On 2nd July 2019 we were lucky enough to have an enthusiastic team from Combe International Ltd help us to construct a path and bridge. The path is a side path off Footpath 24 and leads to Gullett Field. The bridge is a sleeper bridge across a deep culvert that takes water from Ashtead Common alongside Footpath 24 to the Rye Brook.
David Curnow researched Sleeper Bridges and downloaded a very useful design and guide from Hampshire County Council. We based our bridge on that design and bought the materials in readiness for the visit from Combe. Their team was organised by Sarah and although we had 6 tonnes of Type 1 hardcore to move there was no hesitation from anyone of either sex to help shovel the hardcore into wheelbarrows and move it to the site.
Logs were laid to mark out the path and a membrane was laid for weed prevention. Whilst some were moving the hardcore, others were digging out heavy clay soil to make the path as flat as possible. The remainder were digging out the foundations for the support beams that were to be laid parallel to the culvert.
Once these were in place the sleepers were moved into position and screwed down onto the support beams. Despite being told the screws would “drive in very easily”, even using a power drill and a generator this proved to be impossible and the last 30 or so turns of the screws had to be done by hand.
Once in position the hand rail was erected and more hardcore put in place to ensure there was no trip hazard leading to the bridge.
A sign was chiselled out, announcing “Combe Bridge” and a team photo was taken of the group proudly standing on their achievement.
A terrific bunch of willing people. Great company and we hope to have them back next year to construct another bridge.