Although work was started on the construction of a log pile habitat within the new wetland in 2001, the initial pile of logs was repeatedly disrupted by vandals, and it was decided to use part of the donation from the Friends of Horspath to stabilise this habitat by converting it into a footbridge across the wetland in 2002. The site was accurately surveyed, the logs cut to size, and 4 stable fixing points were created for the planking by driving in steel angle section and securing railway sleepers to this. The planking was nailed onto the logs, and the logs to one another to resist vandalism, and then the planking was soaked in wood preservative and covered by galvanised wire netting, stapled on to provide a safe tread. A single handrail was designed, using the 60 mm galvanised KeeClamp tubular system, to be as vandal-proof as possible, and this was then assembled on site, set into concrete and painted.
The footbridge has a slight slope so that it does not collect rainwater, and the logs secured underneath provide a safe refuge for amphibians, with a warm environment on the south side, whereas the north side is cold and damp and has so far supported 10 different types of fungi. The footbridge is already heavily used by walkers, who no longer cause erosion of the clay dams and the pond margins, and it is hoped that it will become a grandstand vantage point for watching the Daubentonís bats feeding off insects as they skim low over the ponds at around sunset on summer evenings.
Martin Harris & Alan Simpson 2003
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|| Last Updated 2003-03-21