I get to work in some of the most beautiful places and am currently building a new oak footbridge at Padley Gorge on the National Trust Longshaw Estate on the moors just outside Sheffield.

The bridge was commissioned in memory of Arthur Haslam so Barn carved his initials. I have a real dislike for brass plaques on memorials, carved initials are so much nicer.

 The dappled sunlight coming through the autumn leaves was just beautiful.

 We scorch the parts of the bridge which will contact the ground and melt wax into the scorched area, this stops water getting into the wood and greatly prolongs the bridges life. Having worked in the countryside for many years and taken down many old bridges, fences and gateposts I know where things fail and it is at the joints and particularly the few inches above and below ground. We designed the contact points with the ground to shed water too, it’s a lot of attention to minor detail and no one will know the difference but to me it matters whether this bridge lasts for 15 or 30 years.

 Winching the main beam across the brook. One winch to pull and another to stop it sliding too far. Sophie is a volunteer for the National Trust and helped out.

 A brief but well earned rest.

And this is how it looks at the moment. Handrails will go on next week all being well. I took Barn off to the motorway yesterday and he hitched off toward Bristol, we have had a great 2 weeks together and I have no doubt we will meet up plenty in the future.

Now I have preparations for a bowl carving course starting tomorrow and running over the weekend.

Author Robin Wood

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