The Lake District National Park Authority is set to improve and enhance the landscape of a remote and popular multi-user route in the east of the National Park, thanks to a package of funding from the National Grid’s Landscape Enhancement Initiative (LEI).
The National Grid grant of £154,000 for works in the Bretherdale valley will fund repairs to the route along with additional dry stone walling, and the installation of two bridges. While a separate £170,000 grant from the LEI will fund repairs in the Borrowdale valley with additional tree planting on the lower flanks of Borrowdale Fell.
Breasthigh Road, a 3km-long byway near Tebay, connecting Borrowdale and Bretherdale, is a narrow unsealed highway. The route crosses from Bretherdale, near Greenholme in the East of the National Park, over Bretherdale Common to meet the A6 in Borrowdale, near Huck’s Bridge.
This work is due to start in May and a temporary Traffic Regulation Order will be in place from 1 May for six months preventing access for vehicles to allow the work to be carried out and the route to stabilise.
The LEI funding will enable National Park rangers, working with a local contractor, to carry out repairs to the track to replace culverts, reinstate drainage ditches, and install two new bridges.
Lake District National Park Area Ranger, Suzy Hankin said: “We are delighted to receive this grant funding from National Grid which will allow us to restore the route, making it more accessible for a wide variety of user groups including horse riders, cyclists and walkers. Additionally, we will carry out tree planting and dry stone wall repairs along the route, and put in place a maintenance plan to ensure the longer term future of the route.
“The practical work to repair the path is due to start in summer 2022 and will take around three months to complete. You can keep up to date with the project on our website: https://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/caringfor/projects/breasthigh-road.”
Carole Barr, from the Cumbria Bridleways Society welcomes these plans. She commented:
“Old roads are important historical links in the rights of way network for all users. So often they receive no maintenance and repeated water damage makes them difficult to negotiate. More people are looking to experience longer rides and explore our rich heritage of pathways with their horses, so Cumbria Bridleways Society is pleased to see the repair works on Breasthigh and thanks everyone involved.”
Geoff Wilson, Motoring Organisations’ Land Access & Recreation Association (LARA) also supports the repair plans for this route:
“LARA fully supports these repair and maintenance proposals and accepts its partnership responsibility in securing the long-term stability of the route for all users. LARA will continue to advise its member organisations on how best to be involved in helping maintain the route and its use in-keeping with the multi-user nature of it and the enhanced environment that will result from the project.”
Our photo shows an eroded section of Breast High Road which will be repaired as part of this project.