Saving Our Boardwalk
The raised boardwalk is an essential feature of Holt Island. As well as enabling access for visitors with prams, wheelchairs and other mobility aids, it also means that the Island's rare wet woodland habitat can be enjoyed safely, even when it is partially flooded or otherwise inaccessible.
However, looking after the wooden boardwalk on Holt Island is a constant round of regular board replacement and maintenance - our volunteers liken it to repainting the Forth Bridge! The wooden boards have a lifespan of 10-12 years and the non-slip surface needs frequent repair. With this ongoing upkeep there are of course ongoing costs.
Following discussions with HDC and other conservation bodies, and in line with our management plan, we have decided to replace the wooden boards with Fibregrid. Fibregrid is made from a composite of glass reinforced plastic (GRP) and resin. It is tough, waterproof, lasts for 40+ years and is maintenance-free. We are currently undertaking a trial, installing 66 metres of Fibregrid - approximately 10% of the total boardwalk.
Fibregrid is more expensive than wooden boardwalk - costing around £7,500 per 66 metres - but its longevity and resilience means that longer-term it is more cost-effective than wooden boards. We are actively fundraising for this project, and if you would like to contribute you can do so here. We'd be very grateful for your support