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effective methods of marking out contours for very large keylines/terraces?  RSS feed

 
Steve Hitchen
Posts: 30
Location: Yorksire - North England
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Hello.

So - I now have a big-lump-o-land. Hurrah!. Next step is to go nuts with terraces and re-structuring of the land. I am going to terrace where practical, using a mixture of battered gambions and straight tree lined earth banks.

The time is coming for the man with the bulldozer to come and start moving lots of soil.

Issue: How on earth do I actually measure the contours and mark them out?

If this was a garden, or just a few acres, I could set to with an A-Frame and do it myself. However, I'm looking at around 200 acres so that isn't practical.

Are there any cunning methods in use for large scale measurements? Or do I need to bite the bullet get a theodolite and Jamb Bar and just get on with it?


Also - what suggestions are around for marking out the lines for the dozer and diggers so that they can be seem from the vehicles? I was thinking something like mowing them into the existing vegetation?

Steve
 
R Scott
Posts: 3349
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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That big and a detailed GPS survey is smart money.

You can do it with a laser transit, but hiring a pro can be cheaper if you value your time.
 
Steve Farmer
Posts: 383
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
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forest garden greening the desert trees
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a hose pipe with water in it and open at both ends is a good way of finding two points at the same level. Generally works best with two people.
 
eric koperek
Posts: 100
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TO: Steve Hitchen
FROM: Eric Koperek = erickoperek@gmail.com
SUBJECT: Laying out contour lines
DATE: PM 5:28 Monday 7 Mars 2016
TEXT:

1. Call the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, & Food. They have many soil conservation services that are FREE! They also have various environmental do-gooding subsidy programs that you can register to receive FREE money or low-interest loans. The American equivalent is the old Soil Conservation Service now re-named the Natural Resources Conservation Service. These folks provide free surveying & engineering consulting services for soil conservation projects. Check with local environmental foundations. They will often help farmers with farm-scale environmental projects. (There is no such thing as a free lunch -- expect to sign over 5% to 10% of your land for wildflower preserves, bee pastures, shelter belts, et cetera). Right now, Feed-the-Bees is way popular in England. Promise to throw some flower seed about and the do-gooders will shower you with cash and services for your farm. If this sounds cynical it is. Most modern agriculture has very little to do with crop production. Most farmers grow subsidies. To survive you have to play politics and plug into any available government programs. Start looking now. As a new farmer you will need a hand-up to get started. Don't be shy about asking for help. The average UK farmer is over 60 years old. Agriculture in England is dying. That makes you valuable. Don't sell yourself short. Ask for help NOW.

2. Use a water level: 2 long poles about 6 feet high + 2 meter sticks (attach 1 meter stick to each pole) + clear, plastic, flexible tubing (about 100 feet) + pure water & blue food coloring. Fill tubing with colored water. Attach water filled tubing to poles; align ends of tubes at top of meter sticks. Use 2 men to walk out contour lines. Move 1 pole up or down slope until water level measures equal on both meter sticks. Mark spot with a flag or stake.

3. For more information on old-fashioned biological agriculture please visit: www.agriculturesolutions.wordpress.com -- or -- www.worldagriculturesolutions.wordpress.com -- or -- send your questions to: Agriculture Solutions, 413 Cedar Drive, Moon Township, Pennsylvania 15108 USA -- or -- send an e-mail to: erickoperek@gmail.com
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