Friday, 28 November 2008

Netting the Cliff

I took this photo to show the workers removing soil and rock debris from the cliff face. It was only when I looked at the photo on the computer did I notice that part of the cliff had already got netting covering it. Once the vegetation has grown a little it will be extremely hard to see. Which should put one or two peoples' minds at rest, I had been told by some that the netting would look a bit of a mess.

Still Dangerous

The blue barrier was erected by ISCA Scaffolding on the instruction of Torbay Council to protect passing walkers and drivers from falling rocks. And there have been a few over the past months. Now Vertical Technology have started their work to make the cliff face safe. At the moment his work involves workers hanging from ropes cutting back the vegetation that has grown up since last spring and also removing any scrub and vine roots, and dislodging any rocks that might fall from the face. To protect the trees at the base of the cliff wooden barriers were built round them. In the picture you can see 3 trees have barriers but the fourth tree doesn't. This is because there have been so many loose rocks dislodged that the barrier was blown away. Most of the rocks were no bigger than footballs and the tree seems to have survived. The blue barrier does get in the way of taking photos of the base of the cliff, to see what's down there you have to catch a bus and nip upstairs and hope the driver drives slowly past. Mind you it does stop rocks coming in through the bus windows.

OK not a brilliant picture but I couldn't get the driver to drive slowly, some of them just don't know how to drive at less than 30 mph.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Worker Injured on Rock Walk

One of the workers cutting back the vegetation whilst hanging half way down the cliff face was hit by falling debris. He was taken by ambulance to Torbay Hospital with neck injuries. He was waering a hard hat at the time and the injuries were consistant with compression of the neck due to a heavy weight landing on his head.
Construction company Vertical Technology is carrying out work on the site to remove loose debris.Site supervisor Paul Cook said: "There was an incident here on Friday. It involved a rope access technician who was struck on the head by some loose rock.
"He was evacuated from the site by the emergency services and taken to Torbay Hospital."
Mr Cook added: "The kind of injury he suffered is what we would expect from being hit on the head in this line of work.
"He was wearing a hard hat and all safety procedures were in place.
"Vertical Technology are investigating the incident in conjunction with the health and safety department of Torbay Council."
He continued: "It is the first time in 15 years a worker from Vertical Construction has been injured at work."
He said they have already tightened up working procedures at Rock Walk to ensure the safety of the workforce and prevent a similar accident happening again.

So far in all the work that has been carried out here there have been no serious accidents. The worker involved is now recuperating at home and hopefully will soon be fit enough too return to work.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Nice Hanging around in the Sun

One team have already been over this area hacking away with chain saws at the larger vegetation. Now a second team are covering the same ground to remove anything that might get in the way of the netting that will be placed over this area.

It looks quite pleasant on a sunny day but winter is coming and wind and rain will make this job much more difficult. Especially all the way up there.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Hacking Away at the Vegetation

Net sheet experts are ready to rock
From The Herald Express
Thursday, November 20, 2008, 08:54

TORQUAY'S Rock Walk is losing more of its greenery, but only temporarily.
Workmen are scaling the seafront cliff face to remove vegetation remained after the tree clearance last winter.
This is in preparation for the installation of sheets of rock netting to hold it in place.

The expert contractors Vertical Technology, based in Hampshire, are installing some 9,000 square metres of the netting — the equivalent of nearly five football pitches.
Site manager Paul Cook said it would look like 'metal knitting' to start with, but the vegetation will grow back over it and help knit it all together.

"It will look much better then," he said.
They will also be installing rock anchoring and soil anchoring bolts at strategic points.
The soil bolts are designed to go up to eight metres deep through the soil to the subrock.
Mr Cook said they will also be shotcreting — applying mortar using pressure hoses — in some areas. The £1million contract at Rock Walk is expected to take 28 weeks.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Torbay Council Press Release 19 Nov 2008

19 November 2008
For Immediate Release
Residents’ views sought on plans for Rock Walk
Mediterranean-themed planting, a viewing platform and creative lighting are just a few of the exciting ideas being put forward for Royal Terrace Gardens (Rock Walk) during a public consultation event next week (Monday 24 – Saturday 29 November).
The essential stabilisation works on the rock face are now underway and the council has turned its attention to the landscape restoration works that will follow.
Ginkgo Projects Ltd, working with Luck Associates, has led a team to produce an outline design for the area on behalf of Torbay Council. Now the plans will be going on show as part of the week-long consultation event and local residents, businesses and visitors are being encouraged to have their say.
Cabinet Member Councillor Chris Lewis, said: "The ideas being put forward for Royal Terrace Gardens are very exciting and are aimed at restoring it to a high standard, whilst capturing the essence of its history, in a contemporary way.
"The outline design is not set in stone and we now want to hear the views of local people and visitors on what features they like and any new ideas they may have before the design is finalised."
Some of the main features of the plan include:
* a pedestrian route up the cliff face will lead people to a viewing platform and onwards to Rock Walk
* a Mediterranean planting scheme with low level planting will open up the area, encourage people to enjoy the views across the Bay and also deter anti-social behaviour
* sensory plants, with distinctive scents and texture, will be used near seating areas
* wheelchair access will be provided along the lower gardens, however, due to the steep nature of the cliff it is not possible to provide access up the cliff. All of the steps will meet DDA requirements where possible.
* benches will be located at various points up the cliff face to encourage people to stop, enjoy the view and appreciate the Bay's Geopark connections with use of interpretation boards.
The plans and a virtual fly-through will be available for viewing at the Breezes Cafe Bar, Princess Theatre on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 November from 10.30am until 3pm. The plans will then be available to view at Torquay Library from Wednesday 26 until Saturday 29 November inclusive and on the council's website at from Monday 24 November until Friday 12 December.
The current stabilisation works are due to be completed in early June 2009 and it is hoped to start the restoration works shortly after this.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Work To Start November 10th.

WORK starts on clearing and shoring up Torquay's Rock Walk next week. Starting Monday 10 Nov 2008

The company which won the £1million six-month contract to stabilise the cliff face will be setting up site facilities and expects to start work proper on clearing vegetation and loose material off the rocks during the following week.
A substantial area of the rock face will be covered with rock-fall netting and certain areas will be fixed with rock anchors.
The seafront road will continue to remain open during the contract.

Notes about the blog. Updated 08 March 2008

Not much is happening at Rock Work now. All the work clearing the trees has been done. A barrier has been erected to prevent rock falls from reaching the road. Now we wait for the geological survey in May to see what can be done to fix the rocks in place.
After that when work starts again later in the year I will post more photos.
Any news items I come across I will post as they appear in the local paper.

Or you can work through the whole blog to find more detail.

If you left click on a photo you get a larger image.

Each day has the label "Day", click on it and you will miss out the other posts.

Articles from the Herald Express are labelled Herald Express.

And so on.

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