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Standlake Ranch, Witney, West Oxfordshire9 Jun 2013
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Standlake Ranch, Witney, West Oxfordshire19 May 2013
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Telegraph poles are remarkably heavy to carry...

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...but luckily there are lots of OCVers here to move this one

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In the foreground everyone is busy digging holes for posts. In the background four lucky volunteers are out on boats, pulling reeds

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Tamping in one of the posts. Either it is a very deep hole or someone has cut a section off the telegraph pole.

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Digging a hole for the next post

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This volunteer may look legless but in fact he's just happy

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Standlake Ranch, Witney, West Oxfordshire17 Jun 2012
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Third task at Standlake. Time to finish that bridge.

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The biggest task remaining is to add some planks to walk on. These are wired onto the pipes.

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On the other side, steps up to the bridge are needed

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Each of the boardwalk-type planks needs to be drilled so it can be wired on...

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... and the wiring must be done from a slightly precarious position above the water!

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Handrail team looks slightly maniacal already?

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Steps up to the bridge are nearing completion

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Richard never misses an opportunity to do a little coppicing, even in an awkward position like this

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Finishing touches

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Bridge. Done. 'Nuff said.

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Bridge over untroubled waters

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Meanwhile, some volunteers are off on a boat trip. Is this the van officer admitting defeat?

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Nope, it's just a way to transport some tree stumps to the island to be used as seats

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The stumps are moved up to the top of the island to form a seating area

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So we've got a boat, we just built a bridge, PING! <lightbulb icon>

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View of bridge from boat

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Our completed bridge - one last photo

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Handrails seem sturdy enough, at least for skinny people

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The view from beneath the bridge.

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While we're out in the boat, might as well bash a bit of scrub. We're OCV, it's what we do best.

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Proud bridge designer demonstrates his confidence in his creation by holding on with both hands

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And finally... we still love the old rope bridge too!

Standlake Ranch, Witney, West Oxfordshire3 Jun 2012
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Admiring the rope bridge and slide at the Ranch

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Pipework!

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Chris cuts the pipe to the right length

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Eeek, watch what you're doing please!

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Cut end of pipe

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First pipe in place

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The rope is needed to get one end of the pipe across the water

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Construction of steps begins with two diagonal side pieces. Each step will have supports on both sides.

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It was a bit of a damp and muddy day!

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Work on the second set of steps

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Re-using old materials doesn't always make for the straightest of lines. We call it rustic.

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Almost finished, just need one set of steps, some boards to stand on and a handrail

Standlake Ranch, Witney, West Oxfordshire20 May 2012
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This is the part of the lake that we are to bridge

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We will be using these bits of old telegraph poles for uprights

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And these old pipes to span the gap

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Starting to dig a hole for the first upright

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Pounding in an upright with a sledgehammer

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Meanwhile, elsewhere on the ranch, some steps are going in to a steep bank

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And some more steps further along the path!

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Putting in a half-round upright to hold the step in place

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Back at the bridge, a support is going in for the upright, and a hole is being dug for the second upright

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Chris takes a break from supervising

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These steps are coming along nicely

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And so are these!

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Second bridge-post going in slowly but surely

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And this one gets a supporting strut too

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Until our bridge is complete, this rope bridge is the only way to get to the island...

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...unless you want to try floating across on a telegraph pole?

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So now this lovely tranquil site has...

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... new steps and a handrail, ...

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...two extra steps here, plus another set of steps not pictured,...

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...and one end of a bridge. We'll be back another day to complete the job.