Work is continuing on the STIHL Treetop Walkway, which will give visitors an exciting new perspective on trees. The walkway is part of phase two of the Westonbirt Project.
The Walkway has really started taking shape this week. The first crane arrived on Wednesday as was the tallest we will be using to build the walkway, 37 metres!
The contractors lifted the first four pairs of timber legs into position before the crane arrived. They then used a smaller crane in the plant centre site compound to lift each section of walkway onto a trailer. This was then towed along Willesley Drive to the crane, one at a time to be lifted into position. Each section is 10.5 metres in length and weighs approximately 4 tonnes, without the timber handrail and decking!
The crane driver was on the ground during the lifts and controlled the crane using a remote control.
Each section of walkway is lifted from the trailer and carefully controlled with ropes to prevent the section from spinning whilst in the air.
It’s then lowered into position once the section has been lifted over the trees. The contractors carefully rotated the section of walkway into position.
Once in position the contractors fit the steel cables to the concrete bases and the base of the walkway. The section of walkway was then carefully lowered by the crane driver to the tops of the timber legs for the contractors to the bolt the walkway to the legs.
The timber legs are temporarily held in position using additional steel cables and concrete weights.
We’ve already put in place a section of the walkway which ‘bulges’ out to overlook the coppiced area of Silk Wood. We are creating a game here so you can find out some interesting facts about the uses of timber! We will fix the Scottish larch decking to the three timber bearers.
The contractors will be back in next week to create more sections of walkway and will be hopefully lifting some of the longer legs into position and the crows nest!
Please be aware that we may have to close Skilling Hill, Skilling Gate and parts of Willesley Drive for your safety.