The bridleway from Whinstone Lee Tor to Cutthroat Bridge, near Ladybower, has been a major focus of Peak District MTB’s voluntary trail maintenance works in recent years. Now, following on from Peak District MTB volunteers’ well received maintenance work of 2016, the most difficult and boggy section near the bottom is about to receive a major renovation from the professionals.
In 2016 PDMTB undertook our largest maintenance project to date, improving the upper 940m of the trail. The work mainly involved adding drains and consolidating the line into one rideable / walkable line on a durable surface. This was done sympathetically and in keep with the character of a high moorland path; making it more fun to ride for MTBers, whilst meeting the requirements for other users and environmental sensitivities. See more about our previous work: https://peakdistrictmtb.org/project/bridleway-maintenance-2016-peak-district-mtb/
The lower section, running alongside the fence, before the loose rocks start after the corner, has been bad for as long as we can remember. With water crossing and running down the path and many boggy lines spreading over a wide area.
Now, following many years planning, Moors for the Future, supported by Peak District National Park Authority and Derbyshire County Council, have long had aspirations to undertake work to repair this section of bridleway. Peak District MTB, along with other stakeholders, have been kept abreast of the ongoing progress for some-time, culminating in a very positive site meeting in November 2017. Having completed the onerous background work of financial, environmental and archaeological considerations, and consulted with the representatives from users group and other stakeholders, they are now now ready to begin their work on the ground.
Starting at the end of January 2018 and lasting about 2 months, Moors for the Future, will have a specialist contractor using mechanical diggers to improve the drainage and durability of the bridleway, whilst also restoring the adjoining peat moorland habitat. The resurfaced bridleway will be approximately 1.2 – 2.1m in width with many drainage features, such as fords as water bars. It’s reported as many rocks and boulders as possible – sourced from the site – will be incorporated into the trail surface. The machinery will not have to use lower rocky section of the bridleway to access the site, but will have another access route, partly making use of shooting access tracks. You can read more about Moors for the Future’s plans here.
As previous examples of the sort of outcome we can expect to see, the work of Moors for the Future and this specialist contractor goes back many years to the restoration of the Cut Gate bridleway, through to their recent work on the nearby Foulstone bridleway.
The right of way will remain open throughout the work, but the work will take some time to bed in, so should be in great shape for those warm, dry late spring/early summer evening rides.
The Peak District MTB dig team hope to be holding more volunteer dig days from our members later in 2018 and will likely revisit the upper section of this bridleway before summer. If you’d like to join us and haven’t already, please email us to be on the trail maintenance mailing list.