The Three Peaks walking route in the Yorkshire Dales is one of the best known and loved routes in the UK. Because of the fragile nature of the upland habitats it passes through, the route has suffered massive damage over the years. In 2009, the Three Peaks Project was set up to raise funds for repairs. The damaged Black Dubb section on Pen-y-ghent. would be very costly to restore, so this project will construct an alternative route on Whitber Hill, and carry out habitat restoration on Black Dubb. The project includes waymarking,promotion of the new route, the new route itself and project management and aims to:
- Secure agreement for an engineered route over Whitber and High Pasture, and gain planning consent for the works
- Facilitate regeneration of lost and valuable habitat on Black Dubbs, and create a new route over Whtber Hill and High Pasture
- Campaign to promote a sustainable Three Peaks route.
Agreement in principle was secured from both owners for the route over Whitber and High Pastures to be created. Surveys, both on the ground and on the internet were carried out to see what proportion of walkers use the Black Dubb route. A site visit with the planning officer also agreed the line of the new route with the owners and Natural England and revegetation options for the repair of the Black Dubb habitat were also assessed.
Following securing planning permission and a lot of hard work, the new section of the iconic Three Peaks route in the Yorkshire Dales National Park opened for business towards the end of 2012 and has already been given the thumbs up by users. The route is far easier to navigate – a lot drier – and gives people a fantastic view of Ingleborough, Whernside and Far Moor Bridge.
As well as providing for the first time a sustainable circuit for people wanting to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, the new section also creates a shorter route for families wanting to stretch their legs by walking from Horton in Ribblesdale along Bracken Bottom, up Pen-y-ghent and then down the new route and back to the start point.
National Park Rangers and Dales Volunteers used 650 tonnes of materials to link up two existing stone tracks that are both part of the Pennine Way National Trail to create the alternative route, which includes three sections of stepped stone flags and a small footbridge across Sell Gill Beck.
The Authority’s conservation experts hope that, by diverting walkers away from Black Dubb Moss, it will give the sensitive peatland habitats and the damaged vegetation time to recover. The project aims to encourage charities, organisations and individuals to help in the maintenance and conservation of the network of paths crossing a fragile area of land that has to cope with 250,000 visitors each year.
A new mobile phone app has been launched as the final part of this project. Read more here
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