This work forms part of the British Mountaineering Council’s (BMC) Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million campaign.
The bridleway, which connects the Derwent and Little Don valleys between Ladybower and Langsett reservoirs, is popular with walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers.
The route is thought to have been used for over a thousand years and has more recently become recognised as a classic in the mountain biking world. It also forms part of the promoted long distance horse riding route ‘Kinder Loop’.
Although much of the route is passable all year round, three sections at the highest points are prone to flooding and saturation of the ground. This results in people taking a wide berth to avoid muddy pools, which leads to erosion. The path improvements will improve accessibility for walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders.
It will also protect the surrounding precious blanket bog moorland and wildlife habitat by providing a dedicated route.
Funding for the project was a partnership effort with user groups from the walking, horse riding and mountain biking communities coming together to advocate for improvements to the much-loved route. Funding was kick-started by the BMC’s Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million campaign.
The Cut Gate works planned for the tops (on stretches between Margery Hill and Mickleden Edge) will start before Christmas. This work will mainly address the three boggy areas and a few stretches in between, while keeping the remote upland path feel.
Work on the stretch between Slippery Stones and Howden Edge is progressing well, with some machine path work and some hand-installed stone fords completed. There is a stretch towards the top of the hill where the surface is quite wet (pictured) and will either take some time to dry off or some additional stone may need to be applied.
Work on the lower stretch of Cut Gate bridleway, between Slippery Stones and Howden Edge, will start on 9th November 2020. The need for these works was highlighted during the user group consultations last year and in consultation with the National Trust since, and we’re very pleased to be able to include them in this project thanks to the project funders. The work on this stretch is due to completed by mid-December.
Work on the project is due to start in autumn 2020. The photo shows how wide the path has become in places.
User group representatives, including horse riders, mountain bikers, ramblers and fell runners, walked the bridleway with the contractor. We viewed where different path work techniques will be used, and saw how the specification is balancing the requirements of users while keeping the bridleway’s remote upland feel.
Moors for the Future Partnership are working with contractors to draw up the specification. The next step will be consultation with user groups in summer 2019.