Deer Park Wood – North Entrance

September 3rd, 10th and 11th, 2018

Our big summer project: during the bad winter and spring, the north entrance became saturated and very muddy. The soil is heavy clay, and we have always had problems in this part of the wood.

Several years ago, we reinforced a section of the entrance, and this year we decided to extend the path. One problem we have is that the area around the notice boards is at a lower level, so we decided that the only way forward was to create what are essentially causeways at a higher level than the existing surface.
We were fortunate that our founder, Juliet Curry, ensured that a grant was offered from the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment.


A total of 35 tons of crushed stone (a base and a topping layer) was laid onto a geotextile membrane to create three paths radiating from the noticeboard area. The paths (S, E and W) have been established by users – and we took the view that these routes were the best place to lay the amount of stone that we could afford.

The work team on the preparation and marking out day – September 3rd

(In spring 2018, the area was completely waterlogged, and we cut new temporary east and west access paths to avoid this central area. The picture below gives an impression of the quagmire:)

Fortunately, we had dry conditions for the preparations on September 3rd:

Path marking – Sept 3rd

September 10th – geotextile membrane is laid to preserve the integrity of the path. Our plan was to form a granular path surface above the existing ground level to eliminate the chance of waterlogging.

The delivery of the first 14 tons of base layer

Since the original path was laid, there has been a buildup of mud, which was removed. This will allow better drainage of the original path.

The excavated earth was used to fill in a low area to the east of the entrance.

Forming the base layer along the path to the west

Helping paws…

A compactor in action. A rounded profile and free draining surface material gives better drainage:

The final stage – limestone chippings are spread over the surface.

Contemplating a job well done

We appreciate financial support from: