Cleaning the bridge is not one of the most popular tasks the working parties face but it is very necessary, so thank you to all the volunteers who turned up in spite of the task at hand!!!

tensioning device Mike created to keep the hand-hold wire across the Chestnut Bridge firm
Here’s a photo of the tensioning device Mike created to keep the hand-hold wire across the Chestnut Bridge firm
 a rather poor photo of Duncan, our volunteer woodsman, working on the bridge in about 2005 – taken before I acquired a digital camera!
a rather poor photo of Duncan, our volunteer woodsman, working on the bridge in about 2005 – taken before I acquired a digital camera!

Our rope footbridge is essential access to Broadwood and Treovis woods. I expect some of you remember the fallen chestnut tree that was adapted to make the only way for the public into the larger part of our woods back before 2012.

With ever more stringent demands from our insurance company every year, I am certain we could no longer afford the premiums had it not been for our lovely if somewhat wobbly rope bridge which was built 10 years ago! In all seasons from drought to flood it spans the river and in spite of nature’s best attempts to haul it down with wind and flood it has remained in remarkably good condition, so a little TLC is well deserved.

With record low water levels we were able to give it a thorough inspection and how great to have our very own Mike Todd overseeing us to make sure we did things properly – thanks Mike!!!

As it is so dry down there, a good stiff wire brushing got rid of a lot of the mud and moss, then a scrub and rinse with environmentally friendly cleaner put the finishing touches to our efforts.

(Note from Anne: even with a really good clean, the bridge can still become slippery when wet, and particularly in in the early morning. PLEASE always take great care when using the bridge.)

In this hot weather the woods are fantastically cool (especially temperature wise) so if you are wondering how to get the dogs and kids out without suffering heatstroke come visit Stara Woods….. But…. please try to keep them out of the river, because the water based nature (fish, invertebrates, plants….) have so little water to survive in at the moment and too many footprints does a lot of damage. Of course we don’t mind a quick cooling dip for the dogs, but games involving throwing sticks and repeated dips are, sadly, not helpful to our wider conservation goals. Please Respect Nature!!!

The next working party is on 3rd September at 10.00 – please join us if you can, the more help we get the better Stara Woods becomes for both visitors and nature.
See you there soon!