Cutthroat track bridleway

Protecting the landscape for generations

Some 4,500 years ago, Bronze Age settlers lived, worked and farmed on moorland where the Cutthroat track now lies. Nowadays, the route is adored by walkers and horse riders – and is arguably one of the best mountain biking routes in the country.

Around 150 generations of people before us have taken care of this area, so that we can enjoy it today. It’s vitally important that we continue this legacy.

Moors for the Future Partnership undertook works to restore 460m of very badly eroded Cutthroat track in early 2018. The project was delivered for and on behalf on the land owner, with funding from Derbyshire County Council and Natural England.

The works improved drainage systems, to stop water cutting directly through the track, causing it to erode away. Moorland seeds and shrubs were also planted around the pathway to increase vegetation coverage, providing food to local wildlife. The plant life also acts as a textured blanket, to stop sediment and water running off the hills so quickly when it rains – reducing the risk of flooding and the cost of water treatment works. 

All of this work was undertaken with an archaeologist present. The area has undergone different archaeological studies for over 25 years. The most significant finds included a Bronze Age field system, cairnfield and settlement.

People in the Bronze Age lived in round houses constructed of wood, wattle and daub, and thatch. The houses were clustered together in small groups, near to stock coops and systems of small hand-worked fields.

At the site near to Cutthroat, there are cairns (human-made pile of stones); linear stone banks and earth lynchets (earth terraces found on the side of hills). Bronze Age people cleared the land, piling up stones to create the clearance cairns. They also created and cultivated the fields, defined by the linear stone banks and lynchets.

We hope that in 4500 years from now, people will come to discover the work that was undertaken some 150 generations ago, to care for and protect the iconic Peak District landscape.

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