Path drainage and maintenance

As many walkers who frequent the woodland will know, we have had an issue in recent months with water build up and damage on the surface of the paths. We are in the process of improving drainage through a variety of methods, all of which will require ongoing maintence.

We are looking at ways that improve water drainage whilst also maintain access through the all-ability pathways. One route to do this is by diverting water from the pathways by digging drainage ditches and installing culverts.

In December 2021, we identified key areas in the woodland for ditches, and these were dug by an external contractor. We will also need to dig some smaller ditches by hand. All ditches, culverts and water bars will require regular clearing to ensure no build up of debris. This manual work will be undertaken by Nev and volunteers. Our hope is that this will protect our paths from further drainage issues. Thank you to FCC Communities Foundation for providing the funding for these essential woods management works.

In order to prevent a narrowing of the footpaths, we also have to ensure there is no build up of organic matter (such as fallen leaves) on the sides of the paths. This is important as otherwise the organic matter will bed in and cause greater plant and fungi growth, which will in turn result in the paths being overtaken with vegetation. So, once a year, in autumn when leaf fall is greater, we use a leaf blower to clear the paths.

We try to limit the use of chemical weed-killer where possible. However, due to the size of the wood and a limitation in person-power, we do sometimes need to apply chemical weed-killer to the path edges.

If you are keen to get involved in helping us to maintain effective drainage and protect the pathways in the woodland, please see our volunteering activities.