The main field of the Turnditch Orchard has a gap in the hedge where a gate used to be located. We have a heavy (more than 50 kilograms) 4 metre steel gate on site which we believe used to be used as the gate for the field. At some point in the past the old gate posts have been removed. We'll need to install some new gate posts so that we can swing the old metal gate.
We think the old gate posts were taken out so larger vehicles could gain access to the field to enable dumping of building/construction waste. With the fruit trees in place, we don't want any large vehicles on the orchard, so putting the gate back suits our purposes just fine. The gate will discourage unwanted guests from straying off the public footpath into the orchard field.
The soil where we'll put the gateposts is quite soft and any gatepost footed in a few centimetres layer of postcrete will soon sag under the weight of the gate. We've determined the need to build a concrete beam to provide a secure support for the hinge post. The beam will need embedded steel rebar and approximately 0.7 cubic metres of concrete. We'll mix the concrete on site as it is too far from the road to use a readimix concrete lorry without incurring charges for lorry rental or additional labourers to run around with wheel barrows. The steel work for the re-bar will be designed and ordered from Twiggs in Matlock during this week. A galvanised steel gatepost will be purchased from Lester Lowe.
The beam will be buried out of sight underground when the work is complete. We've used this technique of a concrete beam before for the roadside gate. In that case we were concerned the gate post and fence posts could cause damage to the top of the river bank.
Where there's gaps between the hedge and the gate posts we'll build a short section of fence to fill the gap. Later we'll plant hedge plants to grow against the fence to allow its replacement in a few years time.