Friends of Allestree Park

Allestree Park in Derby, England

The Big Wood Steps Project

On two separate days, 18th July and 15th August 2009, members of the friends of Allestree Park worked with the Derbyshire Conservation Volunteers to construct a flight of steps down thesteep slope out of Big Wood to the golf course, at the end of the main footpath.  Over the years, the sandy slope has become dangerous and huge bare areas arose where people had attempted to find various routes up and down.                             
The steps were the idea of the Friends, with the agreement of the City council. Derbyshire Conservation Volunteers provided the expertise  and much of  the labour.
The construction method involved the installation of section of  wooden planking as the vertical faces of the steps, held back by natural timber stakes, gathered on-site (from the recent sycamore thinning).  The infill was the sandy soil from the site, compacted down and topped with timber chippings.
The steps look very impressive and blend in well with the woodland. As well as making the descent and ascent of the slope much safer, they will allow the regeneration of vegetation, though we will be giving this process a helping hand by introducing some woodland soil and scattering wild flower seeds obtained from the woods.
The only down-side is that the seat at the bottom of the slope, which enables people to rest and take in the magnificent view of the Derwent Valley at this point, has been vandalised!   
The following pictures show various stages in the construction of the steps over the two days.

steps (2)
steps (1)
steps (4)steps (3)
steps (6)
  steps (9)steps (7)
steps (11)
steps (5)
steps (13)
 steps (14)
Bill Grange August, 2009

Sunday, January 20, 2019