Saturday, 12 March 2016

TRF Northern Groups Lane Repairs: Tynehead - A bridge in need!

One of the lanes in Cumbria needed quite a good repair job after Storm Desmond swept through awhile ago, so once this had been pointed out by one of the Northumbria TRF lads, it was decided that Cumbria TRF would try to organise the repairs.

The storm had washed loads of debris downstream and blocked up the bridge at Darn Gill. This then changed the course of the flow and sent the water over the top of the bridge instead of it's usual under, destroying both the bridge surface, the supporting arch as well as the surrounding banks.

Semi blocked beck after some clearance
The steps to complete this were quite a few:

1. Assess the damage and the amount of repairs needed
2. Assess whether volunteers could do the repairs or whether they needed more skilled knowledge/heavy machinery
3. Make a remedial repair to allevieviate more damage occuring
4. Either get permission from the landowner or the Highways Authority. The landowner was easier so we then had to find out who that was.
5. Wait for the snow and ice conditions to warm up
6. Get a team together and set a date for the repairs
7. Get it done!

After a few conversations and a discussion at the Cumbria TRF group meeting it was decided that Danny Tayllor from Haggs Bank would try to establish who the owner was and make contact with them to find out if they would be happy for us to traverse their land and do the repairs. This took a little time but was successful.

Geoff Wilson, Steve Pighills and Robert Wilson went up on a mid week day and shifted several tonnes of rock to create an opening back under the bridge and to do a better assessment of the repair works. Geoff has lots of knowledge from ten years of upland path management, so he led on the whole thing.

The day dawned with teams from all corners of the northern TRF groups coming to help, the main team consisted of:

1. Geoff Wilson
2. Mike atkinson
3. Steve Stout

1. Greg Villalobos
2. Danny Taylor

1. Scott Heyden
2. Scott's dad
3. Dave Lawson

With another six lads turning up from Ribble Valley and three more from Northumbria, all of whom had come on their bikes with a plan to help out...

Ribble Valley boys at work

Northumbria heavy squad arrived

A much better flow now

Between the whole group, the bridge was resupported at its incoming edge, the upstream bed was levelled out and the flow changed almost to it's original line, the stream bed was widened and new sets were laid across the surface of the bridge to protect the whole thing from traffic for the future. An awful lot of stone was shifted, some downstream, some off to the side to create walls for the flow to bounce off...

On the whole this was both a productive and a humbling day, a day where faith in the human race is restored as we all worked together to achieve a hard task and although we will all benefit from it, a lot more people will continue to enjoy this lane because of the efforts of the people involved.

Inspection time

Greg at play

Laying sets

I've personally now met another group of folk who are both passionate about their sport and happy to get involved to give a little back...

Thanks you very much to everyone who came, with especial thanks to Geoff Wilson for his generous donation of knowledge to us all and to Danny Taylor for his efforts in talking to the farmer and his family.

A superb day out, now it's time for a beer!!

Trail Riders Fellowship