Scarth Gap Path Repaired

A popular Lake District path has finally been repaired following damage sustained in 2009's record-breaking floods, which washed away a section of the route in a landslide.

The Scarth Gap path running below High Crag , 102 kb
The Scarth Gap path running below High Crag
© Dan Bailey

The 30m landslide created a large gap on the bridleway that runs between Gatesgarth in Buttermere and the pass of Scarth Gap.

The historical route, which guidebook author and grumpy old man Alfred Wainwright described as "one of the pleasantest of foot passes", is regularly used by walkers climbing Haystacks and the High Stile range, or en route to the remote head of Ennerdale.

Since November 2009 walkers have had to detour around the landslide as Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) staff worked out how to obtain the £70,000 required to fund the repairs. Following a successful bid to the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), specialist engineers were asked to design and build a solution.

Although restoring the path was paramount, managing the surface water was as important to ensure that a similar failure didn't happen again elsewhere along the path, say the LDNPA.

Contractors Metcalfe Plant Hire of Penrith eventually came up with the most sympathetic solution. This resulted in more than 100 tonnes of materials being recovered from the bottom of the slope to fill the gap. At the same time slate from nearby Honister Mine was used to create a drain which catches the water and directs it away from the affected area.

Lake District National Park Paths for the Public Project Coordinator, Dylan Jackman, said:

'I'm really delighted that the bridleway has been repaired. It's been a while coming, but it has been quite a unique project and something that needed careful consideration. Many thanks to Mr Willy Richardson of Gatesgarth Farm for allowing Metcalfe's access to the site.'

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