Waymarking is not part of CROW's usual repertoire and the task made a pleasant change especially when the abysmal weather forecast proved to be incorrect. The Wildlife Trust had devised a figure of eight walk about a mile in length along existing paths over mainly easy terrain through part of the Common that is predominately Scots pine, and it was our task to install the posts - eight in total - for the waymarks.
On a site visit a few day's earlier much of the route was found to be dry but heavy overnight rain meant there were now puddles everywhere. However there were two points where there were particular problems and we had been asked to attempt creating some drainage.
We were advised that the ground to the side of the path were we dug our ditch was at a lower level - some might beg to differ!
Please be assured any apparent deviation from the perpendicular reflects a problem with the photography and not with the installation of the post.
Actually installed at the same time as Number Three as they were at the crossing point of the route.
Along the route .....
The last post.
The second problem - water was seeping down onto the path and gathering there. By creating an outlet on the further side allowing the water to continue its journey down the slope we hoped to easy the problem.
A few moments contemplation and reflection - possibly prayer - as we waited to see how effective our efforts might be.
Final touches - soil is packed around the last post having allowed time for the Postcrete to set at the base.
As the task approached its conclusion we returned to the first problem spot to see what improvement there had been. While the water level was down it was obvious more work was required but that might be for someone else and would certainly be on another day.
"Thank you ever so much for the installation of the posts, all spot on and the right way around! Thank you also for having a go at draining the wet areas. It has improved them but I think more engineering is required to solve the problem." James Stevenson, West Berkshire Access Project Officer, Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust
Created: Thursday, 10th March 2016
Photographs: Alan Stevens