A team of 8 volunteers from the Ulster Bank joined MHT Staff for a day’s pathwork on a trail on the slopes of Slieve Binnian last week.
On a day that started dull and misty and ended up being very definitely wet, the team walked up from Ben Crom Dam to start another section of the trail up to the Binnian / Lamagan col. With one group busy digging out the soft peat of the trail surface down to a rocky bed to prepare the foundation of the trail another team dug a new “borrow pit” nearby the path to provide sand and gravel for surfacing the new path. Once levelled and compacted, the sand and gravel surface provides an ideal surface for walking on and resists being washed away.
The rest of us were kept busy finding stones to fill the foundation trench of the path and using the removed peat and heathery turfs to backfill an older borrow pit and landscape the edges of the new trail.
Properly constructed paths help prevent erosion and protect the fragile upland heath of the Mournes. Once properly repaired a path will withstand years of walking traffic and, by encouraging people to stay on the path, will prevent damage to the surrounding vegetation.
Despite the weather and getting totally soaked the team did a great job, completed another section of the path, and against the odds, enjoyed themselves while doing their bit for the environment.