Pathways Fund – New Applications Approved

The Pathways Fund is HF Holidays' charitable fund. Most of the money is donated by HF Holidays members and guests; there are collection boxes in each of our 18 country houses. Many of our Walking Leaders also undertake fundraising activity; money is also received from bequests and other sources.

The Pathways Fund is used to support a range of projects which help protect and improve the countryside where HF Holidays’ guests walk. In addition, working in conjunction with the Family Holiday Association, the money is used to provide assisted holidays – Feel Good Breaks - to those who could not otherwise afford one. This fits very well with our underlying ethos of encouraging people to engage with the great outdoors.

We’re delighted to say that several new applications for 2019 have been approved; the first of these are detailed below. Without financial support from the fund, some of these projects simply wouldn’t be able to take place or would take much longer to get off the ground.

£20,000 – Lake District: Keswick & Threlkeld Path

Background:

In 2015 Storm Desmond hit various parts of the UK with a vengeance. In the Lake District it caused major flooding. Severe damage was caused to around 200 metres of the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path – a popular and accessible path through some of the most beautiful countryside of the northern lakes. Two old railway bridges over the River Greta were destroyed and a third – Rawsome Bridge – was left at risk of collapse.

The HF Holidays Connection:

The path is very close to Derwent Bank – our country house in the northern Lake District. Several of the walking routes we use are affected by the damage caused by Storm Desmond. The missing bridges mean that long detours are necessary for walkers and cyclists.

The Project:

The project will include replacing the two missing bridges and repairing Rawsome Bridge. The trail will be re-routed around a missing section of embankment and what is known locally as the ‘big tunnel’ will be reopened.

Work started on the restoration in February 2019 with site clearance work near Keswick. This section of the route is now open to the public again. Felled trees will be replaced with new broadleaf saplings. The work continues and it is hoped that it will be completed by autumn 2020.

Funding:
HF Holidays is delighted to have been able to put £20,000 towards this multi-million pound restoration project.

More information about the project can be found on the Lake District National Park’s website.

£5,000 - Southern Snowdonia: Cader Idris

Background:

Cader Idris is one of the most popular mountains for walkers in Southern Snowdonia. The path below the peak of Mynydd Moel – which is usually used by descending walkers – is suffering badly from erosion. The route sees around 30,000 people use it every year.

This repeated footfall has led to the creation of a 600-metre long (1,969 feet), up to 10-metre wide (33 feet) scar of unstable scree which has cut down to bedrock in places. As walkers detour to avoid the difficult terrain, the damaged area is increasing. 

The mountain is home to nationally rare communities of flora and fauna including slow-growing montane vegetation. 

The HF Holidays Connection:

HF Holidays runs many walking holidays in Southern Snowdonia which include routes on Cader Idris. 

The Project: 

Sensitive intervention is urgently needed to repair erosion damage, re-establish vegetation growth and restore the appearance of the mountain. The works will create a more secure and enjoyable path for walkers as well as protecting surrounding sensitive vegetation and habitat for ground-nesting birds.

The project will require approximately 750 tonnes of locally-sourced granite to be airlifted to the remote site in order to build a hard-wearing pitched path. Using this material will ensure that the path blends sensitively into the natural landscape as well as creating a durable path.

Timings of the work are currently to be confirmed. We will give up-dates in due course.

Funding:

HF Holidays is pleased to have been able to put £5,000 towards the cost of this £140,000 restoration project.

To find out more about this project, please visit the Mend Our Mountains website.

£10,000 – Scafell Pike, Lake District: Brown Tongue to Hollowstones Path

Background:

The Brown Tongue to Hollowstones Path from Wasdale is the most popular route up Scafell Pike – the highest peak in England. An estimated 100,000 people use this path each year including people taking on the popular ‘Three Peaks Challenge’. This high footfall - combined with a series of extreme weather events in the last few years - has led to serious erosion of the path. The path is now being worn away faster than it can be repaired. The surface is becoming loose and uneven which makes it inaccessible for many visitors in addition to the ugly scar on the landscape.

The HF Holidays Connection:

This particular stretch of path is used by HF Holidays on the Wainwright Bagging Southern Fells holiday. We descend Brown Tongue at the end of day 6 en route to the Wasdale Head Inn. We walk on other parts of Scafell Pike on several of our other Lake District holidays.

The Project:

The aim is to repair and improve the footpath by making a sustainable surface which is in keeping with the surrounding landscape. Erosion pressure on the immediate surrounding area will be eased, allowing the vegetation to recover. The work will future-proof this section of path for the next generation of users.There will also be re-landscaping and re-turfing work plus the installation of drains and stone bars to improve drainage. The work will be carried out by a team of four specialist upland rangers on behalf of Fix The Fells, all of whom live and work locally.

Funding:

HF Holidays has contributed £10,000 from The Pathways Fund towards the £100,000 total cost. The addition of this money to the overall cost has meant that the project reached its funding target enabling the work to proceed.

To find out more about the project, please go to the Mend Our Mountains website.

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to the Pathways Fund – including those members who donated their annual share interest to it. The money allows us to continue to support worthwhile projects which help improve the amenities and safety of the environment in which HF Holidays’ walks take place.

News of more projects to be announced very soon!