Mend Our Mountains has already made a big difference. Eight projects across England and Wales benefited from funding as a result of the last Mend Our Mountains campaign in spring 2016. Here is the latest on what has happened since.
Mend The Peak District
On a sunny day in the autumn of last year, with the trees in their full golden glory, a specially chartered helicopter lifted more than 40 tonnes of locally-quarried gritstone up from Edale to commence work on the badly scarred path below the spectacular wind-sculpted rocks of Ringing Roger. Watch coverage of this location on a BBC Breakfast News report here.
The work was finished by early December, and is a classic example of a sensitively constructed yet robust footpath which blends beautifully into the landscape. This path would not exist were it not for Mend Our Mountains (Mend the Peak District), as there was no budget for the repairs otherwise. Mike Rhodes, Access and Rights of Way Manager at the Peak District National Park, said: “The erosion had got to the point where we had to do something and this initiative from the BMC has been absolutely brilliant. It means that a very important and popular walking route will be repaired for people to enjoy for a long time to come.”
MOM TOTAL: £17,007
Find out about the upcoming project in the Peak District here.
Mend The Yorkshire Dales
Work on the Swine Tail path below the summit of Ingleborough (Mend the Yorkshire Dales) has finished, boosted by an extra £10,249 donated after the original Mend Our Mountains crowdfunding push. Thanks to being part of the Yorkshire Three Peaks route, this stretch of path is pounded by around 60,000 pairs of feet a year, and the pitched path in place before had degenerated into a wide trampled scar.
To fix this, more than 300 metres worth of airlifted stone flags have been laid down, and what Yorkshire Dales National Park ranger Josh Hull described as a “serious amount” of landscaping has been done to repair the scar. The result is a substantial route but one that will withstand serious numbers and reliably control erosion for many years to come.
MOM TOTAL: £17,042 (plus £10,249 donated after campaign)
Find out about the upcoming project in the Yorkshire Dales here.
The top section of the Watkin Path on Snowdon has become notorious among walkers as a treacherous scree slope, a sting in the tail before reaching the summit of Wales’ highest mountain, but long-awaited work to construct a sustainable path on the route is now underway.
Mair Huws, Head of Warden and Access Service for the Snowdonia National Park, is keen to emphasise that the funding from Mend Our Mountains helped provide a practical and financial kickstart to this work. She says: “The Mend Our Mountains funding does not cover the whole cost of the work, but the profile it generated helped to prioritise the Watkin Path and without it the repairs could have been postponed further. The fact that we got the funding also gave us a stronger case for additional funding from the Welsh government to undertake the work.”
Work on the Watkin has been underway since an initial stone airlift in the spring of 2017, and the £16,612 donation from Mend Our Mountains has long since been incorporated. But the logistical challenges of the location – on a steep mountain slope exposed to the prevailing weather at 3,000 feet – make the overall task of repairing the Watkin a complex one, contingent on the vagaries of the climate. The weather has only permitted one other partial airlift and the overall project is still a work in progress. Keep an eye on this website for more updates when work recommences next spring.
MOM TOTAL: £16,612
Find out about the upcoming project in Snowdonia here.
They say a gift can keep on giving, and in this case it is literally true. The £8,497 donation you collectively gave to a popular bridleway on Dartmoor through Mend Dartmoor effectively more than tripled through other donations and match funding, meaning the ‘worth’ of Mend Our Mountains support grew to £27,000. Read more about this here. When you ‘put something back’ it can go even further than expected.
This cash injection meant the three year effort to repair the section of path between Princetown and Nun’s Cross could finally be completed. But this work was part of a wider effort to fix the whole route between Princetown and Burrator. Given the difficulty, remoteness and expense of the final section, this route returns as the focus of our efforts to help Dartmoor in Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million.
MOM TOTAL: £8,497 (plus £18,503 after campaign)
Find out about the upcoming project on Dartmoor here.
Exmoor’s Long Chains have seen some of the highest rainfall events in Britain, putting an added environmental pressure on path maintenance in the area. Back in August, the Mend Our Mountains-sponsored work (Mend Exmoor) on a churned-up path through a remote pass near Long Chains Combe got underway with an eventful helicopter airlift, which saw a representative from the helicopter contractors sink up to her waist in mud – thus nicely demonstrating the need for the repairs! Sue Applegate, Rights of Way and Access Officer at Exmoor National Park, said: “The work would probably not have been able to go ahead without this funding and we are really grateful to everyone that donated from all over the UK and even as far away as the USA.”
MOM TOTAL: £7,082
Find out about the upcoming projects in Exmoor here.
Mend The Lake District
The most direct way up Scafell Pike (and also the most popular ascent choice for the Three Peaks Challenge), the Brown Tongue path is one of the busiest mountain routes in England, with 100,000 people walking it every year. Like many paths on Scafell Pike and in the Lake District more generally, the heavy usage means the task of keeping up with the necessary maintenance is a ‘painting the Forth Bridge’ effort where work is often worn out as fast as it can be replaced.
The last Mend Our Mountains campaign made a £17,387 contribution towards the ongoing task of maintaining the Brown Tongue route (Mend the Lake District).The picture below shows a section of path which benefited from this funding. The path has been redesigned, extra drainage has been installed and the angle of the pitching has been improved.
As important as this work was, it only represented a part of a much bigger, ongoing effort to stabilise the erosion on England’s highest mountain through path repair work. Given the profile, popularity and pressure of England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike has been incorporated into Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million again, this time with a much larger target.
MOM TOTAL: £17,387
Find out about the upcoming project in the Lake District here.
Mend The Brecon Beacons
Rising up from the Neuadd Reservoir, the Neudd path forms part of a popular horseshoe walk taking in Pen y Fan, the highest peak in southern Britain. Not only had the route itself become desperately eroded, but walkers were detouring from it and impacting on a nearby SSSI.
Thanks to a £12,192 boost from Mend Our Mountains (Mend the Brecon Beacons), repairs to this route have have now been completed. Repairers worked through the winter of 2016 – 2017 and had to battle steep ground, heavy rain and snow throughout in order to complete the work in time for the upsurge of visitors that will come with spring. Around 750 tonnes of stone were airlifted to the site, and over 1,000 metres of path restored.
MOM TOTAL: £12,192
Find out about the upcoming project in the Brecon Beacons here.
Mend The North York Moors
Work on the Lyke Wake Walk is due to start shortly, repairing badly eroded sections of the route in the Lilla Cross area. The project is planned for completion before spring, avoiding conflict with the bird nesting season. Debbie Trafford, Head of Recreation and Ranger Services for the North York Moors National Park, said: “We are pleased to report that the North York Moors National Park has managed to source additional funding – which, added to the Mend Our Mountains cash, will allow us to carry out even more path improvements than originally planned. A combination of improved drainage, stone flagging and path surfacing will be completed, restoring one of the most important sections of this historic and very popular walking route.”