Next Hope Valley Dig Days & Planned Elmin Pits Farm Trail

As we revealed at our AGM in November and alluded to in the write-up, Peak District MTB having been working with Severn Trent Water to increase access for mountain biking around the Ladybower and Upper Derwent Valley area. The first stage of this undertaking is that PDMTB volunteers will be working with the local STW ranger, and in conjunction with the Peak District National Park, to renovate an existing footpath, in preparation for it to be upgraded to have legal access for mountain bikers, after the work is finished.

As shown on the map below, the planned trail is located close to the rocky descent from Hope Cross, more commonly known to MTBers as ‘The Beast’. It is envisioned that this will be mostly used as a climb up onto the ridge. Although it could also serve as a chilled-out, less technical descent and make a useful alternative to The Beast for novices.

Once access is officially opened to mountain bikers (at a later date, once work on the ground is completed and approved), the path will be upgraded from footpath (with only access rights for walkers), to a permissive bridleway (with access rights for mountain bikers, horse-riders and walkers). (You can see more about the types of path classification on our Useful Info Page.) So this trail will be a right of way, like most others in the Peak District, and shouldn’t be confused with the MTB specific paths of trail centres, or more locally, projects like Ride Sheffield’s at Lady Cannings and Greno Woods.

As it’s a public right of way, we’ll be working to certain requirements for the style of the path, as we did previously when we maintained the Whinstone Lee Tor to Cutthroat Bridleway, which retained the ‘natural’ style of the bridleway whilst having challenging aspects for MTBers. Our approach was well received by MTBers and the wider outdoor community. This will also help as our first small step towards our big goal of doubling the length Peak District bridleways, with bridleways currently making up 11% of the total length footpath and bridleways, vs the national average of 22%. Read more about our 22% Campaign.

Our first dig day on this path will be on Thursday 19th of December. As normal tools (and optionally, work gloves) will be provided. But this time, as the work site is a long way from public parking, we will be meeting at the Ladybower Wood Yard. Then loading up into a few vehicles to drive to a STW private parking area close to the digging site. Meeting time at the wood yard is 10am and we should be at the dig site between 10:45 and 2pm, for anyone who wants to meet us there or call in while on a ride. It is recommended to bring warm clothes, plenty of snacks and a drink. The site should be out of the wind, but probably won’t see the sun all day, so will be cold.

There will be a Event Page on Facebook, so please let us know if you’re intending to come (and if this changes, please update it), which helps us to know how many tools etc to have ready. If you have any questions, you can Email James or ask on Facebook for more info.

Meeting point and parking: https://maps.app.goo.gl/85KxyYqpPwjc5sLz8

PDMTB Hope Valley Dig Dates:

  • Thursday 19th December
  • Thursday 16th January
  • Thursday 13th February
  • Thursday 19th March
  • Thursday 16th April
  • Thursday 14th May

Last year’s December dig date on Whinstone Lee Tor had a good turn out and we’re hoping to see similar numbers this year…

Other dig days are also happening in other areas of the Peak District, including our ongoing work at the Roaches in Staffordshire, see more: http://peakdistrictmtb.org/event/trail-maintenance-days-2019/

Find out more: What do we do on trail maintenance days?

3 December 2019