Jump to content

Derbyshire Peak District Volunteer Work party

David Sparkes

Recommended Posts

Peak District Vehicle User Group (PDVUG), designed to be a single point of contact enabling the Peak District National Park Authority and Derbyshire County Council to speak to all organisations representing local motorised users, whether on 2 or 4 wheels.

An email has been received from the Peak Park Authority.

I wonder if PDVUG might be able to summon some of its members for a volunteer work party.

The suggestion is that we use some of the money granted for the Black Harry Trails project to fill some of the many pot holes at the top of Black Harry Lane.

We would of course provide materials and supervision - we just need willing helpers to shift about 40 tonnes of limestone aggregate which will be delivered to the wide area at the top of the lane, into the pot holes/puddles.

If we have material spare we may use it on the slope down towards Black Harry Gate, which is becoming a bit worn.

The work will probably only take a couple of days - depending on volunteer numbers of course - and we can offer a choice of either weekends 19th/20th or 26th/27th February.

The public Trailwise links are covered in two designations SK1974-01 and SK2074-01

Streetmap 1:25K of Black Harry Gate

Streetmap 1:25k of Black Harry Lane

I hope some of you can help.

Please post in this thread to say which dates you can make. I will then feed the volunteer numbers for each day into the PDVUG 'member availability' spreadsheet, and we will liaise with the PDNP.

Once a date is decided I'll post back here.

It will obviously help if you can bring two or more people in a single vehicle, but I will have to assume the worst case scenario of one vehicle per person. Please say if you are bringing two or more people in one vehicle.

If you have any questions please post them here and I'll get replies or opinions as appropriate.

Make the following assumptions:

There will be no refreshments provided, so bring your own.

There will be no toilet facilities.

There will be no Personal Protection provided, so as well as normal outdoor clothing for the weather, wear a minimum of stout footwear that will protect and support both feet and ankles, because you could be walking on uneven surfaces; also bring gloves that will preferably provide both physical protection AND enhance your grip. Remember it might be wet, and wet leather gloves do not grip very well.

Pack your own spade or shovel, but no mechanical tools.

Remember you may have to walk some distance from your vehicle, so consider some sort of back pack. Not essential, just consider it.

For security, or at least peace of mind, you may want to carry any personal possessions with you at all times.

The back story.

DCC = Derbyshire County Council, the Highway Authority with the statuary responsibility to maintain the roads.

PDNPA = Peak District National Park Authority.

PDVUG have been pushing the use of volunteer labour for some time, but DCC have been reluctant.

What's changed now is that the DCC have handed off responsibility (and some budget) to the PDNPA for the maintenance of some roads. The PDNPA have always been more amenable to the use of volunteer labour to make maximum use of this budget.

Please note there is NO linkage made by the PDNPA between the successful use of volunteer labour for work on the 'Black Harry Trails Project' and their application for an Experimental TRO on Chapel Gate. If this Experimental TRO is granted it will lead to the closure of Chapel Gate to motorised vehicles, as closure is seen as the most effective way of reducing costs, and stretching the budget now under control of the PDNPA. Naturally one of the counter suggestions is to use volunteer labour for as much of the repair work as possible, but action on Chapel Gate is still in consultation.

As I say, the PDNPA have made NO linkage between the Black Harry and Chapel Gate schemes, as the budgets are separate.

Over to you, regards, David.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Having visited the first 1/2 mile of Black Harry Lane myself, to see at least part of the working area, I've asked a few questions and the following interim response has come back from one of the Conservation Volunteers Officers


"Those dates are fine with me and I have had them booked in for a while. We've got all the equipment, so there's no need to bring any tools except for a flask and some sandwiches. I'm going to have a look at the site on Monday, so we can make a proper plan of exactly what priority we give each phase of the project, we will have our Land Rover and trailer, a power barrow, wheelbarrows, whatever we need, so we probably won't need anyone else's vehicles, but perhaps I should wait until after Monday when I will have a better idea of how close we can get the stone to the locations it is needed."

I've classed this as an interim response because there may be more information after the site visit on 17th Jan.

Thanks for your interest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's the 'more information' I forecast. It isn't everything we need, but it is progress, and I'll keep pushing for more detail.

Following a recent site visit by the PPCV Officers the basic plan is as follows:

A pile of stone to be dropped at each end of the Lane. Let's just call them East and West for the moment.

On each day the available workforce will be split East and West, then each sub group split again into Loaders and Unloaders.

Loaders shovel from the pile into 'transport', Unloaders shovel from 'transport' into the holes.

In addition to what they said earlier about equipment they have said they don't want vehicles with trailers, but have asked if we "have a couple of your members who have a pick-up style 4x4's and don't mind the backs being loaded with stone".

They make the very valid point "It may just be worth remembering they're going to be loaded by hand and that peoples shovelling isn't always accurate, so there may well be stone flying down the sides of the vehicles. If you have someone who is particularly proud of their vehicle perhaps not quite the job for them.".

They have now confirmed that they require people on ALL four days, so if you were hesitating because your availability might not match the work, please hesitate no longer. Pick whichever day suits you best. It doesn't matter if you pick one, two, three, or four days.

Just let me know, 19, 20, 26, or 27th of February.

Please make specific mention if you have a truck cab available.

Thanks for your interest so far, David.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm told the stone they are going to use is "MOT grade 1".

I'm not challenging that specification, but I am wondering what it looks like; lumps somewhere between 100 and 50mm or 50mm to dust, or what? That's the sort of description I'd recognise.

Googling "MOT grade 1" just told it was commonly specified for driveways, or perhaps foundations for paved areas.

Anybody used this stuff and can give me a description in plainer English please?


Changed the search terms and got some more useful responses, such as:

"graded as MOT type 1 and is generally 40mm limestone chunks down to dust. It covers approx 10m2 at a depth of 50mm.", and

"A sub-base material meeting government highway specifications. The mixture of solid and fine particles packs down really well to ensure there are no voids, whilst allowing water to drain through.".

Thanks :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BHTP Volunteer Update 30-Jan-2011


Some more details to whet your appetite. Remember you can pick any day or days from 19, 20, 26, 27th Feb 2011, just let us know in advance.

The working day will be from 10.00am to 3.30 / 4.00pm, so look to arrive around 09.30 - 09.45.

Time will be saved if you print and complete the attached PPCV Consent Form, then bring it with you on your first day, or post it beforehand to the address on the form.

Note the form asks for the Name of your Group. Feel free to enter the name of the appropriate motor club you belong to. The PPCV site has a tributes page and I'm looking forward to getting as many logos on there as I can from Motorised User Groups, so identify your club!

The stone used is 'MOT Grade 1', which translates to '40mm to dust'.

The two PPCV Officers are the trained First Aiders, they will have some kit on site.

I'll remind you again that although Black Harry Lane isn't that long, you may be working away from your vehicles, so consider bringing a small back pack or similar containing your lunch, drinks, waterproofs, and any personal effects you might want available.

The PPCV Officers assure me there will be enough tools for our work parties, without you needing to bring your own.

Thanks for your involvement.

David Sparkes.PPCV Consent Form.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Black Harry Trails Project - Update 5th Feb.

Feb 19th & 20th, and 26th & 27th.

Glebe Mines have agreed that Cavendish Mill, Post Code S32 4TL, National Grid Reference SK 205 752, can be used as a meeting place. The car park has CCTV and there are security patrols. The security company will be notified that we will be using the area for parking for these weekends.

We’ll meet at Cavendish Mill at 10am for the Welcome and Briefing, then split into the two groups and proceed from there.

Dave Cramp and Sue Smith from the Peak Park Conservation Volunteer group will be running the operation on the day(s).

Please don't forget to bring your completed Consent Forms.

I look forward to meeting you all there. David.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

An almost last minute reminder that volunteers should be making sure they have the makings in stock for a picnic lunch on Saturday and Sunday! You may be working away from your vehicle, so packing whatever you bring in a backpack might be a Good Idea.

Please remember to download, print, complete, and bring your consent form from here.

Aim to be a Cavendish Mill, S32 4TL, or SK 205 752, by 09.45 so you can complete the signing on formalities before the Peak Park Conservation Officer tells you how much you are going to enjoy the day!

Regards, David.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The event for today Saturday 19th is cancelled due to the snow blocking roads in the Peak Park. It isn't certain that the stone lorries have arrived. Dave Cramp from the PP Conservation Office is on site to meet anyone who does make it.

We will issue an update about 14.00 hours today to advise about work on Sunday 20th.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Today didn't go as planned. Here is the note from Dave Cramp of the Peak Park Conservation team.

I know some of our volunteers tried and didn't make it, and others who tried and DID make it.

They can allow themselves the warm glow of satisfaction, but I suspect they aren't too disappointed to have proved their worth without having to shovel stone in the snow and wet afterwards!!



I would just like to say a quick thank you to everyone who offered to come out to work on Black Harry Lane today. Quite obviously things have gone a little against us this morning, I set out from Leek at about 7.30 this morning to try and get things ready for today, it took me 2 hours getting to the other side of Buxton. The knock-on effect also is that the stone lorries couldn't deliver the material on to site this morning, which means we will not get a delivery until Monday, so we are going to have to cancel Sunday's project as well.

So let's hope for better weather next weekend, by which time the stone will be on site, the snow will have gone, and we will all be worrying about whether we've got any suntan cream (well it's a nice thought!).

Let me apologise again for this weekend and thank you for your support.

Hope to see you next weekend.

Dave Cramp Conservation Volunteers officer, PDNPA.


Regards, David Sparkes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The delivery of the stone has been confirmed, and rain is forecast instead of snow, so the surface repair work for this weekend is confirmed.

The previous Post Code for Cavendish Mills has been corrected to S32 4TH, you can save the previous version to visit the Tollbar Fish and Chip shop in Stoney Middleton after the day's work has been completed.

I hope to see you in front of the offices at Cavendish Mill at about 09.45 on Saturday, in time for the briefing at 10.00am.

Those who were spared last weekend don’t need to feel left out, they are welcome to join us this weekend!!

Regards, David Sparkes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Black Harry Trails Project Sat 26th evening update.

Well, the weather forecast was wrong. Sensation!!

Everyone left their homes while it was raining, in some cases, raining heavily, so thankyou to them for showing commitment.

By 09.30 at Cavendish Mills it was the lightest possible drizzle.

By 10.00am it had stopped completely, and the weather just got better throughout the day.

Dave Cramp and 'Pauline' from the Peak Park organised everyone with a soft touch, and by 15.00 everyone felt they had spent a worthwhile day, making a visible improvement to the Gate end of the lane.

We met cyclists, motorcyclists, walkers, and 4x4s, and all were friendly, even if some of them were delayed while we had a vehicle unloading stone on the lane. It must be recorded that the only person to give assistance was the lady passenger of a 4x4 who just grabbed a shovel to fill a couple of wheelbarrows with stone, and then wheel them along the lane to pour the stone where it was required.

We have left a deal of work for Sunday, so those volunteers can be certain they will be gainfully employed, and I look forward to seeing them by 10.00am on Sunday morning at Cavendish Mills.

One tip, as well as your 'snap in a bag', bringing your own working gloves will be a good idea

Regards, David Sparkes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Black Harry Trails Project Sun 27th evening update.

The weather wasn't quite as good as on Saturday, but almost. We never got more than a few minutes drizzle, literally once or twice during the 5 hours from 1000 to 1500.

The Peak Park team of Dave Cramp and 'Pauline' were again in attendance.

We finished the job at the Gate end by midday, and by 15.00 had used at least 3/4 of the stone pile at the Lane Head end.

Another work party will finish the job during the week.

As well as cyclists, motorcyclists, walkers, and 4x4s, Sunday saw a horse rider added to the users passing our worksite, so I think we can claim a full set. This time the only assistance came from a couple of passing Peak Park Walking Wardens, and an ad hoc Peak Park volunteer.

The lane was by no means impassable for motorised users, but in places it was unpleasant for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. We have made a significant improvement for all users, counteracting the effects of wear and tear. We have also earned lots of Brownie points with all who met us by being Friendly, Responsible, Reasonable, Positive, and Actively supporting ALL classes of users.

Many thanks to all those who were able to support the Peak and Derbyshire Vehicle User Group, proving that we can meet our promise of providing volunteer labour. We have gained a valuable insight into how to create more opportunities to actively make a difference, and we shall work to exploit this during the year.

Overall attendance.

Sat 26th 2x GLASS, 2x Peak TRF, 1x Series 2 Club, 1x BADLRC.

Sun 27th 1x GLASS, 4x Manchester TRF, 2x Peak4x4Response, 1x BADLRC, plus 4 TRF children.

In 2 days they did 90% of the work planned for 4 days!!

Thanks again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

The launch event for the Black Harry Trails Project is to be held on Tuesday 21 June 2011. This will be an opportunity to meet up and to see the progress that’s been made by the Project. The PDNPA will also be launching the leaflet for the Black Harry Trails and the new Black Harry beer to promote the project.

Most who shovelled stone will have received a direct email with details of the venue, and timing. If you haven't, please respond by close of play Friday 17th. My Internet access after then may be uncertain.

Regards, David.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...


I wasn’t available to attend the launch party, but I’ve since found the Trail mentioned in two places, the PDNPA website, and Peak District Online.



Regards, David Sparkes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website you agree to our Cookie Policy