Record of my work experience with Exmoor National Park

Work experience 07-10-2014

Today we set out to remove the old chicken-wire from a bridge and replace it with more substantial heavy-duty grating. The new wire grating was loaded into the trailer ready for the bridge.

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Before going to the bridge, we checked out a nearby drain, there had been some rain recently and it is always worth checking on the drains as debris is often washed down into the drains and it is part of the National Parks responsibility to ensure these drains are kept clear.

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This drain had recently been cleared out by the gentleman who owns the house next to it, it is often the case that locals will assist with clearing out drains for the National Park and this is very much appreciated as the park does not always have the resources to check all the drains all of the time.

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After a short chat with the gentleman who owns the house, who had cleared the drain, we set off to the bridge to carry out repairs.

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The old chicken-wire (attached to the bridge to prevent people slipping on the wooden surface) had worn through and was presenting a trip hazard in numerous places along the length of the bridge.

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We used a crow-bar to lift the old chicken-wire off the bridge, rolling it up as we went. This has to be done carefully so no bits of the old chicken-wire are left on the bridge as they may hurt dogs paws when walking across.

Once this was done, we swept the surface of the bridge to remove all the leaf debris and mud that had built up on the wooden surface.

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We then had to use bolt-crops to cut the sheets of mesh to the correct size to fit the bridge, we also measured out in paces the length of the bridge to give us an indication of how many panels we would need.

The wire is secured using staples, hammered in at regular intervals to hold the mesh down. More staples are used at the ends to secure the mesh and to hold one piece to the next.

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The end had to be cut off one section to make it fit, the cut end is placed against the previous section to ensure people don’t cut themselves on the sharp metal ends and the blunt end is at the very end of the bridge as this won’t cause harm to anyone.

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Once this was done we went back to the yard and tidied up several trailers.

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