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Removing Graffiti from Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge, one of Britain's most spectacular natural landmarks, was recently defaced by racist and homophobic graffiti. The graffiti was highly offensive and the local police wanted it removed as quickly as possible, so the National Trust's Area Ranger for the gorge contacted OneFifty for help. 

An AONB and a Site of Special Scientific INTEREST

Because the gorge is both an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest the method used to remove the graffiti required careful consideration.

Media blasting was selected as the most environmentally friendly option as it did not require the use of chemicals or water and posed no potential risk of ecological impact on the gorge.

accessing the rockface 

Accessing the rock face that required cleaning presented quite a challenge. The air compressor we use for media blasting is housed within one of our vehicles, but we could not park next to the site due to the nature of the terrain.

Equipment had to be carried uphill, over very rough ground, to the site. Fortunately, we have a portable blast pot which, deployed alongside 200m of air hose and the appropriate blast media, proved ideal for the task. 

media blasting with fine grade garnet 

We used fine grade garnet to remove the graffiti which allowed us to work at lower air pressures as required due to the size of compressor and the length of hose. Garnet works well to remove graffiti without damaging the surface being cleaned so was ideal for this task.

Inevitably, as well as the graffiti, organic growth, dirt and other pollutants were also removed from the rock face, which makes the area cleaned stand out. However, this will soon weather and revert to it's original appearance, so in just a few weeks time there will be no evidence of the graffiti, or its removal.

Company Director, Max Morris, said; "We were initially surprised when the National Trust called us and this was an unusual graffiti removal project. It was actually brilliant to be involved in the clean up and use our technical knowldge and expertise to achieve the desired outcome without damaging the rock face or the local environment of the gorge."

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