Private Lands Portfolio: Cutthroat track

A restored bridleway

Cutthroat Track passes through an area near Ladybower Reservoir which is as popular today as it was 4,500 years ago, restored for many future generations to use.

Cyclist on Cutthroat Track
Cutthroat Track before Works
Cutthroat Track works
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Two years of meticulous planning and preparatory work

We restored 460m of Cutthroat Track from January to March 2018. We consulted a range of users to ensure that the completed work would meet their needs. The project was delivered on behalf of the landowner with funding from Derbyshire County Council and Natural England.

Some 4,500 years ago, a Bronze Age community lived and farmed the area where Cutthroat Track now lies, near the A57 Snake Pass. Nowadays, the track is adored by walkers and horse riders, and is part of a popular network of mountain biking routes.

The degraded path, with large puddles and boggy sections, was widening due to users seeking better footing, leading to erosion of the moorland. Our work created a single, well-surfaced route, encouraging users to stay on it.  

Existing material was re-laid and drainage systems improved to create a more sustainable surface. We brought in local stone to create ‘water bars’ to prevent the path eroding after heavy rain. Moorland plants were established along the bridleway to cover bare soil and help hold water on the hill.

An on-site archaeologist ensured important archaeology wasn’t damaged. Land near to the track has been subject to a range of archaeological surveys since the mid-1990s, revealing fascinating insights into our Bronze Age ancestors.

The work took more than 45 days to complete and required machinery including diggers

50 tonnes of local stone was transported to the remote site by helicopter

A Bronze Age field system, cairnfield and settlement have been found on land near to the track