Despite some stunning autumn days, its fair to say that November has been a touch on the damp side! Having dropped down from the high fells this is to be expected for this time of year and just means we have to wrap up and plough on through, which was definately the case when we went to visit some colleagues over in Yorkshire.
Starting the day at Ribbleshead
We see it as really important to share knowledge when and where we can, with a trip up to the Cairngorms last year, this year we decided to stay somewhere a bit more local and headed over the way to Yorkshire. Focusing on the Yorkshire three peaks we spent 2 days looking at the work they have been doing and the differing techniques they use. The main one being the use of flag stones over pitching stones like we would use.
Big flags used as an alternative to our pitched steps
So in the Lakes where we would use fairly sizeable boulders constructed into a stone stairway, by hand, with varying treads and height gains, on Pen-Y-Gent and Whernside the guys use flag stones all put in by diggers. These large, flat flags create a uniform stairway that winds its way steadily up the fell. Its most certainly different to what we are used to, but we can see that for the resources and volume of people they have it is a great solution that appears will last for a pretty long time. In some spots they are learning as they go, with water becoming a problem or in some cases people just walking off to the side of the path.
Erosion just to the side of the flags
The other difference was that they really struggle to use stone from the site on which they are working. So here in the Lakes we will hand pick our stone for projects from a site normally less than a mile away. In Yorkshire this isnt the case and more often than not they are forced to bring the stone in. This becomes especially prevelant on their gravel paths, where they have started to use a dark aggregate from a local quarry. It works well as a path surface, but isnt necessarily what people expect to see!
Dark aggregate brought in onto the path
All in all it was a really great trip, despite the weather! There was plenty for us to look at and ponder and it was really useful to see how other places do it differently, we even managed to do the tourist thing and visit Hull Pot. Thanks must go to the National Park guys who did a really great job of showing us around, cheers!
Power posing in the rain!