Thanks to the efforts of a team of volunteers one of the Isle of Man’s popular greenways should be preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Julian Wood, a memeber of the Green Lane User Group, said the track at Ballacobb which had deteriorated from erosion over the years was now improved beyond recognition as a result of the hard work people have put in.
‘The biggest problem of all is water on the track so if we can put in the right drainage systems then magic happens,’ he said.
‘We’ve had about three work sessions there in recent times, all with volunteers, and we’ve targeted Ballacobb because of all the 70-odd miles of greenway that is one of those complained about the most.’
He said the idea had been to assess the lie of the land and come up with a strategy for each area of track.
Volunteers involved in the project have come from all interested groups, including walkers, horse riders, mountain bike riders, motorcycle groups and the Four-Wheel Drive Club.
Drainage points have been improved allowing water to run off the track rather than flow along it causing erosion.
In addition to drainage, Mr Wood said other problems were caused by poor sign posting which meant people strayed from the designated route, damaging the grassland bordering it.
‘The route can stray 20 or 30 yards away so we have been putting in marker posts to show the correct route,’ he said.
‘Next on our agenda is Sky Hill. Our plan is for the group to go up and do the work to make sure the lanes are there for future generations to enjoy. We’ve tried to take advice on best practice from other areas such as National Parks in England.
‘People talk about malicious damage but really it’s a combination of lack of maintenance and terrible winters.’