Repairing & Maintaining Steps


  • Slippery Steps: If existing wooden or stone steps are slippery, please scrub the slime off them - water a scrubbing brush and some elbow grease should do it.
  • Chicken Wire: If they are wooden, tacking on a sheet of chicken wire to the tread works well and is easily done. Please tuck in any sharp edges as well as you can.
  • Brick Slips: There are 2 piles of thin brick 'slips' which can be used to make step platforms more grippy. The piles are in the Mediterranean Zone and just above the top path.
  • Wood Chippings: If the ground is getting muddy, piling on some wood chippings can help

Building New Steps

Worth considering:

  • Wheelbarrow Route: In overall planning, thought should be given to leaving a route from tea-area-level to bottom of orchard for wheelbarrows, i.e. avoiding steps
  • Materials: We only have a few bits of planking left for steps, just below the top compost bin. There are also a selection of treated wooden stakes here (bought in Autumn 2016), which probably require sawing in half for typical steps.
  • Stakes: as most of the ground in the orchard is hard clay, stakes can only be hammered a short distance into the ground or risk splitting, so preparatory holes may need to be dug for them.

Potential locations for new steps

  • Map accompanying notes below (Lewis, Jan 2016) [PDF]

High priority

  • One more step in the Mediterranean zone, on the path before you get to the one that Richard recently made.
  • Full flight of steps leading down from far side of med. Zone to back of fruitarium.
  • Path going down left side of orchard: 1 step needed by lowest compost bay (woody stuff) and 2 more as you get down to the veg patch.

Lower priority

  • On left hand path: 1 step needed just below fruitarium at T-junction of paths.
  • On new path cutting through under Apple 1 – possibly some steps needed.
  • Path going down from Gage 2 and eventually curving left to meet side path – whole path is overgrown and in need of repair over much of its length, though little-used. Existing steps are in need of replacement, and quite a few more new ones needed, particularly at lower end.
  • Path going down right hand side of orchard – steps needed over much of the stretch from the compost loo down, apart from right at the bottom where there are several good steps already.