Record of my work experience with Exmoor National Park

Work experience 03-04-2014

Today we picked up a job that was in a particularly difficult spot. The job was to remove a stile and replace it with a hunting gate that was sprung to auto-close with a standard latch.

We loaded up the tools into a small trailer and the gate furniture into the Land Rover
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We headed out to site and spoke with the land owner who explained that the fields we would have to cover to get to the stile where very wet and he would only attempt getting there using his Argocat 8 wheel ATV. We made our way back to the yard and moved all the tools into the Kawasaki Mule as this would be able to get us closer than the Land Rover.

Once back on site, the land owner took us down to the bridleway in his Argocat to show us what the ground was like. It was very marshy and the final track was very wet indeed and even the Argocat struggled to get through.

We decided to drive down in the Mule as close as we could get and then carry the tools, gate and posts in to the location.

We carried the gate and one of the posts in to the location and set them down.
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We took the opportunity to look at other methods of accessing the stile and found there was another way in using an adjoining field, this was much drier and we were able to drive the Mule right down to the location and begin work.

The first job was to cut the rails and remove the stile
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We then propped the gate in place to be sure it would fit
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With the rails cut we could carry on to fit the posts
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At each step we checked the gate against our work to ensure it was level and a good fit
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Holes are drilled to fit the top strap on the gate with three bolts
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A hole is drilled in the post and a hanger is driven in to take the gate, then the gate is put on the hanger to check it is level and will swing correctly
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Another hole is drilled at the bottom of the post and a second hanger fitted there, the bottom strap is fitted using a single bolt and then the gate is hung on the post.

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A second hole is dug for the falling post (post the gate closes against) and this is checked to make sure it is in the right place before being firmed in using the iron bar.

The furniture is added to the gate, making sure the hasp used to latch the gate shut is on the LOWER part of the staple so it does not slip round and end up the wrong way up to close the gate.

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Then the spring is fitted to the inside edge of the gate, this is done using a staple on the gate and then tapping a nail in just a little to check the spring is going to work before securing permanently with a staple.

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The last job is to nail the rails back onto the new posts to ensure the gate is fully stock-proof.
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The finished gate
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