A track once popular with walkers and horse riders in the North York Moors has been restored by the National Park Authority. The work is part of the Missing Links Project, which is re-establishing lost trails across the park to help boost visitor numbers and make it easier for walkers to use public transport.
The original line of the public bridleway between Beck Hole and Thackside Farm in Goathland crossed an old ford. Changes in water levels and the movement of a large boulder downstream often left this ford very difficult to use and made it impassable at certain times of the year.
Many people had abandoned the route, say the National Park Authority. Local riders approached the authority requesting action to help re-establish this important off-road connection.
A short section of the bridleway was diverted to connect to a nearby footbridge, which was widened to make room for walkers, horses and cyclists. Signs have been put in place to guide users along the new route.
The work links with improvements carried out on a bridleway between Hazel Head and Hunt House, also near Goathland, which involved widening and draining the wet, eroded and overgrown lane.
Naomi Green, a Senior Ranger with the National Park Authority, said:
'This restoration work brings an historic bridleway back into use and means that walkers, cyclists and horseriders can now enjoy a fantastic circular route from Goathland.'
The work is part of the park's Missing Links Project. By working with North Yorkshire County Council, funding has been secured through the Department for Transport Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
The project is creating and improving six routes in the Esk Valley for walkers, cyclists and horse riders that connect with the Esk Valley Railway and new Esk Valley Hopper services.
It is part of the wider scheme to boost sustainable tourism in Whitby and the Esk Valley which includes a park and ride site in Whitby and associated bus services into the town and to villages in the Esk Valley.
Cllr Gareth Dadd of North Yorkshire County Council said:
'Small projects like these, when linked to public transport services, can give tourism in the area a big boost. Linking high quality walking routes with ample car parking on the edge of the Park can encourage people to get out of their cars, explore the National Park on foot and all the facilities it has to offer and help to reduce traffic and parking congestion in some major tourist hotspots.'