Friday, 18 January 2008

A new shelter


Although the vandalism of our original shelter was annoying, it did prompt us into starting a rebuild of the shelter. We'd always intended to do this, as the original had undergone numerous repairs and modifications because of its tendency to collect rain and sag. So, today we got on with the job.

Rather than build a box-shaped shelter, we decided to make an A-frame type construction, with cross-beams, etc to support it. The idea is that this will be stronger and not so easy to damage - the previous one was felled by someone cutting four ropes, but everything else was left untouched, which seemed to imply whoever did it did not feel comfortable with doing anything too criminal... so hopefully a structure which would need a saw, socket set and hammer to dismantle it may be left alone.

We used recently felled birch for the construction:

We know this will rot after a while, and may warp a bit as it dries, but it is what was easily to hand, and maybe at some point in future we'll get round to doing some permitted development for a more permanent structure, when we can make a good case for it.

Here's the site for the new shelter, cleared of leaf and other debris. It's just a few metres from the old shelter, and still near our camp fire location.

The first job was to build three A-frames. Well, they're actually more like triangles. They're assembled using M8 coach bolts, with a thread suitable to bite into the wood, so we're hoping they'll stand up to any shrinkage effects, and also be pretty strong.

Here's one A-frame in place...

...and here's all three (held up by bits of rope at this stage):

Then the pole to go along the ridge was tied in place, and yes, this was a very tricky operation - no photos as it took both of us to get it right! After that, some cross-beams were put in place to brace the structure, after which we could remove the supporting ropes:

We may put a few more poles on the sides before we're done, but that's all there was time for today. We're off to visit my sister Gill tomorrow, so it'll be Sunday or Monday before we can move the tarpaulin over and sort through all the stuff we need to store in there.

One other exciting bit of news - we have definite evidence of wild boar in the wood! We knew they were around already, but had not seen any "fresh" evidence, but today, when we popped over to see how the pond was doing, we found this:

It was about three inches across, and looks pretty much like a hoof print to me. I assume they were coming for a drink, rather than a bath, as the pond wasn't wrecked!


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