As part of the work we are doing on the Derwentwater foreshore and Friars Crag I have recently been installing a length of riven oak post and rail fencing. Riven oak is an old tradition of making posts and rails by riving the wood along its grain. In the past we’ve prepared our own but this was bought in. Its advantages include that it lasts a lot longer and it looks better than clean-cut softwood.
It is more expensive to install than softwood but, considering the extra life we will get from the material, it is a good investment. Funding is coming from the lottery as it is part of the foreshore development and the Trust is installing it. So, with the help of one of our volunteers. I have installed a short section as a trial. We laid a short section of hedge to strengthen it and then the new fence was installed. If it is successful, we’ll use the same technique elsewhere on Friars Crag.
|Phase 1: Laying the hedge.|
|Reiver still enjoys her outings and meeting people but needs more rest stops these days!|
Styles of hedge-laying vary across the country. This trial stretch uses plants that are rather thin because they are growing in little soil on stony ground. To encourage stronger growth, they have been cut and bent to ground level where they can set new roots. Meanwhile the fence will protect it. The idea is to improve wild-life habitats. About two years ago, we laid 140 metres of a similarly sparse hedge and it is now thriving. All being well, this year it will be home to considerably more than the two nests it accommodated when we began its improvement.
|Phase 2: Installing posts and rails.|
If we find that this trial section is successful, more of this work will be carried out on Friars Crag. It will look good; it will protect vegetation from trampling and it will provide better wild-life habitats.
|Phase 3: Happy Naomi (coordinator of the project).|