Mourne Heritage Trust Youth Rangers this week have been busy repairing upland paths using resources located on the mountainside. With the Mourne Mountains becoming a very popular recreational area, trails and paths are in constant need of repair and maintenance. By creating sustainable paths which will withstand years of walking traffic and in turn encourage walkers to stay on the path, preventing damage to surrounding vegetation. This will contribute to the protection of the fragile upland heath ecosystem of the Mournes.
With current paths being no more than continuous trampling of vegetation and washing out of topsoil the Youth Rangers began with digging a trench, filling with small rocks found on the mountain, to create a solid foundation.
Once a solid foundation had been established it was surfaced using sandy gravel material kindly deposited by the last ice age. In order to find the gravel the youth rangers dug into the mountain creating a ‘burrow pit’ or mini quarry and carried it to the path. Once levelled and compacted, the sand and gravel provides an ideal surface for walking on and resists being washed away. The Youth Rangers also ‘landscaped’ an old erosion scar. By cutting turfs and simply covering bare soils damaged by walkers.