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CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)
Wednesday, 21st May 2014
Wokefield Common ~ Car park maintenance

Car park at start of day

For a long time the state of the car park at Wokefield Common could not be described as good and the rain of last autumn and winter had caused it to deteriorate even further. It therefore hardly came as a surprise when we were asked whether we would help with some repairs.

Car park at start of day

Car park maintenance is not part of our normal repertoire but it obviously needed doing for the benefit of all who use the site. Indeed there was an element of self interest in the task for one of our volunteers had damaged the exhaust of their car when attempting to join a task at the site earlier in the year.

Car park at start of day

The dips, hollows and potholes had become a feature of the car park, filling with mud and water during wet weather making it difficult to judge their depth.

Volunteers clear ditch

The material for the car park had been due to arrive at 9:30 but was delayed. However there were a number of other items requiring our attention such as this ditch created to prevent vehicles being driven into the woods, which was in need of clearing.

Volunteers clear ditch

Chris set to work with his usual enthusiasm creating a hole so that the tie-back post for the height barrier could be re-installed. The sign also required reinstating as the supporting posts had decayed at the base.


With coffee time approaching, good progress had been made clearing the ditch.


At the start of one of the routes into the woods posts were dug in again to prevent cars entering the woods.

Volunteers at work

The post re-installers are still busy at work .....

Volunteers at work

..... while the ditch will soon be good enough for trench warfare.

Lorry delivers sub base

Half past twelve and just three hours late the lorry arrives with 10 tonnes of Type 1 granular sub base. Despite the offer of an early lunch every one is keen to get started and we spend twenty minutes filling holes before taking a breaking.

Wheelbarrowing sub base

The sub base is transported to where it is needed using wheelbarrows .....

Spreading sub base

..... and is then spread .....

Spreading sub base

..... and levelled.

Filled potholes

Nice job!

Volunteers relax at end of task

By half past two all the sub base had been moved and there was nothing left to do but relax and admire all that we had achieved.

Volunteers check re-installed sign

Don't worry lads, the post and sign are still standing, .....

Volunteers check re-installed sign

..... I'm sure nothing will fall over before we leave.

Volunteers check re-installed sign

They seem reassured!

Volunteers take final look at their work

All done! The work is complete, what initially appeared a daunting task had proved to be both satisfying and rewarding, and one which (possibly surprisingly) we had all enjoyed. The material provided proved only sufficient to repair between a quarter and a third of the site, we hope to return at the start of July to continue the task.

Thanks to The Conservation Volunteers from whom we obtained the tools including the wheelbarrows, and who allowed us the use of their minibus. Thanks also to our volunteers for the day, Cathy, Chris, Hannah, Janet, Judith, Mike, Peter, Terry and Alan. In particular thanks to Cathy, Hannah and Chris for their help with the tools, to Cathy for driving the minibus and to Hannah for the photo's.

Created: Wednesday, 28th May 2014
Photographs: Hannah Graves