Record of my work experience with Exmoor National Park

Work experience 15-05-2014

This week we were continuing work on a new footpath that was being cut through woodland to replace an old footpath that had collapsed into the river due to recent flooding. This had required some careful planing work and the line of the new footpath had to be agreed by planning agencies and local council.

Once the work had been approved the digger had to be taken to the site and it was a difficult job to get the digger in to the footpath in order to dig out the new right of way.

The digger was used to take out earth from the bank and move it to create a flat path

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Several trees had to be removed to make room for the path, this required checking to ensure the relevant felling licenses were adhered to and the land owners were consulted on what to do with the timber afterwards. It was decided that the felled trees would be left where they fell to create wildlife habitat for insects, small mammals and birds.

The tape shows the agreed route of the new path through the woodland.

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More pathway being dug out

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Felled trees creating new wildlife habitat

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Video footage of the digger at work

Several trees caught as they fell and had to be dragged out using the cargo strap and the digger

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Cutting a felling notch

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Flattening out the path

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Cutting a felling notch

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The felling cut

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Tree falling

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Several roots had to be removed from the path and the ground made good again with surrounding earth

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Roots in the walls of the new path had to be cut back with loppers

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A tree that was felled onto the path being limbed-up ready to move off the pathway

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Tape used to mark the new pathway

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Felling another tree

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Checking the location of the felling notch

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Making the felling cut

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Tree going over

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Despite the advisory signs, we still had to redirect walkers who were trying to use the old path whilst we were working above them. This meant work had to stop as boulders, trees and other large debris was rolling down the bank and could have seriously injured or killed anyone using the path.

Even nailing the gate shut did not prevent walkers from trying to use the path.

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Felling another tree

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During lunch break we found dragonfly larvae in the river

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And brown trout as well

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The footpath

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