The trail maintenance Core Team (consisting of Maggie from MCP, 4 guys from Meet Up plus Markymark, Ryszard, Groundskeeper John, Sandy Slater and myself) met up for the first time last Saturday (14/1) . Here’s what happened….Apart from setting the scene and getting to meet each other the main objective was to survey a section of trail and agree ways to fix the problems. Maggie (the Ranger) has some experience of trail maintenance but is willing to try different things and see what works best. Maggie was full of praise for our efforts and in her experience she’s never had a group like this come together to volunteer to help in such a constructive way. So it’s all positive from their perspective.
What followed during the 5 hours was a process of walk the trail, stop at a muddy/wide/eroded/blocked/braided (delete as appropriate) section of trail, discuss possible fixes, agree fixes, knock in a numbered post to identify the trail, photograph the section and write up some notes before moving to the next section. This has resulted in a Trail Survey Document with 24 separate areas for work ranging from pruning, tree felling, re-routing trails, blocking off braided/widening trails, cutting sections of new trail and lots of ditch digging. We’ve also identified that we need some 4″/10cm plastic drainage pipe (approx 6m) and some Type 1 hardcore for use where the trail exits at the road. If you have any lying around let one of the Core Team know!
During the day we only saw a couple of walkers use the trail but probably 5 or 6 bikers ploughing their way through the boggy sections. So not only do we have a lot of work to do to repair the trails but it’s clear there’s a lot of work to do to raise awareness amongst the biking community. To be fair, there were a lot more bikers using the WHW so on that unscientific basis it seemed to be a small minority using Riverside.
The first trail maintenance session is on Sat 11th Feb. I’ve had approx 15 volunteers from GMBC (including 5 Core Team) so combined with Meet Up we should have enough people. However, we may come looking for tools such as spades, forks and mattocks. I’ll publish an email in week or so finalising the arrangements for the volunteers. If you’d like to volunteer (especially for the sessions in March) then let me know and I’ll add you to the list. And many thanks to those who’ve shown an interest so far, hopefully it will make a improve the trails for us all!