Estate Access, Bike and Bridle paths
Apart from the initial investment in woodland establishment or a woodland purchase, access infrastructure represents the single greatest capital expense by the owner, with surfaced roads costing in the order of five times that of extraction tracks. It is therefore essential to establish the need for, and timing of access infrastructure.
To avoid being reactive to situations a sound, up to date management plan for the woodland should already be in place. Through this plan, it will be possible to properly consider all relevant factors affecting the woodland, including identification of inadequately accessed areas and the timing of timber production, and therefore, provide an opportunity to reduce costs when planning access infrastructure needs.
Well-planned and properly constructed tracks will have minimal impact on the environment but will still need to be maintained in order to sustain the productivity of the woodland, new environmental projects and maximise the life span of the investment.
Whole Life Costing is a methodology that justifies an extra initial expenditure on key elements of the access specification in order to sustain a longer lifespan. As part of the appraisal process, consideration must be given to the woodland environment (habitats, topography, soil type, tree species), harvesting systems (forwarder, harvester, motor manual, skidding), nature conservation, recreational use and landscape, as these will all have a material bearing on where access infrastructure is located, and on the type and timing of construction.
The Consolid System can be used in any new or restoration project to strengthen the base layers in the forest tracks trails and bridle path networks. Consolid can be mixed with the in-situ soils and recycled material to form a barrier to capillary rise, frost heave and permeability of water; the process is permanent and irreversible once dried. By using Consolid in any construction project you will be saving costs, financially and to the environment.