Looking after Longshaw's paths and walls

Longshaw main drive on a sunny day

Every year thousands of people love to walk on Longshaw's paths and enjoy the landscape our rangers look after - but what does it take to look after the paths themselves?

"Maintaining footpaths and boundaries such as fences and walls is a big job during dry weather" says ranger Lucy Holmes.

You might see rangers hammering in wooden fence posts and making dry stone walls firm where we have livestock in our fields. "A fence that is secure for sheep suddenly looks quite fragile when you see cows leaning on it!" says ranger Chris Millner. "We need to make sure field boundaries are firm and suitable for the livestock around them."

Ranger Chris Wood at work on a new fence
Ranger Chris Wood constructing a new fence
Ranger Chris Wood at work on a new fence

Our footpaths are some of the most-used in the Peak District, but after winter they need some TLC. Our Tuesday conservation volunteers have been hard at work clearing leaf mulch and fallen branches from our woodland paths to make sure they're still visible and accessible. After a period of heavy rain, the rangers might put "divets" (small channels) to one side of the path to drain excess puddles.

Finally, gates and stiles are checked for safety and to make sure waymarkers are in place and in good condition. "It's quite a job, making sure all our access points are clearly signposted" admits Megan Carroll, Visitor Experience Officer. "We want Longshaw to be as accessible as it can be to as many people as possible, so we know how important this work is. You need to keep a tack-hammer at the ready!"

If you would like to help look after Longshaw's footpaths and boundaries, why not come to our drop-in Muck In day on Sunday 10 June 2018? Meet at the Tea Room at 10am, booking not needed. Take a look at our What's On page for more information.