At the end of March, it was reported that Manga Rails on the River Teign had become damaged and two of the lower rails were now missing. The purpose of this granite and metal structure is primarily to keep animals in the new-take, near Fernworthy Forest but it is also used by walkers as a convenient crossing point.
It was last extensively repaired in 1991 when one of the granite uprights was found acting as a gate post in a nearby wall. It was removed and a suitable replacement was erected in its place. The original post was then re-erected into its known position and a new set of metal rails were added to complete the project, replacing metal wires that were long past their usefulness.
Apart from a couple of minor repairs, the structure had lasted well until now and on closer inspection it is likely that the two bent rails and broken fixings were caused by walkers ‘crabbing’ along the bottom rail when the river was in full spate. The rails were certainly not designed to take this kind of punishment!
Two new rails and metal supports were ordered from Conibear Brothers in Crediton and a local blacksmith, Dave Denford was employed to make new and stronger fixings.
On a sunny day in June, following a spell of prolonged good weather, Dave and his wife Shirley (as volunteers) and I ventured out onto the common to undertake the repairs.
The old broken fixings were removed, the holes re-drilled to take the larger fixings and then the rails were positioned in place whilst the glue set hard. The new uprights were added and then the whole structure was given a fresh coat of paint.
Hopefully it will last as long as it did last time and my thanks go to all those who were involved in the project. Just another day in the life of a ranger!