Pathways Fund – More Applications Approved

Angle Tarn in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria, England

Continuing our mission to support projects which help improve and protect the UK countryside in areas where HF Holidays guests go walking and to provide assisted breaks for those who could not otherwise afford one, we are delighted to have approved funds for some more projects.

£14,480 – Yorkshire Dales – Section of Coast to Coast Path

The Coast to Coast path is one of the most popular long-distance walking routes in the UK, enjoyed by many thousands of people each year. Devised by Alfred Wainwright, the route starts in St Bees, Cumbria on England’s west coast and ends in Robin Hood’s Bay on the east coast – a distance of 182 miles. The route passes through three national parks; however it is not designated a National Trail so receives no direct funding for its maintenance.

With such heavy footfall, inevitably parts of the route have become badly eroded and waterlogged. With walkers seeking to avoid the muddiest sections, the route is becoming widened, damaging land to the sides of the path.

The focus for this project is to repair 300-metres of path within a 1.8km section which stretches from Ravenseat to West Stonesdale in North Yorkshire. The repair works will take place in two stages. The first stage will see 160 metres of the route being resurfaced with reclaimed flagstones with four sections of traditional-style Yorkshire stone clapper bridge being installed. This phase of the project will take place during summer 2019.

Summer 2020 will see the remaining 140 metres of damaged route repaired in the second phase of the project.

The total cost of the project is £20,480 of which HF Holidays is funding £14,480. This will cover the cost of the materials, delivery and hire of plant machinery needed to carry out the works. To keep costs down, the work is being carried out by Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority staff rather than by private contractors. The funding was from a very generous legacy donation.

£5,000 – Exmoor: Great Bradley Bridge

The Two Moors Way is a stunning walking route which links Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks. In the centre of Exmoor National Park between Tarr Steps and Withypool, the route currently follows a rough permitted path on the eastern bank of the River Barle. The rights of people to walk here are very insecure; the landowner could withdraw permission for public access at any time. In addition, the path itself is in poor condition due to river erosion, user erosion and the difficult geography of the land.

There is a much better, wider and legally more secure route on the western bank which follows a public bridleway. However, when the path gets to Great Bradley, the only crossing point is at a ford which is impassable on foot for much of the year.

Exmoor National Park Authority (ENPA) would like to install a new footbridge at Great Bradley, close to where the bridleway crosses the ford. This will allow the western bank to be accessible by a greater number of walkers.

We offer many walking routes in and around Exmoor from our country house in Selworthy. Our ‘Exmoor Walking with Sightseeing’ holiday includes walking on the Two Moors Way between Withypool and Tarr Steps. If the path was improved, we would switch the route to walk on the opposite bank of the river.

We also have a walk on the Two Moors Way on our Exmoor Guided Walking Holiday and our Exmoor Family Walking Adventure

The plan is to re-purpose a second-hand bridge which has been made available by Devon County Council. While much of the bridge’s structure is sound, some refurbishment and adjustment are necessary to make it suitable for its new location. Planning applications and permission from landowners need to be submitted and approved.

The structure plus required building materials will be transported to the site which is a mile away from the nearest road. Construction can then take place but bearing in mind environmental sensitivities; the River Barle is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The total cost of the project is £60,000. HF Holidays’ donation from the Pathways Fund takes the project a step closer to being able to proceed and may help facilitate the remaining funds to get approval.