Seeds are sown at Breasthigh Road as work nears completion

Published on: 16 Mar 2023

The Lake District National Park Authority has been working to improve and enhance the landscape of a remote and popular multi-user route in the east of the National Park.

At a recent work party, the Lake District National Park Authority’s Ranger Team joined forces with local volunteers to carry out native tree planting on the flanks of the ‘Borrowdale Edge’ of the route.

Suzy Hankin, Area Ranger with the Lake District National Park Authority said: “Over the past year, working with local contractor Siba Contracts Ltd, we have reinstated a mile of drainage gullies on both sides of the route, installed two new vehicular bridges, replaced broken culverts, pitched 40 metres of track, repaired an existing traditional stone culvert and re-landscaped eroded sections.

“We’d like to thank everyone for their patience as the route will be closed to motor vehicles until the end of April whilst the route consolidates following the work that has taken place.”

Breasthigh Road is a three-kilometre unsealed rural road which is used for many leisure activities including walking, biking, recreational driving and motorcycling. Over many years the route has deteriorated, due to the exposed nature of the route, visitor pressure and significant flood events in the area.

Last year the National Park received grant funding from the National Grid Landscape Enhancement Initiative of £154,000 for works in the Bretherdale valley. This enabled repairs to the route along with additional dry stone walling, and the installation of two bridges.

A separate £170,000 grant from the Landscape Enhancement Initiative (LEI) funded the reinstatement of drainage gullies, restoration of a traditional stone culvert and landscaping of eroded section in the Borrowdale valley, as well as additional tree planting on the lower flanks of Borrowdale fell.

Geoff Wilson, local liaison person for the Motoring Organisations’ Land Access and Recreation Association (LARA) said: “In association with the Trail Riders Fellowship and the Green Lanes Association, we accept our partnership responsibility with the National Park Authority to securing the long-term stability of the route for all users.

“We will continue to advise our member organisations on how best to get involved in helping to maintain the route in keeping with the multi-user nature of it and the enhanced environment that has resulted from this project.”

A further work party is planned for Summer 2023 to restore some traditional dry-stone walling on the Bretherdale side of the route.

More information on the Breasthigh Road project can be found at Breasthigh Road : Lake District National Park

Volunteers planting trees at Breasthigh Road.

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