(what a path warden does)
Path Wardens adopt a path near where they live that they are able to regularly inspect and to do some minor maintenance. It's a bit like walking the dog (and can be done at the same time!) - you're not only helping your fellow creatures, but getting plenty of fresh air and exercise.
What a Path Warden does depends on their experience and abilities, but can include a wide variety of tasks. And there is plenty of on-going training & support.
- Inspect paths
- Damage to the path surface – erosion, churned up, rabbit damage, trip hazards
- Materials that need to be scraped from surface – mud, leaf litter, build up of whindust or silt
- Drainage issues – water coming onto the path, water that needs to escape from the path, blocked drains
- Vegetation – overhanging branches, encroaching from the sides, weeds growing on the surface
- Invasive and noxious plants– giant hogweed, Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed
- Damage to hardware – gates, fences, signs, benches
- Litter – minor, fly-tipping, burnt out cars!
- Dog fouling, levels of, any change in degree of
- Other dangers – dead trees, severe erosion close to path
- Ideas for improvement – signs, upgrading
- Report issues
- Minor maintenance tasks
- Clearing braches and twigs from the path
- Cutting back overhanging branches
- Cutting back nettles and other plants encroaching on the path
- Scraping mud and leaves off the path surface
- Picking up litter
- Clearing drains
- Directing water off the path
- Minor re-surfacing work
Once per month a larger team task is organised, to which all of the Path Wardens and other volunteers are invited. These allows larger maintenance tasks to be undertaken and is usually enjoyable (Duncan has a knack of only choosing good weather days) and sociable (there's always tea breaks).
Tyne Team Tasks
The path along the river Tyne stretches for over 15 miles, and always needs a helping hand. Once a month a small team tackle some job here - as it's a fertile route, a regular one is to cut back the weeds with one of the 'Great Danes' - spot them in the photos above.