Walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers on the Pennine Bridleway National Trail will soon be able to stay dry when they cross the River Ribble – thanks to a joint project by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and Natural England.
Work has started on a new path and timber bridge that will cross the river near Selside as part of a new bridleway from the B6479 road near the village to an existing track at Dalemire Barn and the Cam Road – a length of approximately 2.5km.
The Authority’s Pennine Bridleway Project Officer, Peter Lambert said: “There’s a lot of work involved and we had to get the agreement of the landowners, obtain planning permission and Environment Agency consent and carry out extensive, detailed ecological and archaeological surveys before we could start”.
The bridleway bridge will use an innovative design, developed by Peebles-based Forestry Civil Engineering that involves short lengths of timber to create a bridge with three arches spanning nearly 50 metres.
The main contractor, Houseman and Falshaw, based at Copgrove near Harrogate, aims to have all the ‘in river’ work completed by end of September – with the bridge and bridleway track from Dalemire Barn completed by the end of December.
Marsden Agricultural and Environmental Services Ltd., of Long Preston has been appointed as the contractor for Far Moor common bridleway construction work at Selside on the west side of river.
This is one of the last sections of the Pennine Bridleway to be built in the National Park, with funding secured from Natural England earlier this year for the work.
Malcolm Petyt, the YDNPA’s Member Champion for Recreational Management, said: “This route will be a tremendous recreational resource. Over the next year, new sections of the Pennine Bridleway will be opening in the north of the National Park, providing a continuous route through from the A65 at Long Preston to Ravenstonedale near Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria.”
Anna Righton, Natural England Pennine Bridleway Project Manager, said: “Natural England are delighted that this section will be completed this summer after so many years of hard work and planning.
Already, 130 miles of the Pennine Bridleway are open and used by horse riders, mountain bikers and walkers to enjoy the wonderful countryside along its length – completion of this brand new section of bridleway will open up more opportunities for locals and visitors to this area.”