Going the extra (10) miles to heal the landscapes you love

Peak District National Park staff are going the extra mile to raise money for vital conservation work in the Peak District.

Group of runers from the Peak District National Park Authority preparing for the race

Bog of Doom

Sounding like something out of the Lord of the Rings, the ‘Bog of Doom’ on Cut Gate bridleway is a dark sight to behold.
Cut Gate path, an old packhorse route, runs from the idyllic valley of Ladybower reservoir and through the brooding hills of the Dark Peak to Langsett, in the Peak District National Park.  The scenes, serenity, and challenges of such a route have made it popular with walkers, runners and mountain bikers.  
A section of the popular path has become known as the ‘Bog of Doom’ to mountain bikers, who dread falling into axle-deep puddles of peaty mud.  Peoples’ natural tendency to avoid the wettest sections of the path is leading to gradual widening and erosion.  But groups like Ride Sheffield and Peak District MTB wanted to take responsibility for the damage and joined forces with the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and Peak District National Park to take action.
The path is in desperate need of reinforcement to reduce erosion of delicate peat soil, protect vital habitat for birds and keep carbon locked in the moor.  In collaboration with these organisations, Moors for the Future Partnership have been tasked with repairing the damage to create a sustainable path.  The Partnership, which this year celebrates its 15th year of safeguarding the uplands, has history with the Cut Gate path, having completed work on another vulnerable section in 2008.

But for the repair works to begin, funds must be raised.

Mend our Mountains

National Parks are precious places that help millions of people escape and unwind from hectic everyday life.  But we have to take care of them so that people can enjoy them for generations to come. Keeping rights of way in good condition is essential for people, and helps protect habitat for wildlife.  
The Mend our Mountains campaign was started by the BMC in an effort to raise £1million for National Park footpath restoration work from the Cairngorms to Dartmoor.  Choosing which footpaths would be repaired was hard enough.  The next challenge was the fundraising.
It was this thought that led Tia Crouch, senior research and monitoring officer at Moors for the Future Partnership, to decide to enter the Dambusters 10 mile race.
‘My family and I often visit the reservoirs and moors of the Peak District to spend time together in a peaceful place.  When I heard about the Dambusters run, I thought the challenge would be a brilliant opportunity for the three of us to get fit together and raise money for a good cause.  I’ve never really run before so training has been hard, but as a family we’re really enjoying it, with my son Leo, who’s 4, cycling alongside me and my partner.’

Running for the landscapes you love

Employees of the moorland conservation partnership and other staff in the Peak District National Park Authority will be running the stunning Peak Runners 10 mile Dambusters race around Derwent and Howden reservoirs to raise money for Mend our Mountains.  They will not only be running to raise funds for Cut Gate track repairs but also for The Great Ridge, which runs from Mam Tor to Lose Hill in the Hope Valley.
Sarah Fowler, Chief Executive of the Peak District National Park Authority said:
‘The Peak District National Park is important to so many people.  The original national park, it was founded on fierce public belief that access to this special place should be open for all.  The Mend our Mountains campaign reflects the phenomenal will today to ensure access to these special places is as sustainable as possible, safeguarding this access for future generations. The improvements to the Cut Gate path will help protect an iconic route across the moors of the Peak District National Park.’

The race organiser, Peakrunners, is kindly donating half of the Partnership participants’ race entry to the BMC campaign and staff will be pestering friends and family to donate to the campaign as well.
If you have ever, like Tia, been mesmerised by the beauty and uniqueness of the Peak District National Park, please donate to the Mend our Mountains campaign and help to keep it special for many years to come.  These landscapes look after us.  They give us breathing space.  But we have to look after them in return.
If you want to know more about healing the landscapes you love, visit the Mend our Mountains website https://mendmountains.thebmc.co.uk/
Runners will start at 9:30am on 30th June 2018 at Fairholmes near Ladybower Reservoir, passing the south end of Cut Gate path.  Why not come and support them?  There will be an opportunity find out more about just how vital the moors are, as well as fun activities and a chance to talk to the people involved.  The Bogtastic Van will be making an appearance too! http://www.peakrunners.co.uk/dambuster-10.html  

To sponsor our team, please go to our just giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cutgatemendourmountains