The rolling green hillsides of Glyndwr's Way

What Happens When Part of a Trail Disappears

26th February 2019

If you have ever wondered what a Trail Officer does, or what happens when something serious happens to part of a trail then read on ... 

This is a short blog written by Helen who looks after Glyndwr's Way. It gives you a real insight into what happens when part of the trail disappears into a gorge. 

“Where did that go!”

Or ‘What happens when a part of your Trail disappears into a stream gorge’.

The first you hear of it may be from a walker or the landowner. It won’t be surprising to find that it has been gone for a while and people have been managing to get round the big hole in the path.

Go and look. Yep, it’s gone. Take photos. Tape the route off, lock gates etc. (you know that people will still walk down there though). Then sign a diversion route. Put up big notices at both ends of the closed section to explain what is going on and where the diversion is.

Arrange a legal closure of the path.

Talk to the landowners about the best time to do the work bearing in mind the farming calendar.

Talk to any local businesses who need to tell their customers about the diversion.

Put a news item up on the Glyndŵr’s Way National Trail website.

Tweet about it.

Look at the site with a local contractor and receive the quote.

Look at the budget and decide what else will have to go, so that the repair can be done. Talk to the National Trail funding body about this.

Check if it has a nature designation or historical designation. Be really relieved to find that it hasn’t.

Do the utility searches for the site. Bear in mind that there may be private drainage, etc. and that it won’t show up on utility searches.

Do the contracts and schedule for the contractor.

Receive the risk assessments and other paperwork from the contractor. Check them!

Agree on a date to start work.

Prepare the site with information notices to let walkers know that there is going to be a machine and some chainsaw operations going on down there, and that they really don’t want to get tangled up with that. Please use the diversion!

Receive the Construction Phase Plan from the contractor and confirm that work can start.

It rains really hard for the three days prior to the work date and the site is too slippery to work on. Set a new work date. Tell everyone. Repeat this step for X times – it is Wales after all and there is a lot of rain.

Eventually, get on site. See the contractor start off. Make regular visits. This may include one surprise inspection to ensure that they really do have all the paperwork and are doing the necessary health and safety things. More paperwork!

The contractor tells you that they will finish on X date so you make a visit.

All may not be well and you want more work done – contractor keeps on working and diversion stays in place.

All may be well but the work needs to settle – diversion stays in place.

All may be well and the route can re-open. Get the tape down, gates unlocked, take signs from the diversion. Blog about it, tweet about it. Tell everyone. Thank everyone. Take lots of photos.

Update electronic and photo records for the Trail.

Ask the contractor for an invoice.

Get invoice, check, pass for payment.

Look at the budget and sigh ……………



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Digger working on path