Job Done: Clearing a steeplechase assault course, Yorkshire

Project Clearing an army assault course
Client Ministry of Defence
Contractor Sodexo

Moving huge logs in and out of an army base steeplechase assault course situated in the middle of dense woodland is no mean feat. But Sodexo's ground maintenance team was tasked by Carillion Enterprise to do just that.

Knowing vehicle access and health and safety would be a challenge at the Catterick Garrison assault course in the Yorkshire Dales, Sodexo contract manager Mick Hasson had to think laterally.

He explained: "When I first saw the steeplechase course at Vimy Barracks I knew instantly that we wouldn't be able to gain vehicle access and the health and safety implications of using manpower meant that was also out of the question."

Hasson called horse logging expert Mark Turnbull before co-ordinating the log-moving project. Specialist equipment, such as timber arches, was used to ensure minimum impact on the ground.

Two trees were cut into 3m sections that were pulled to the access road by a Dales Pony crossbreed. Specialist vehicles were used to transport logs to the steeplechase and the pony, called Painter, finished the job by taking them to the correct places on the course.

Carillion Enterprise area landscape manager (north) Phil Rogers said: "We trust the team to find solutions to any problems that may arise."

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