Eroded path in Dales to be supplemented with new alternative route over more sustainable terrain.
Work has started on the creation of an alternative section of the Three Peaks route in the Yorkshire Dales with an eroded section of the trail set to be supplemented with a new, more sustainable line.
The existing section of path running from Pen-y-ghent over Horton Moor and Black Dubb Moss to Ribblehead via High Birkwith, has been badly eroded by walkers over the years with damaged vegetation allowing the topsoil to be washed away and causing damage to the fragile peat habitat.
More Sustainable Option
The new alternative route runs over Whitber Hill and follows existing paths which mostly run over drier terrain making for a more sustainable option generally. However to make it into a viable alternative, it needs engineering work which will be financed by a 30,000 euro grant from a pot of cash being offered by the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) following on from a public online vote.
The work will begin later this month with National Park Rangers and Dales Volunteers linking two existing stone tracks - both part of the Pennine Way - with three additional sections of stone slabs and a small footbridge across Sell Gill.
Once complete, walkers tackling the classic 24-mile Three Peaks day walk will be encouraged to use the new section of path while the existing one regenerates.
Time To Recover
The YNDPA’s Three Peaks Area Ranger Steve Hastie, who is also the Three Peaks Project Manager, said:
“Diverting walkers away from Black Dubb Moss will give the sensitive peatland habitats and the damaged vegetation time to recover.
“We’re currently finalising the logistics, with 650 tonnes of materials to move around, as well as various interesting items of machinery to dig, grab, lift and move people, earth and stone.
“It will mean that, for the first time, we will have a sustainable circuit for those wishing to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.”
The creation of the alternative route is part of the Three Peaks Project, which was launched by the National Park Authority in 2009.
More Dales information at www.yorkshiredales.org.uk.