Stepping-up to the task – new Penpole Wood infrastructure  

As promised earlier this year, we’ve been planning a new set of steps in Penpole Wood to create a safer and more accessible access from Mancroft Avenue. This is a well-used entrance into the estate from Lawrence Weston, but paths are indistinct, steep, slippery, and dangerous, especially in the winter months. The path is particularly well used by students of the Oasis Academy on Penpole Lane.

During the 1930s when Bristol’s Scout groups ran a camp site here they constructed timber steps linking the open fields below the wood with the best camping ground at Jubilee Clearing at the top of the woods. These have long gone, along with the Scouts, so it was down to KWAG volunteers to step up to the challenge.

We had to work with a small project team of volunteers because of the restricted working area, dangerous slope, and the need for a wide working area for tools, so sorry if you hoped to help out but were unaware of the opportunity. Working over two consecutive Saturdays in September this small project team has hacked-out the earth to create a set of 16 new steps, formed timber risers and edges that needed to be hammered into the ground, and finished the treads with hardcore and gravel for good drainage.

Having completed this flight we recognise that a couple more steps might be required at the bottom to improve the approach and we’ll look at this soon. So far the response has been really positive and we’re grateful to everyone who thanked us during work on the project. We’re not sure what the scouts would have made of our new infrastructure, but we hope they would have approved of our workmanship. 

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