Stanley Ghyll closure

Stanley Ghyll is a beautiful gorge near Eskdale with a famous view of upper-Dalegarth Falls.

Originally planted as an arboretum, with many special species of trees, the area had become overgrown with rhododendron and other invasive species. Most of this land is owned by the Lake District National Park Authority, in 2019 we worked with volunteers and specialist contractors to remove the invasive species and any dangerous trees, and allow native woodland to regenerate.

As well as opening up the views to the waterfall, we have also discovered a number of areas of rock face accross the site that have become unsafe. We now need to look at these areas closely, so that we can make them safe for visitors.

Specialist engineers have already identified the areas directly above the waterfall as having hazardous rock faces. So one of the first jobs is to remove some of the vegetation here and try and make the rock faces safe.

Stanley Ghyll is protected as a SSSI, so we will be working closely with Natural England to make sure that the special plants and animals that live here stay protected during all the work we do.

From 5 June 2020 we have closed some of the footpath  in order to keep visitors safe, and aim to start work here as soon as possible. At the moment we don't know exactly how long the work will take, but we will keep everyone updated as more investigation and safey work is done.

Please follow on site signage and closure notices.

Areas of risk around Stanley Ghyll

Map of different risk areas around Stanley Ghyll

Areas of different risk around Stanley Ghyll. Produced on 30 April 2020.

FAQs about the Stanley Ghyll closure

How will it impact walkers and visitors to the area?

If you visit Stanley Ghyll you will not be able to go beyond the farthest footbridge and so will not be able to see the waterfall from the footpath. You can still enjoy the walk along the river up to the footbridge, and its possible to view the waterfall from some areas.

The cliffs along the top of the waterfall have signs up warning where there are steep drops that you should avoid.

When will the closure and the work start?

From 5 June 2020 we have closed some of the footpath  in order to keep visitors safe, and aim to start work here as soon as possible. At the moment we don't know exactly how long the work will take, but we will keep everyone updated as more investigation and safey work is done.

The closure of the footpath above the footbridge, as shown on the plan, will take place immediately and we will begin to organise the safety works straight away.

We want to get the work started as soon as possible.  We are already  drawing up specifications for what needs to be done and have a list of specialist contractors who we will invite to carry out these works.

The safety works can be split into two types depending on how risky and complex they are.

The work needed above the waterfall  need specialists contractors who are able to work from ropes and have the skills to operate in cliff face environments where there is a risk of rock falls. We will need to tender these works and provided that we have sufficient money in our budget for this year we will aim to appoint a contractor as soon as possible, hopefully within the next five months.

The other works are less complex and lower risk, we hope to tender for these in the next 4 to 6 weeks and we hope the work can start within the next 3 months.

When will it be finished?

It is difficult to say exactly when the works will be finished, because the nature of the risks that we may find when we look more closely at the rock faces directly above the waterfall cannot be known until the contractors get up there.

Our aim is to get the footpath re-opened as quickly as possible, but this may also be affected by the costs that are involved. It may up to a year to be fully open again.

How much will it cost and can I donate?

At this stage we do not know how much these works might costs as we are unable to know the full extent of the risk. If it turns out that there is a considerable amount of safety work required above the waterfall and the National Park does not have the funds to get them completed, we may look at fundraising and donations.

Can I still see the waterfall?

When visiting Stanley Ghyll you will not be able to go beyond the farthest footbridge and so will not be able to see the waterfall from the footpath. You can still enjoy the walk along the river up to the footbridge. We are currently making arrangements for an alternative viewing site from which to see the waterfall, please follow the signs on site.

The cliffs along the top of the waterfall present an immediate risk of falling on a steep drop and we have placed signage in these areas making it clear where there is to you if you walk outside of these areas.