Two years after record-breaking floods caused havoc in Cumbria, the Lake District National Park has just spent its one millionth pound on repairing damage and restoring the rights of way network. After the floods, a survey indicated that some 253 bridges needed repairing or replacing to increase the resilience of the rights of way network in case of future flooding disasters. So far, 180 bridges have been repaired by local contractors under the supervision of national park teams.
“The unprecedented rainfall in November 2009 left a trail of destruction in dozens and dozens of locations all over the national park. There are still further repairs and improvements to be complete before the end of the project in March 2013,” said Paths for the Public Project Co-ordinator Dylan Jackman. More info about the National Park Authority's work can be found at www.lakedistrict.gov.uk.
Meanwhile, volunteers who help maintain vital paths and access routes throughout the Lake District National Park are celebrating reaching an annual workload target for 2011 with two months to spare. The Fix-the-Fells 'lengthsmen' - who repair and maintain more than 100 identified Lake District paths - gave a promise at the start of the year to volunteer for 1,000 days of work during 2011. The National Trust ranger teams organise and lead work groups as well as residential weekends working on path repairs, pitching and training up on other skills; whilst volunteers organise their own drain runs. Sometimes, an entire valley of routes can be completed in one weekend. For further details, see www.fixthefells.co.uk.
Photos: Gale Bay bridge before and after.