Apr 30 Culverts – a soggy story By Judith

Woodland owners in Waste Wood have a proud history of working together to tackle shared woodland tasks. Richard Cooper has written in to tell us about the ‘fun’ he and his partner Fi had while unblocking their culvert.

This culvert was heavily blocked and we couldn’t clear it even using the pull through that Bernie of Solar Wood  installed last time we had to get our wet suits on. This time, the blockage was so severe that there was a lake overflowing onto the track and running down the track before pouring off into the ditch. It was beginning to wash away the edge of the main track. As we couldn’t clear it with the equipment we had, with us we dug a temporary ditch, across the entrance to Scotties Wood  to redirect the flow and prevent further damage to the main track. We came back fully equipped last weekend and managed to clear it in a couple of hours. Luckily we managed with waders and not wetsuits this time!

I thing for the future it might be worth using lean cement-filled sandbags, over the culvert pipe to bring this up to the level of the main track, so that one has a stable platform to work from when trying to clear blockages, without having to get into the water. Maybe this could incorporate a grating/grill of some sort to prevent large objects entering the culvert.

In case you wonder why Fi has a rope on, it’s because last time we did this, the force of the water was so great when we cleared it that there was a danger of being sucked into the culvert. SCARY. Maybe a safety ‘heads up’ of this danger would be good to other owners clearing large diameter culverts.

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