One of the essential aspects of keeping access tracks in good condition in woodlands is drainage. A key method to improve drainage is to have ditches and culvert pipes, where necessary. When we prepare a whole woodland area we endeavour to put in both where needed. It is however essential to keep the culverts free flowing at all times. They often block up during the leaf fall in autumn, and sometimes are blocked with silt and other debris when there is heavy rainfall.
We now have available a sign- “CULVERT”- which we will put in place by the entry point of the culverts, at new woods. We ask that all owners that use tracks with these signs on, check every now and again to make sure the culvert are not blocked.
If they are blocked be sure to remove any blockage, and if possible, dig out debris that may be at the entry point for the culvert.
Initially we sometimes dig a small ‘sump’ at the entrance to help catch any debris, and this does need clearing out at least twice a year. A long chestnut/hazel (or similar) pole can be used to clear the culvert inside. For existing woods we can supply signs (foc) for each main wood. If the owners there check how many signs they need, then we suggest one owner from the main wood can request this.
The sign (21 cm high 5cm wide) can be easily screwed onto a post-we suggest the post is at least 1 meter high and minimum 8 cms diameter and chestnut/oak or similar rot resistant. The post should be put in firmly at the entry end of the culvert, just by the ditch, so it does not block flow. It also needs to be visible from the track.