Thursday, 13th October 2016

Our final practical session today was again at Skippool Creek as the well-used thoroughfare had regrown, our objective to cut back the overhead foliage ready for winter. A severe pruning should last the winter and make room for all using the path, our brief being to accommodate the tallest users of the thoroughfare, imagining a six foot man on a six foot horse! With the darkening evenings, seven Fylde Ramblers started work an hour early with Wyre Ranger, Duncan, later enjoying supper at the River Wyre.

What happens next? Read on.
Our initial summer programme will end in two weeks with a round-the-table meeting to review this period of work and discuss what happens next. Fylde does not have a Ranger Service, and the partnership with Wyre Rangers has given us a good grounding from which we have liaised with Lancashire County Council to continue our efforts where they are most needed to keep our paths walkable for all.

Skippool Creek makes a very pleasant workplace as dusk approaches,
along with birds arriving on the estuary

This is a popular haunt for photographers along the River Wyre


Seven Fylde Ramblers and Wyre Ranger, Duncan, ready for our final footpath practical. Left to right: Pat, Gina, Duncan, the Grim Reaper in the woolly hat is David behind Betsy, then Marie, John and Chris.


David masters the long-reach saw whilst Duncan checks that
he has remembered our safety briefing.


Getting the hang of the long-reach saw is tricky, but it's an effective tool and David finds it better than sitting on someone's shoulders!


Easier on the knees this time. We should all be inches taller as we tackle the height clearance for the winter months.


Lopping and clearing branches needs some teamwork in disentangling foliage and disposing of it away from the footpath.

The main job done, Chris and Gina work their way back to the vehicle, still trimming up as they go........I don't think any of us can pass a footpath now without the temptation to whip out the secateurs!

Twelve weeks of practical path maintenance work under our belts has accumulated into significant collective working hours, lots of paths covered and an insight into the organisation behind the council services.

After our final meeting in two weeks time, we'll let you know our longer term plans for Fylde Ramblers' part in footpath maintenance, which all members are welcome to become involved in.


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