Half Term Report from the School of Hard Rocks

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We couldn't help but notice that the rain has hardly ceased throughout January and February while continuing our epic tree planting.

 In a normal winter the cladding of the fells in snow and ice would reduce levels of erosion of path surfaces, allowing us to concentrate on other things.

This winter,however we need to make sure we stay on top of path maintenance and so during the half term holiday we headed to Black Sail Pass, one of the most susceptible routes to surface erosion.

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Two of the team headed along the centuries-old pack horse route digging out  drainage channels at regular intervals

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As Black Sail has a fairly fine grained gravelly surface it is particularly vulnerable if the drains are left overflowing.The resultant damage can soon deepen entrenched path sections

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This section below Gatherstone beck has deepened alarmingly over recent years and usually large amounts of debris can build up needing extensive shovelling

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Another danger of accumulated debris is that of trails of material spreading out across the hillside killing off vegetation

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Preserving the discreet zig-zag nature of this ancient route has been a priority for many years and one dreads to think how much material has been lost over time.

The final important point to remember along this route is to make sure the gate is closed on the summit of the pass

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