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Author Topic: Using sheep fleece to repair paths  (Read 2116 times)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Using sheep fleece to repair paths
« on: November 26, 2018, 12:37:10 pm »
I have mentioned before that unwanted or cotted fleece can be used to line potholes, before putting sharp stones on top.  Now they are trialing the method in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh, where paths are eroded quickly by the heavy footfall:


From BeeB News: <<< An ancient technique using sheep's wool to fix paths has been trialled (sic) in the Pentland Hills.
The special craft was used on an eroded section of Kirk Burn Path near Glencourse (sic) Reservoir.
Sheep fleeces were folded and rolled to create a "floating path" that was then layered with stones. The wool stops the stones from sinking into the mud. >>>


The report goes on to show pictures of before, during and after the work was done - it doesn't look very impressive and is only a short stretch of path, as they were donated only 'a few' fleeces by a local farmer, so it will be interesting to see how it works in the public eye!
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 12:41:11 pm by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

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YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Just when I thought I'd settled down...!
Re: Using sheep fleece to repair paths
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2018, 11:35:25 pm »
I've seen pictures of this process, and something is telling me that maybe the National Trust in the Lake District did this? I wonder how that's getting on, it's been a few years.
I'll see if I can find what I saw...

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Just when I thought I'd settled down...!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Using sheep fleece to repair paths
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2018, 12:45:51 pm »
Thanks for those links.  I think in the Pentlands they got the idea from N.Ireland, so it does seem to be being used successfully around the place.  It's interesting that in boggy areas the fleece never rots.  For potholes in a driveway for example, I think the fleece would gradually rot.
I love the fact that in Cumbria they have used this method on quite long stretches of path, and that they have used Herdwick fleece, wonderfully tough, local and free!  The Pentlands section looks to be about 4 feet long.  Still, I suppose it's a first trial here.
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Perris

  • Joined Mar 2017
  • Gower
Re: Using sheep fleece to repair paths
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2018, 08:23:18 am »
The practice is significantly older than that. The temple of Artemis at Ephesos was built in a bog, and they used fleece in the foundations there, Pliny NH 36.95.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Using sheep fleece to repair paths
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2018, 12:02:24 pm »
I wonder if the method was used to help support those wooden paths across bogs in the UK in the Bronze age or earlier?   I've not heard it mentioned, but they had sheep and they had brains!
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zwartbles

  • Joined Sep 2011
Re: Using sheep fleece to repair paths
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2018, 02:15:00 pm »
George Stephenson famously ran the North York Moors railway over a bog on fleeces. Think they are still running over the original works! https://www.nymr.co.uk/blog/civil-engineering-diary-16-june
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 02:18:35 pm by zwartbles »

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Using sheep fleece to repair paths
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2018, 06:30:27 pm »
George Stephenson famously ran the North York Moors railway over a bog on fleeces. Think they are still running over the original works! https://www.nymr.co.uk/blog/civil-engineering-diary-16-june


Excellent  :thumbsup:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

captainmark

  • Joined Dec 2017
Re: Using sheep fleece to repair paths
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2020, 11:05:19 am »
any thoughts please on using this in muddy gateways?  (horses)  we're on clay and was a nightmare this winter. thinking laying them out as a 'carpet' which will then be trampled in and stabilise surface???

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Using sheep fleece to repair paths
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2020, 11:47:27 am »
I think it might depend on what is underneath.  I have only used it on a hardcore or stony bed, where the fleece helps to hold the stones together. Horses seem to make a mess of anything! Our gateways were bad enough this year with only sheep to trample.  All I can suggest is that if you have spare fleece, then try it.  Lay them out flat, then as each one gets trampled in, lay on another.  I know they use fleece on upland tracks with a high footfall and peaty base.  My one concern is that horses might lift the fleeces with their hooves and get entangled.  You would probably need to add hardcore for it to work.
Let us know if it's a success on your clay.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

captainmark

  • Joined Dec 2017
Re: Using sheep fleece to repair paths
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2020, 12:30:45 pm »
thank you.  good point on the tangling - pretty sure i can get some otherwise worthless fleeces and will give it a go.  If we get rain and mud like that again will soon be buried. Maybe get some stone ready to go close by to chuck on top - could end up being an excellent way to provide a hardstanding without the cost of excavators etc!?!?!?  We did chuck couple fleeces last year which are now buried in garden waste and some straw/muck from stables.  Will have a dig around and see what's happening with it.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Using sheep fleece to repair paths
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2020, 12:34:03 pm »
I haven't tried it but I would start with fleece - stone - fleece.  Stones in feet not nice, but fleece, stones and mud with trampling should create a fairly sturdy felted mat, I would think.

Please let us know how you get on! 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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