Small Woodland Owners' Group

woodland tracks

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Postby tracy » Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:37 pm

How are we all coping with shared access tracks? Richard and I have just started chatting about the problem of extracting firewood which got me thinking. We try so hard not to drive on the track in the winter, and only extract on dry days or very cold ones, but it is really hard to keep the track looking good - especially when it is shared by 20 other owners! Next year we are going to deliver as much wood as we can in the summer.


Trouble is that some woodland owners would love a lovely grassy visually appealing access, others really could do with hardcore or tarmac. Some have tractors and 4 x4 and some of us are trying to get up the track in a VW polo! (or electric bicycle)


What are you doing to keep access clear for all people... how can it meet as many needs as possible?

Any thoughts?

Tracy


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Postby RichardKing » Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:58 pm

Brash seems to be the best way to protect soft ground, but if you have deep ruts (particularly on clay) then I see no alternative but to backfill with hardcore and pile on the brash to prevent it happening again. In an emergency I have used slices of log, but its an awful waste! Visual effect of harcore does not seem to be a problem as it just gets covered with mud & sinks into the Great Grimpen Mire.


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Postby Darren » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:09 pm

We have a lovely hardcore track going throught the middle of the woods right up to my woods. We get pot holes so we decided amonst a few of us who this part of the track to buy a lorry load of hardcore and fill in the pot holes when needed.


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Postby tracy » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:48 am

We have been using a brash layer, then hardcore on top in the main ruts - trouble is, it doesn't look nice! As soon as we get a chance we will be covering up the hardcore with some soil. We cycle up to the wood as much as we can to reduce the track usage, but as there are so many owners, it is inevitable that the track will be used....and the amount of water that gathers on the track means that even walking and cycling rips up some of the grass. Roll on summer!


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Postby Darren » Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:44 pm

Hardcore does look horrible at first. After a while it looks weathered and muddy.


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Postby Martin » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:51 am

I have redone the track into my wood this year, i had a 20 tonne load delivered of local ragstone, a little more pricey than hardcore, but looked better after laying. However now in hind sight with the fall of leaves it really didn't matter as it all now covered.


It is a very wet year this year and access is still slippy in places.


Has anyone used the grass matting that is available? Is this a no no in woodlands? I know farmers use it to prevent poaching around gateways. It would make good and easy hard standing for cars, it doesn't disturb plantlife and is made fron non degradle recycled plastic.


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Postby tracy » Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:47 pm

Thanks for those thoughts folks. Well, we put some hardcore in some of the larger holes, but someone sneaky came along and dug it up and put the stones all over the place - which could cause damage to vehicles. hmmm


We have reported it to the police, trespassing, damage etc, just to keep a log. Frustrating, isn't it?! We hope to chat to all the owners at our wood, (who are interested), at some point to talk about applying for a woodland improvement grant- which can pay a lot towards improving access. Any of you done that yet?

Tracy


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