Apprentice Georgia writes about her experience while working on winter maintenance.
I helped with site maintenance over the winter; this included debarking all the really long upright logs for repairing the bridge and carrying all the smaller ones round next to the bridge for the new walkway. I also helped paddle the large uprights around the crannog in the log boat and other tasks to help clean up the site.
For the site maintenance, we moved the bark from the uprights that we debarked to the back compound and spread it out to act as a new surface for the ground. We moved and chopped the wood from one wood stack to another, in order to empty one of the wood stacks in the back compound so that the shelter could be knocked down to build the new metal-working shelter. We cleared all the leaves and dirt from under the bridge so a new ramp could be built, shovelled loads of new gravel into wheelbarrows to go all around the site and put where the gravel is sparse. We then made a bonfire to burn all the old bits of wood, leftover decking, and anything around the site that we do not need and looks messy.
We had a wood chip order which Toby and I shovelled into wheelbarrows whilst everyone else helped by dumping it around the site, in order to spread it on the ground in the shelters to give them fresh ground. I tidied and re-organized the shed so it's more accessible and so everyone knows where everything is, tidied the old tanning shelter so it can be made into a trade area and also rebuilt the dry-stone wall around the shelter, as over the winter when the beach flooded, the wall collapsed, and I also sewed new bunting to go outside the front of the museum, using material we found in the shed, to make the front look more welcoming.
Next, I went in the log boat with Rich to move the buoy line nearer to the crannog, put top soil next to the new decking ready for grass seed to be planted and tidied out the front of the museum, I placed all the pathway to hope pebbles, that our visitors have written words of hope on, around the borders of the site and I also painted and wrote on the blackboards that go on the side of the road to advertise that we are opening on the 26th of April.
By doing all of this we are learning new skills and get to use new equipment/tools and work together as a team to get the site ready for reopening. It also means we have a better understanding of what life would have been like in the iron age when they had to repair the crannog.
Winter maintenance kindly supported by Historic Environment Scotland