Some 'turves' were cut to help revegetate and the whole lot hidden under brash.
The tree that provided the material had slipped down the steep hill in a landslide during the winter. The water oozing out of the bank had frozen and as it thawed the ground gave way, a very common occurrence in this woodland although usually the fallen trees don't block the flow of the river as the steep bank is some way away for the most part. Many years ago we worked on the footpath through this wood which was/still is plagued by the water coming out of the hillside...the wood's name is Boggy Wood - kinda says it all.The cut logs were then winched from the tree to where another Land Rover dragged them up the hill to where they were needed.

Sorry about you having to view the second video with a cricked neck - no-one told me you can't rotate video...actually you probably can but not on this pc!
We left the crew to get on with the job at lunchtime. Being the furthest we had driven since the op the good hand was beginning to feel the strain and the bad hand was positively sore!
On the way back to Base Camp we passed his lovely roadside verge full of wildflowers - why can't they all be left like this. In this short stretch there was Meadow Vetchling, Black Knapweed, Hogweed, Yarrow, Common Sorrel, Tufted Vetch and Meadowsweet.
A short stop at the nature reserve proved fairly fruitless. We were after Garganey, one was on the pool opposite our nan's old house where we used to sail our model boats yesterday so there was a small chance of one dropping on to the mere.
The only stuff of note were 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 Oystercatchers and a count of 58 Coots in amongst the beautiful display of Yellow Water Lily.
Bumped in to MJ who told us he'd had a Lancashire mega off the coast earlier - Long Tailed Skua!!! Right close inshore too - Top dollar MJ; crackin' find.
The best we could come up with to match that was this Small Tortoiseshell.
Where to next? Hmmm not sure but could do with better pics of those White Letter Hairstreaks if the wind ever drops and the sun comes out.
In the meantime let us know if you have a good community spirit in your outback.


Monika said...

Always nice to see people coming together for a good common cause - thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Cheers 4 the Pics and the write up.

I didn't stop all day, but was impressed by the hard graft and determination of all those that attended to try and prevent this lovely lane being closed to old and new "friends".

I hope that those who are responsible for the original damage are totally ashamed of their actions and that the local (and national) press follow up there "horror stories" with a feature about the responsible side of the 4x4 community.

Good to see Frank out and about and enjoying the pasties :-)


Anonymous said...

good to see that you are out and about and driving Mate. So it's the pasties that Franks been eating....then.
and nice to see some mud finally under your tyres.
Raining and storms here tonight
Aussie Glen