Aiming to sensitively protect this iconic trail

The Mend Our Mountains campaign is back they’re are proud to announce that our Cut Gate project has been adopted by the campaign.

>>> Where to ride in the Peak District when it’s wet

The project, led by the BMC and working in partnership with all 15 UK National Parks. The project aims to sensitively reinforce the path with minimal impact on the landscape and the character of the trail. The aim is to raise £75,000 to complete important work on the top boggy sections, commonly known as the ‘Bog of Doom’.

The problem

The path is an iconic ‘classic’ in the outdoors community. Loved by mountain bikers, walkers, horse riders, fell runners and many more. But it’s also fragile and struggling to cope with the amount of users it has.

The trail is widening, affecting the peat moorlands which make it a destination for thousands.

The boggy sections are impassable and dangerous in wet conditions – causing riders to divert round the sides, sometimes hundreds of metres from the original route of the path. This spreads and deepens erosion at an alarming rate.

The solution

Using the funding raised under Mend our Mountains, the plan is to improve the whole of the route with a big focus on the most waterlogged areas. The work will improve the drainage in the area of the ford crossings, resurface the wettest sections with the tried-and-tested technique of stone-flags, join these sections with improved path sections and repair the badly eroded downhill sections using pitched stone techniques.

This will re-establish a single path line and allow the surrounding moorland vegetation to recover.

Without this proposed work, these boggy sections will go through continual cycles of worsening ground conditions during periods of wet weather.  Where the main path line proves impassable, trail users will continue to detour leading to further damage and erosion.

Led by Moors for the Future and the Peak District National Park, Cut Gate will be one of the top projects earmarked for fundraising in the BMC’s campaign. The Peak District National Park has also succeeded in getting the Great Ridge on to the list; one of only two national parks with two backed projects.

“It’s brilliant to get Cut Gate backed by the BMC,” says Si Bowns from Ride Sheffield. “This was an issue identified by the mountain biking community and driven forward by them in collaboration with other user groups. The mountain biking community has led this drive and now to have it picked up by the BMC’s brilliant national campaign is recognition of how effectively they’ve done things so far.”

And it’s a big campaign. This year, the BMC aims to Make One Million in the Mend Our Mountains campaign and are seeking donations from individuals and companies large and small.

Access and Rights of Way Manager for the Peak District Mike Rhodes said “The Mend Our Mountains, Make One Million campaign is a fantastic opportunity for The Peak District National Park to work with partners to raise vital funds for path repair work on The Great Ridge and at Cut Gate. Just as important is working with user groups including Peak District MTB, Ride Sheffield and Keeper of the Peak, to raise awareness of the challenges of looking after the recreational landscape and foster a sense of collective public responsibility”.

It’s down to us now

“It’s down to us now,” says Chris Maloney, Keeper of the Peak and PDMTB committee member, “We’ve already shown that we’re realistic and pragmatic about our impact on the places we ride – now it’s time to literally put our money where our mouth is and dig deep!

“We want to hear from anyone who can back the campaign, in any way. We want to hear from companies or individuals – anything you can do to help sensitively protect this iconic trail for future generations is massively welcome.”

The groups have a number of different ways you can support the campaign, but if you want to simply donate, then please visit the website above.