The Muggleswick Gates

by Tim the Gate Maker / Out West in the Land of Oak & Iron

“On a spring day last April, volunteers from The Land of Oak & Iron Woodland Volunteer Team made their way to the wilds of Muggleswick, why you might ask?

Well they were there because Durham County Council had asked them if they would like to help work on a project to replace some stiles and gates to improve access on a footpath at the far western end of the project area. They spent the first few days building stile kits and walking the materials across fields to where the kits would be installed. Once all the timber was in position they treated the timber with preservative.

The location was inspiring and tea and lunch breaks seemed to take longer than usual as they took in the stunning scenery around them. On one occasion it was so warm the teams supply of Penguin Biscuits melted!

As the project developed volunteers from Gateshead Countryside Service and students from Kirkley College got involved too. Putting in the stiles proved quite a challenge but the end result has been well worth it. On a recent visit to the area I heard a walker remark as he climbed over one of the stiles  “Nice sturdy stile!!!”.

Volunteers also helped Tim Davis from Durham Wildlife Trust install a handmade gate made from larch. Tim is a local woodsman and green woodworker. He sourced and processed the timber for the gate from a woodland within the Land of Oak & Iron. We really hope that in the months to come we will be back out at Muggleswick to install a second gate which Tim is working on in his workshop. So watch this space we will let you know how the gate is taking shape, as we are hoping to get regular updates from Tim in the weeks to come.”