Developing The Site
Clearing The Tank Ramp
Initial Access to The site
The first thing we wanted to do was excavate the ramp, but to do that we first had to get there. The hillside above the ramp was heavily overgrown with a variety of thorny plants which meant the only access was by boat. Group members had to fight their way down the hill with machetes, hedging knives, chainsaws and strimmers to open up the initial pathways to the site.
The first phase of the excavation was all done by hand, digging away the layers of silt with shovels and spades. This was hard work, but volunteers braved the cold weather and by early January 2010 a section of the ramp, about 8 feet wide was clear from top to bottom.
It had taken more than a month to get this far and there was still a lot more mud to shift.
But thanks to a generous donation we were able to hire 360° Excavator to finish the job off.
This not only made clearing the rest of the ramp much faster and easier, on it's way down the hill it was able to convert our hand cut pathway into a wide clear track giving us access for vehicles for the first time.
It was also used to clear the original track to the Tank Ramp as far as our South boundary, clear the overgrown
half moon behind the ramp and the green above.
The Saga of the Steps
Southern Boundary Steps Project.
This project was completed during the weekend of March 6th & 7th 2010. With Martin Lambert's organisation and engineering skills the project was completed safely and successfully.
Thank you to all the group members who were involved in the preparation for this phase and those over the weekend who, with Martin as
Slavedriver, completed the project in record time!
Improving The Paths for Public Access
To make the site accessible for the public BSHG had to improve upon the rough dirt tracks they had beaten down to the Tank Ramp. The main access we used on foot was the south path which runs along the southern boundary of the land. This was originally cut by hand and in places was very steep, uneven and slippery. So using funds we has raised we bought the materials to make proper footpaths. We hired a Bobcat mini digger to level out uneven sections and bought several tons of gravel and lengths of tanalised wood for edge boards. The edge boards were set into the ground with wooden pegs, taram laid between them and the gravel wheel barrowed and tipped onto it. Tiring work, but worth the effort. Unfortunately the poor weather over the past year has put an end to the work for now as the path is only two thirds complete. But we hope to finish the rest as soon as conditions allow.
A record of works carried out by the group.