Friday, 10 January 2014

Out with the Bouncy Bridge

Today I assisted TCBC Woodland Ranger, Jon Howells,  in making good a previous repair to the bridge over the stream near the Principal entrance of the Birch Grove Car Park. Originally the bridge wearing boards were made using mahogany, which is a very tough and stiff wood and now thankfully it use is much more controlled today as it grows in tropical rainforests. So when, the edges started to rot away, they were replaced with 1 inch thick decking boards. These are not quite the same as mahogany and when they were screwed down at the edges and middle, they were very springy....
starting to pull up the boards
so much so, that as people walked over them eventually, the screws were lifted out of the wood, increasing the "bounceupability" (Oxford English Dictionary take note of the word's first proper use) of the planks. So I'd be going backwards and forwards to the bridge putting in new screws. Anyway, the new Welsh Government Tidy Towns funded grant gave us a little bit of money to spend on the bridge to make it sound again.
This old one was thick and a bit rotten in parts so out it went
We then cut the new boards to length and laid them lengthwise and impact driver'd them down.
Over the boardwalk
These were the foundations for the old boards to go back on top in the same orientation as before, first we had to cut them down to fit the width of the bridge.
Cutting and laying the boards down
We put all the boards down, spaced them out and screwed them down again with the impact driver. While we were finishing off 3 LNR users came over the bridge and said how much better it was, so not a bad day's work all in all.
Bouncy bridge bye bye
Before I end this blog update, I'd like to shamelessly plug a colleague of mine Gareth Davies who works for Environment Wales, who recently completed a year doing loads of different activities raising money for Recovery Cymru and Keep Wales Tidy. My personal favourite was him giving up alcohol for a whole year in memory of his Mam. A brave, touching and fantastic achievement. If you have a second there is a 3 and a bit minute video showing some of the stuff he got up to which can be viewed here.
If anyone wanted to, Gareth's "Just Giving" link is here too.

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