A partnership between the Woodland Trust and the National Trust

The Fourth Bridge

Bridge building volunteers put their best foot forward

On a route formerly inaccessible to walkers, the Fingle Woods volunteers have worked all summer to open a path along the stream in Hall’s Cleave.

Four volunteers at work on the fourth bridge

There are four bridges in total, all constructed from local timber; Douglas fir and larch.

While at work this week, part of volunteer team completed the fourth bridge and another group set about the task of making fagots from foraged flora.

These finely formed bundles of brash, more accurately known as fascines, will be used on a future project. [Fascine: noun, Fortification. Long bundle of sticks bound together, used in building earthworks … strengthening ramparts]. Some days the volunteers display great fortitude and the effort and teamwork going into tying the reluctant branches into a tight bundle was quite formidable.

Making fagots or fascines – applying force where it’s needed

“Well, what are they for?” You may ask. Further downstream, the path finds its way along a narrow section by the bank that needs a little fortification. In future, the fascines will be used here as reinforcements, preventing erosion of the footpath.

Time for a brew

Fortunately, the forecast for the day was for conditions to improve and, as the fog cleared, the sun forced its way through the trees. At the end of a busy day the volunteers fortified themselves with tea and biscuits. Once the task of tidying up the tools was done, they forged their way home.

Informal gathering on bridge four

Put your best foot forwards and go forth into the woods to enjoy a ramble round the brambles. May the force be with you!

“Please accept my formal apologies!” by Matt Parkins

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