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Stone Flags Supplied to The National Trust

stone flags
We recently supplied and delivered approximately 100 tonnes of old reclaimed stone mill flags to the National Trust so that the National Trust Ranger Team could reinstate and repair close to half a kilometre of moorland footpaths across the Yorkshire Dales close to Kidstones Pass between Grassington and Leyburn. The footpaths being repaired were high-up and away from any access road and therefore the flags were delivered to a collection point above the village of Cray and then a helicopter was commissioned to collect the flags pallet-by-pallet and fly them high onto the moors where the repairs were taking place.

Following the delivery of the 10 full wagon loads of stone flags, the client was extremely happy and thanked us via email, saying…

“This is just a quick email to thank you for getting the flags organised and delivered to Cray.  It was all done very efficiently and with plenty of time before the helicopter lift.  Please pass my thanks on to the delivery drivers and anyone in the yard who helped sort and load the flags, Steptoe’s Yard have supplied sandstone flags to us for a number of years now. We’ve been laying them on the popular walk from Buckden Pike summit to the Polish Airmen’s memorial, protecting the fragile peatland of the area.  With the help of a Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority airlift, 2022 sees its completion.  This has been made possible by a generous legacy to the National Trust, aimed at protecting paths and enabling walkers to access this beautiful area

Peter Katic

Area Ranger, Upper Wharfedale

Steptoe’s Yard Ltd is THE North West’s premier reclamation and salvage specialists in natural stone products including Yorkstone flags, sandstone & granite cobbles, walling & building stone and we have supplied a number of National Parks and National Trusts with natural reclaimed products for restoring heritage rights of way, as well as local authorities for repairing and refurbishing historic properties and highway structures / bridges etc. and in respect of public rights of way high in the Dales and National Parks, we have supplied miles of reclaimed mill flags for the sensitive and natural repair and maintenance of moorland footpaths.

Our yard operatives are highly experienced in the logistics associated with supplying stone materials and are fully coached in relation to material handling, sorting, grading, palleting, wrapping, banding, and loading, and we have machinery and equipment available to assist them with the physical management of this type of product.

Because this most recent supply and delivery contract for the National Trust was in a remote and inaccessible part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the flags needed to be flown to the work site by helicopters. We fully understand the importance of the delivery specification required for helicopter airlifts; particularly in relation to sturdiness of pallets; strong double banding in each direction; maximum weight of 1100kg, and ‘pyramidal’ stacking. If we were to supply sub-standard loads on weak or damaged pallets and had incorrectly stacked materials and weak banding, it could lead to loads being lost in transit, which doesn’t bear thinking about as stone flags weighing up to quarter of a tonne ‘rained down’ from the sky onto walkers and animals innocently going about their business below.

We pride ourselves in the quality of product and service that we supply to all our customers and trust that it is because of this that we receive so much repeat business from the National Trust and the National Parks. Our quality procedures are based around the pride we have in our business, and our desire to ensure that our service exceeds the customer’s expectations. Each order is processed separately with a dedicated gang under supervision of a Yard Foreman. The Foreman has a written specification for each order and personally oversees the selection; measurement, cleaning and stacking of each flag.

The flags are hand-picked, measured and palleted, with the Foreman checking the quality and size of the flag, as each pallet is loaded. Pallets of flags are then moved to a despatch area where the Foreman carried out a final check before reporting to the Yard Manager that the order is ready for despatch. The Yard Manager carried out a final inspection of the palleted flags, and as soon as he is satisfied; the transport is confirmed, and the order is marked as ready for despatch.

We appreciate that it is extremely important to ensure that the quality of each delivery matches, or exceeds, the client’s specification, as we understand the costs involved in rectifying poor quality deliveries; particularly with such bulky items…profit is at the slimmest of margins in the current economic climate, and mistakes with the quality of orders can very quickly place us into a ‘negative margin’, which would be unsustainable in the long run. We have thousands of metres of Yorkstone flag constantly in stock, which are continually being picked from; and re-sorted, and during this on-going process, any broken, cracked, or faulty flags are set to one side to be sold as ‘crazy-paving’ or ultimately to be crushed into recycled aggregate. This continual quality-checking process helps ensure that the flags, which we have in stock at any one time, are all in the good condition.

The benefit to all our customers in purchasing materials from Steptoe’s Yard Ltd is that:

  • They will receive the materials that they require.
  • Directly from tangible stock here in our yard today.
  • Exactly to the agreed specification.
  • Delivered on time.
  • …and with a replacement promise for any sub-standard product.


Relevant Examples

As described above we have supplied thousands of reclaimed mill flags to various National Park Authorities over recent years, as well as one or two select deliveries of high-quality street-flag down to the Queen’s Estate in London.  Some examples of supply contracts undertaken are as follows: –

  • 470m delivered to Stump Cross Caverns for Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
  • 655m delivered to a number of locations between the Yorkshire 3-Peaks for Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
  • 160m delivered to Keld for Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
  • 115m delivered to Hardraw for Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
  • 180m delivered to Askrigg for Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
  • 175m delivered to Cray for National Trust
  • 216m delivered to Simonside (East of Kielder Forest Park) for Northumberland National Park Authority.
Another delivery on a previous contract in less favourable weather.

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