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.
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.
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.
Work on the project is due to start in autumn 2020. The photo shows how wide the path has become in places.