Wednesday, 25 May 2016

High Lickbarrow Farm. Walling with a tree in mind.

Recently we have been repairing roadside dry stone walls at High Lickbarrow Farm near Windermere.
This particular gap proved to be the most challenging to rebuild. An oak tree, seen behind the mass of ivy, had grown up close to the wall subsequent to it being built. Over many years, as the tree grew, it gradually pushed the wall out of shape and its root system caused further problems to the wall's foundations.
With the wall stripped back it was now clear that a main root had grown through the full width of the wall. No doubt that  this was the main cause of the wall's collapse. 
A technique we have used before is to bridge tree roots in walls; this allows roots room for further growth and helps to lessen their impact on the wall.
 The root has space around it after being bridged.  The rocking motion set up by the root from the swaying of the tree should be less damaging to the wall.
On the roadside the wall was rebuilt following the contours of the tree trunk allowing space for the tree to sway in windy weather... hopefully without affecting the wall. The wall is narrower at this point than is ideal but it is a compromise that will, we think, give the rebuilt wall a chance of staying intact over the long term.
This is the rebuilt wall as seen from the 'field' side...
...with a corresponding image of the wall from the roadside; this shows just how much the tree has encroached on the wall. It made the walling interesting to say the least.
A bonus working at Lickbarrow was seeing the new arrivals to the Scoutbeck herd of Albion cattle. The calves are about two weeks old. Please check the blog for future posts on the Scoutbeck herd of Albion cattle at Lickbarrow.
They are just naturals in front of a camera.

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