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Damp ground and tracks

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Re: Damp ground and tracks

Postby oldclaypaws » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:36 am

Spot on Terry.

I'd like to differentiate between the main access track into a wood which is needed to get on site and park (as per dredgers original post) and perhaps what Simon is referring to, other occasionally used tracks further into the wood.

On the important bit where I have to get on site, to load logs, carry tools, park with visitors, etc, I want it as solid and weather proof as possible. Here I'm grateful for my scalpings, although even then, they need strimming as various herbs and grasses do grow on them, and with only a thin layer of soil on top you get 6 foot high weeds, where I watch the butterflies with my binoculars.

I don't drive large vehicles in any other parts of the wood, and wouldn't want to crush any plants, ferns or run over any of my deadwood heaps or little beasties, thats why I'm going to use a soft tired garden tractor to retrieve logs from the inner jungle only in mid summer, going along earthed tracks about 5 feet wide, which are more like footpaths. In the spring I stick to a path one foot wide, asking visitors to do the same, and don't deviate from it in order to not crush the bluebells and spring plants. I also refuse to do what many would, give the green light to contractors to send large vehicles in to fell the crowded oaks, wrecking the understorey and leaving it like a bombsite, instead I'll leave the trees where they drop and plank them in situ to minimise impact.

I care deeply about the ecology and flora of my wood (hence why I turned down a lucrative woodland wedding proposal), so respect where Simon is coming from. I treat the inner wood with great care and sensitivity, but recommend good firm scalping or MOT tracks with the main (minimal required) access track and parking area, nobody wants their jalopy grounded in a swamp and to be roughly dragged out by a tractor. Hope that clarifies my approach.
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Re: Damp ground and tracks

Postby SimonFisher » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:42 am

oldclaypaws wrote:I'd like to differentiate between the main access track into a wood which is needed to get on site and park (as per dredgers original post) and perhaps what Simon is referring to, other occasionally used tracks further into the wood...

Our woods are 'plots' in a much bigger wood of many hundreds of acres and what would once have been the occasionally used tracks to get further into the wood off the main track are now our regularly used route to get us and our vehicle and our kit into the middle of our 'plots'. Whereas the main track is hard material, most of the bits we navigate after turning off still have a fair amount of soft top material. Maybe we are fortunate that being on the South Downs it's mostly chalk underneath and perhaps the hard material of the main track is simply where the top material has been worn away and it's now down to the chalk.

We manage fine most of the time on the other bits even in wetter weather. We changed our vehicle to something more suited when we bought the woods - we now have a Land Rover Freelander 2 with all-terrain tyres and often with trailer. So far it appears more competent on the muddy bits than our previous Discovery 3 (same tyres). I certainly wouldn't attempt to get in with a regular road vehicle with normal clearance. Maybe over time those once lesser-used tracks now used more often will wear down to the chalk and become like the main track. I hope not, and looking at how they've coped over the last eight years since we bought our first wood suggests my hopes might be realised.
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Re: Damp ground and tracks

Postby Dexter's Shed » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:34 pm

SimonFisher wrote:
oldclaypaws wrote: - we now have a Land Rover Freelander 2 with all-terrain tyres and often with trailer. So far it appears more competent on the muddy bits than our previous Discovery 3 (same tyres).


that proves a good point, as most plot holders tend to go for either the discovery or a defender, which are permanent 4wd I believe? and therefore tend to rip up the soft paths more, I like yourself have the freelander, and although they are seen as a joke to some hardened landy types, being 2wd to 4wd when it needs, is much better on the pathways, I fitted a 40mm lift kit to ours, and as yet, never been stuck, unlike the others in the same wood
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Re: Damp ground and tracks

Postby Stevieb0y » Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:15 pm

I'm currently looking into this as I have to drive up a short yet steep hill to get to my woods and home. It's fine in the dry but in the wet it can become very slippery and have got stuck a couple of times where I park my car. I am planning on getting some of the ground dug out at the top and have some scalpings laid but the hill part is a bit harder, hence I've been looking at the plastic gravel pavers to hold it in place. Could any of you recommend any suppliers? I will need quite a few m2.
Thanks
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Re: Damp ground and tracks

Postby Terry » Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:10 am

Stevieb0y wrote:I'm currently looking into this as I have to drive up a short yet steep hill to get to my woods and home. It's fine in the dry but in the wet it can become very slippery and have got stuck a couple of times where I park my car. I am planning on getting some of the ground dug out at the top and have some scalpings laid but the hill part is a bit harder, hence I've been looking at the plastic gravel pavers to hold it in place. Could any of you recommend any suppliers? I will need quite a few m2.
Thanks


Hi Stevie, have used a good few of these. Cant remember the suppliers, but have the details at home. Unfortunately away at work till next week, but will have a look when I get back.
From memory paid £9.50/m2 delivered but this was about 3 or 4 years ago and bought a number of pallet loads at a time. Google might well be your best bet.
You will find that there are a lot of suppliers, but a lot of the products are sourced from a handful of manufacturers and just renamed so you should have only a few options to consider.
Within that there is a bit of variation depending on the expected loading and ground conditions. They can all take a surprisingly high load and ground conditions can be manipulated if necessary with hardcore/scalpings etc and geotextiles.
Have a look at landscaping & paving websites.
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Re: Damp ground and tracks

Postby Stevieb0y » Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:14 pm

Thanks Terry. I was concerned as to the quality of some of the cheaper ones. Didn't want to go to all the trouble of laying them etc and then only lasting a year or so.
Need to get the ground prepped first. Many thanks
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Re: Damp ground and tracks

Postby management1011 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:18 am

I have been faced with similar problems at my wood near Frant. The gradient was such that even the 4 x 4 sometimes could not make it over the track which is clay and tends to run as a stream when there is rain around.
Several attempts to patch it up ultimately failed.
I got a contractor to lay a Teram base and 7 x 15cu metre lorry loads of crushed rubble spread over the 240 metres of track. This solved the problem to everyone's satisfaction except for Wealden Planners.
Some trespassing dog walkers reported it to the Council who decided that it needed retrospective planning permission. (Who knew!)
Anyway rather than bore you with the details, 12 months on we have solved the problem to the planners satisfaction.
We laid 2-3 inches of topsoil on top of the rubble and spread grass seed all over.
The result now is greening up nicely and the tyre ruts will cut down to the rubble and we will have traction!
It has been an expensive lesson which may hopefully be of use to others in a similar situation.
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