A gripping saga!

It all started during lockdown!

When restrictions were lifted slightly and we were classed as keyworkers, I was able to visit some of our sites to carry out inspections, which included looking at everything such as the fences, gates, bins, noticeboards and bridges.

Whilst out in Wellesley Woodlands, I thought it would be a good idea to make the bridges a little more practical for wet and icy times, by adding anti-slip grips. Once approval was granted and the bridges at Claycart, Puckridge and Rushmoor Bottom were measured, it was time get shopping.

The order was placed for 135 bridge grips to be sent to my home, as we couldn’t always guarantee someone would be at Ash Lock, as we were still working in cells and usually out, busy path cutting.

It started well and the delivery arrived a day earlier than expected, but unfortunately only 72 of the grips. It was time to call the supplier, who deeply apologised and promised the next delivery to be with me soon. A few days later, I was messaged that it had been left at my house. As I was at work when it was delivered, I had to wait until I got home to check. To my dismay, rather than the missing 63 anti-slip grips, I had 2 anti-slip marine decking grids measuring almost 1.8m x 1.2m and extremely heavy! The despatch note attached to these were for my grips, and certainly not what had actually arrived!

After several more calls, more apologies and a wait of a further 6 days my delivery finally arrived but the courier wasn’t informed about taking away the incorrect order, so these are still leaning up against the side of my house! (Interestingly the delivery note with my correct order was for the marine grids that should have been delivered to Anglian Water in Ipswich…)

Finally, Laura and I were able to install the anti-slip grips on the Wellesley Woodland bridges. 966 screws later and this saga was over. I hope you appreciate the new look bridges when out on your next walk in Wellesley. Now I just need to get the courier to come and get these grids to Suffolk…

Claycart - Before Claycart - AfterRushmoor Bottom - Before Rushmoor Bottom - AfterPuckridge - After

Assistant Ranger Matt






About blackwatervalleycountryside

The Blackwater Valley is located on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and runs for approximately 30km from the source near Aldershot, northwards to Swallowfield. At its confluence it joins the rivers Whitewater and Loddon. The Loddon eventually flows into the River Thames near Reading. Work in the Blackwater Valley is co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on behalf of the local authorities that border the Valley. Despite being surrounded by urban development the Valley provides an important green corridor for local residents As well as the Blackwater Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, three nature reserves within the Valley catchment and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities covering the Valley have designated 31 other areas as ‘Wildlife Sites’.
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