Friday, September 04, 2009

Ten out of ten for health and safety

The Dark Peak's popularity is a problem - as is its ease of access. Those millions of tramping feet have caused severe erosion. And, of course, erosion has to be addressed. Now I know we complained bitterly when wired duck boards were strung across various high-level paths - after all, they do sink into the gloop and if you step into a hole where one of the boards has come adrift you end up the wrong side of a man-trap. But the use of flagstones?
Correct me if I am wrong but the miles of flags now snaking their way up Kinder were taken from demolished Victorian factory floors. This is a superb piece of recycling and it really blends in nicely with the countryside. And it also provides hours of fun as you participate in the new wet-weather sport of downhill slalom.
You see, these flagstones are all very well and good on the flat but they are bloody lethal on the descent if there is a little water on them. A recent encounter saw me execute a beautiful double pirouette that took in a ten-metre slide and took out half a dozen ramblers. So full marks for grace but little to show for the slalom…
Rocks are slippery in the wet. But they are also broken and uneven. This little grip provides all the difference between a red face and a comfortable walk. Perhaps crazy paving would be a better idea?