Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Software Company does some Hard Graft

On Tuesday 18th October, 14 staff members from Tessella Technology and Consulting met our Estate Team at Bowden Bridge in Hayfield for a day of volunteering. 

With changeable weather and a biting wind, the group readied themselves for a day of gully blocking on top of Kinder with an air of anticipation, enthusiasm and only slight concerns about the blackening skies. 

After a quick and bumpy ride in the Land Rovers to the bottom of Kinder Low, the group began to ascend the steps to eventually reach the shelter of the rocks on the plateau. 

Whilst admiring the incredible views across to the Kinder Downfall, the spray of which was blowing upwards to look like smoke, Steve Lindop, the Estate Team Supervisor, told the group about the techniques that the National Trust had employed over the years to lay the paths that they had been walking on.  Steve also gave the men a fascinating overview of the history and archaeology of the mountain; however it was during this talk that the threatening weather front finally hit the group and brought with it a mixture of hail and sleet.    

Sheltering in their hoods (and, in one case, an umbrella!), the group walked on, battling the winds and ice, to eventually see Kinder’s trig point appear out of the gloom.  It was at this moment that they finally spotted the work site in the distance.

Heading towards the bright white bags of stone, the group members were advised to walk with caution since they had left the safety of the path and were now on open moorland. 

Negotiating a route through the squelchy peat, the men wove their way through the complex network of gullies to eventually arrive at the site near Noe Stool.     

Without hesitation, they donned their work gloves and, after a quick demonstration, began to unload the half ton bags of stone into the gullies.  The purpose of gully blocking is to slow the run-off of water down the mountain, which in turn reduces the amount of peat that ends up in the reservoir below. 

As the men worked they witnessed their efforts beginning to pay off with water pooling quickly behind their stone dams.  An unexpected upshot of getting a group of software engineers to do this task was that their professional eye for detail resulted in some of the neatest blockades on the mountain!   

Ninety minutes later, with 40 bags unloaded, the weather had worsened and yearnings for a pub lunch were growing stronger, so the decision was taken to head down the mountain, past Swinesback and Edale Cross and into the comfort of the Land Rovers.

Needless to say, we would like to thank Tessella for all their help that day and for braving the atrocious weather to make a real difference to the National Trust’s work on Kinder.

By Cathryn Hamer, Volunteer Programmes Manager

No comments:

Post a Comment