Lake District's Million Pound Path Repair

Two years after record-breaking floods caused havoc in Cumbria, the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) has just spent its one millionth pound on repairing damage and restoring the rights of way network.

Gale Bay after the floods, 120 kb
Gale Bay after the floods

After the floods, a Park survey indicated that some 253 bridges needed repairing or replacing to increase the resilience of the rights of way network in case of future flooding disasters.

So far 180 bridges have been repaired by local contractors under the supervision of national park teams and where ever possible the project teams utilise local suppliers and materials to develop skills and capacity within small rural businesses across the county.

The symbolic landmark millionth pound repair was carried out to the bridleway running from Water Side House to Finsthwaite House, near Newby Bridge and involved using 90 tonnes of local stone to improve and repair paths and drains.

'The unprecedented rainfall in November 2009 left a trail of destruction across the national park and what happened to this path was repeated in dozens and dozens of locations all over the national park' said LDNPA Paths for the Public Project Co-ordinator Dylan Jackman.

The progress that has already been made to restoring the national park's rights of way network has only been made possible with funding from Defra, Cumbria County Council and the Rural Development Programme for England.

'There are still further repairs and improvements to be complete before the end of the project in March 2013. Work on the ground continues unabated during the winter months, meanwhile our in-house staff will be preparing work with landowners and partners so that river works can be complete within the Environment Agency consent period of June to September 2012' Dylan Jackmann added.

Skiddaw Forest footbridge, 171 kb
Skiddaw Forest footbridge
© Dan Bailey

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