Safer walks promised at key Peak landmark

Peak District walkers can enjoy a safer stroll this spring as a major footpath improvement programme comes to its conclusion.

The project has reinstated a key 80 metre stretch of pathway at Mam Tor near Castleton, running along a ridge to Lose Hill.

The summit, managed by the National Trust, is crossed by 250,000 walkers every year.

Experts from Sheffield-based environmental consultancy Wildscapes stripped out the old path on the ‘Shivering Mountain’ and replaced it with locally sourced gritstone and reclaimed flagstones.

The work involved extensive airlifting and meticulous planning to ensure the key parts of the work was completed before last Christmas before the weather turned.

It has created a better walking surface and has helped reduce erosion on the important Peak landmark, with all work carried out without the use of any heavy plant machinery to minimise damage.

National Trust park ranger Mark Leah said: “The path had become uncomfortable to walk down, causing people to walk on the grass at the side of the path, causing erosion.

“Upgrading the pathway will hopefully help conserve the site and greatly increase visitor enjoyment across this great visual landscape.”

Wildscapes team leader John Thompson added: “The rebuilding of this section of the footpath has been a really good project to work on.

“Wildscapes, with its expertise in moorland conservation coupled with the National Trust’s passion for looking after these historic areas, has led to improved access and protection of this iconic section of the Peak District National Park.”

Myles Flanagan, who led the work parties, added: “Some flagstones we placed weighed up to 400kg.”