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dhmiriam
2011-03-04 15:53:03
Curiousier, and curiouser.
With regards to a spirit of enquiry, gently proposed by emp123, but provoked stoically by the debate stimulated by the passionate duo prior to commencement of work involved in the Mourne Upland Path Project:
Was a trial survey carried out on previously restored pathway areas? If so who carried out this survey? What were the findings? Were they published? Where can they be viewed or obtained from? Was the design right? Did it support differing gradients, such as those of steep, low and moderate gradient? Were minimal intervention techniques used as is generally commended to be most naturalistic and were these techniques also successful in areas of high level use? Were there any shifts of underground water movements since the path was first restored? What were the findings? In regards to subsequent management of such reworked pathways, is there a maintenance programme in place? Is it adhered to? What off-path usage issues, if any, were found? What was the success rate of erosion control? Had landscape recovered from the effects of the remedial work? Was the path found to be durable? Was attention paid to drainage maintenance? Was there any mobility of aggregate on gradients? Were there adequate blocking measures against off-path use? Have remedial works to pre-empt deterioration before it develops been implemented? Do the current managers and funding bodies of such projects appreciate that heavily used major paths, may need continual or regular upgrades, and what plans are in place to maintain such funding?
In short, was an Environmental Impact Statement or a Strategic Environmental Assessment or any type of Habitat appraisal sought or required given that the restorative work is being carried out within not only the Eastern Mournes Special Area of Conservation (a European level of habitat protection) and the designated national Area of Special Scientific Interest but also the water catchment for Silent Valley and Ben Crom reservoirs? Has the lead contractor of this, the Mourne Upland Path project, published or reported experience in sustainable path techniques or work in sensitive environments and is this information readily available.
Point of note, I am fortunate to live next door to a Special Area of Conservation, and fortunate again to have had the opportunity to dissuade (thus far) a quarry development in said area. In researching for the project I came across the Ordinance Survey of Ireland’s invaluable provision of Environmental Reports for the Republic of Ireland. I assume there is a counterpart in Northern Regions.
For those interested, links: http://www.mournelive.com/news/news/viewdetails.asp?newsID=503 http://www.cliverichardsonltd.co.uk/portfolio.php http://www.uplandpathtrust.org/images/BUFT_Conference_05.pdf
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