Record of my work experience with Exmoor National Park

Work experience 03-02-2015

This week we were out repairing and replacing signs. On North Hill near Minehead there are two signs that have been broken by livestock rubbing against them. We are taking signs out that are thicker than normal in an effort to prevent this happening again.

We loaded the signs into the Land Rover and set off.

The first sign was badly broken and we set about digging it out ready to place the new sign.

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The new sign post was too long and so we cut the end off using the hand saw and then used the reciprocating saw to fashion a point on the end of the post to ensure it would drive in easily.

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We dug out the bottom of the hole and then fitted the new sign a lot lower, this should mean that cattle and ponies are less likely to use it as a scratching post and break the fingers on the sign. The sign was driven in using the iron bar with stones around the base to secure it.

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The next sign was even more badly damaged and had to be dug out to fit the new sign.

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We dug the hole a lot deeper as the original sign was much too high and very prone to livestock rubbing against it.

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We encountered a number of large stones which had to be dug out before putting the new post in.

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We fitted the new post and used the stones we had dug out to pack the sign in and make sure it was secure.

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These stones were packed in using the iron bar and then covered with earth.

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The finished sign.

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We then had to visit a farm to replace a “No Parking” sign, walkers would park in front of the farm to follow a footpath nearby and the owner of the farm requires access at all times.

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The two coach bolts holding the sign were removed using a spanner.

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The old sign was probably around 20 years old.

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A slightly larger coach bolt was used to fix the new sign in place.

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The new sign in place.

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The last job of the day was out across the moors and involved a significant amount of off-road work in the Land Rover. This was very interesting and Tony demonstrated a number of useful techniques for recognising wet ground and avoiding it, how to get out of trouble by not slowing down too much and when to keep going through wet areas by maintaining momentum. The best way to ensure the vehicle does not become bogged down is to push through the terrain and keep the vehicle going at a good speed, this ensures the momentum will get you through the wet terrain and the weight is never in one place long enough to drag the vehicle down.

Once at the location we had to replace a sign that had completely worn out.

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We drilled pilot holes through the post and secured the sign to the fence post using 6 inch nails.

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We then returned across the moor, with more opportunities to demonstrate off road driving and the techniques involved in staying out of trouble and keeping the vehicle moving.

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