Changing the flow

Flanders Moss, NNR

One of the jobs last week was installing plastic piling dams on the bog. Firstly we have to carry all the materials out to site (17 plastic piling sheets between 1.5m – 2m in length, peat spade, normal spade, a mell to hit them into place and a saw) and that in itself is a sweaty job! The option for us to have machinery (iron horse) was not available.

The task was to create a dam which would direct the flow of water better, linking the dam from one bund to another. The first plastic pile is positioned in the middle of where the dam will be. Depending on the type of conditions you are working on, to insert the dam it can be tricky as you need to get into the middle of the ditch but the pool of water was not very deep, making it just a tad easier on foot.

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Using a spade you are able to pre cut and outline making it easier for the sheet to slide  in. Then the concentration and the burn in the shoulders begins. Depending  on your height and the height of the plastic sheet this part can be quite tricky…… the mell is not light; I would say around 15kg, maybe more.

P1040066You then have to repeat this until all the piling is in place, due to having to interlink them together you don’t want to go that far down to start off with. Then once they are all connected together then you gradually hit them further into the ground.

P1040071You can already see just how much water the dam is already holding back, the curve that they created will change and guide the flow of the water into the Goodie water.
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Unless you come along to a volunteer event or help the NNR team you would never realise how physical you need to be to carry out the job. Very well done to the volunteers Ralph, David and Connie. You worked great as a team and the signs of how much water held back after you completed it was a great job well done!

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