This spectacular bridleway – one of the best singletrack mountain biking routes in the UK – becomes virtually impossible to negotiate when it rains. We want to repair the ‘Bog of Doom’, but we can’t do it without your help.
Bog of doom
Considered one of the best singletrack Mountain Bike routes in the United Kingdom, Cut Gate runs through the heart of the Peak District and is used by thousands of bikers every year. Although the trail is predominantly enjoyed by bike, it also makes a great walking route and is even used by horse-riders. An otherwise hardy route between Langsett and Howden Reservoirs, it has short sections of muddy bog in areas prone to flooding, which have become colloquially known as the ‘Bog of Doom’!
The boggy sections are impassable and dangerous in wet conditions – causing riders to divert round the sides, sometimes hundreds of metres from the original route of the path. This spreads and deepens erosion at an alarming rate.
Mountain bike groups Peak District MTB and Ride Sheffield have highlighted this issue and kickstarted a multi user campaign to repair the trail in a sustainable and sensitive way. With the Peak District National Park Authority on board, the Moors for the Future partnership organisation providing professional expertise for the work on the ground and Mend Our Mountains providing financial backing, it’s a great example of where the community can come together to promote responsible use and instigate positive change.
WATCH: ‘Mend Cut Gate’ on BMCTV
The main areas prone to flooding are two ford crossings on Featherbed Moss, east of Margery Hill on the Cut Gate path. The bridleway drops to the stream crossing in a natural dip. At the bottom of the dip the stream water backs up regularly resulting in the aforementioned impassable bog.
To avoid the deepest part of the flooded area, visitors will often detour around – working their way up or down the streams until they find a narrow enough section to cross. The problems associated with lack of drainage are especially pronounced here – although it is a common problem across many paths that are in poor condition.
Using the funding raised under Mend our Mountains, the plan is to improve the whole of the route with a big focus on the most waterlogged areas. The work will improve the drainage in the area of the ford crossings, resurface the wettest sections with the tried-and-tested technique of stone-flags, join these sections with improved path sections and repair the badly eroded downhill sections using pitched stone techniques.
This will re-establish a single path line and allow the surrounding moorland vegetation to recover.
Without this proposed work, these boggy sections will go through continual cycles of worsening ground conditions during periods of wet weather. Where the main path line proves impassable, trail users will continue to detour leading to further damage and erosion.
Your donation will directly support this innovative collaboration and restore to full health one of the most impressive routes across the high moorland of the Peak.
We’re almost done – but you can still donate
Thanks to the generosity of thousands, the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million appeal has succeeded in raising enough money to completely fund work on nearly all 13 of the projects we set out to support – a fantastic result.
Repairs have already started on several of these paths (see the blog for the latest updates), and the rest will be completed over the summer of 2019 and into 2020.
This project, Cut Gate, has already been fully funded. However, you are still very welcome to make a donation to Mend Our Mountains overall. Your money will go towards either supporting additional work on the projects listed on this website or helping to fund future Mend Our Mountains initiatives.
You can make a donation of any size – choose ‘Donate what you want’ – or select one of the other amounts.
All online donations are currently via PayPal – if you would prefer not to use this method or would like to make a large donation (£500~), please contact the team directly on firstname.lastname@example.org. All money raised goes via the BMC’s charity, the Access and Conservation Trust.