I had another day working on my new oak bridge this week. It is across Hood Brook on the North Lees estate above Hathersage (Little John was supposed to come from there). It's a gorgeous spot and we are having great fun walking in with out tools and working on the trees in situ to create the new bridge. Here are a few photos of progress so far.
First step was to fell a big oak tree, this one was chosen because it had been damaged, the wind had blow out half of the crown.
The sides are slabbed off with a big chainsaw.
Cutting the new main timbers for the bridge and a 2" slab to make matching handrails from. This is difficult to do freehand and requires a perfectly sharpened chain.
This shot shows the old bridge which too was made from oak and is more than 30 years old.
My mate Andy cutting the new boards for the tread.
And having a break...one of the nicest spots I have ever worked.
Another oak bridge has been in the news a lot recently the "Clam Bridge" at Lustleigh, Dartmoor. Here the national park built a big new bridge that the locals all feel is inappropriate in the setting.
I feel very lucky to have been commissioned by the Peak National Park to build bridges from local timber and like to think that with good design it is possible to create something that both satisfies modern safety standards, and is aesthetically appealing and sympathetic to its environment.
This is a short video of the last bridge I built.