Hebden Suspension bridge closed

Hebden Suspension Bridge

Hebden Suspension Bridge has had to be closed following damage due to the recent flash floods.

A spokesperson for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority said: “There’s been some damage to Hebden suspension bridge following the heavy rains. Unfortunately we have had to close the bridge while we look into repairs. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

In 2014 the bridge was redecked thanks to a generous donation by DWA member Eileen King, in memory of her partner Roy.

UPDATE 21 Nov 2020: The bridge has been repaired and is now open again.

Virtual AGM for Dales Way Association

AGM 2014

The 2020 Annual General Meeting of the Dales Way Association, originally scheduled for November the 14th, has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, a “virtual” meeting will take its place, with members voting by email.

The Autumn e-newsletter is currently being distributed to all members. It includes all the reports normally given at the AGM meeting. The Association accounts are being sent out at the same time. Members are encouraged to respond to the standard motions by return email.

Association Secretary Chris Grogan said “Sadly it is not going to be possible to hold a face to face AGM this year. The AGM is more than just a formal meeting. It is the chance to walk and talk together and enjoy the social aspect of the day. We shall miss it very much this year.

“We look forward to seeing everyone in 2021.”

Bolton Abbey Estate and the Dales Way

As a precaution to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Bolton Abbey Estate has introduced restrictions to visitors. Day visitors are now required to book tickets online in advance at a cost of £10 for a group of up to 8. This is to control numbers exploring the estate grounds and using the facilities, including cafes and toilets.

This applies to visitors arriving by car, public transport OR on foot. But, as we understand, this does NOT affect walkers on the Dales Way.

Dales Way walkers are advised to arrive along the trail from south or north, to stick to the track and pass directly through the estate. A one-way system is in place, which will not affect walkers from south to north, but will affect walkers from north to south. Walkers should stick to the one-way system.

The problem arises because part of the Dales Way footpath through the estate follows permissive paths, which are not rights of way.

We are currently awaiting further clarification.

Path repairs at Hubberholme

Upper Wharfedale Ranger Rob Wilson and his hardy team of volunteers have just finished path repairs and resurfacing to a stretch of the Dales Way footpath at Hubberholme.

Rob Wilson and his volunteers resurfacing the path at Hubberholme

The path, which runs along a steep bank above the river, has suffered erosion through a combination of heavy rain and cattle grazing. Rob has had his work cut out, with some difficult revetment work on the path. Some preparatory work was undertaken in 2019.

The £600 cost of resurfacing materials for the section has been met by a generous donation from long-term DWA member Philippa Hudson, who lives nearby at Beckermonds.

The team expect to do further strengthening work to the path section in the near future.

Controversial Fencing proposal alongside the Dales Way at Hebden

DalesWayatHebden

The section of path between Burnsall and Grassington is one of the most popular sections of the Dales Way. The easy walking and generally open aspect make it one of the best loved sections for Dales Way walkers and is particularly popular with local and day walkers.

From the suspension bridge north is a 1km open stretch of riverside along an avenue of chestnut trees, giving a feeling of parkland to this section of the Dales Way. Shallow waters with gravel beds at the northern end are a magnet to dog walkers and families with young children.

It is this popular section that is subject of a riverside regeneration and fencing project proposed by the local Angling Club.

The Appletreewick, Barden & Burnsall Angling Club (ABBAC) are proposing a replanting/regeneration scheme along the left river bank (alongside the Dales Way path) to combat erosion and improve the wildlife habitat, which includes the planting of “locally sourced, native species, primarily hawthorn, blackthorn, alder, hazel and rowan”.

To protect the area from grazing, they also propose to fence off the entire 1 km stretch from the suspension bridge gate to the gate at Howgill Beck, the fencing to run alongside the path between the path and the riverside.

The fencing will include 4 small gates “to allow access for the anglers”.

The £18,000 project has the support of the landowner and has received a £4,000 grant towards the cost form a National Park administered award.

Unfortunately, the first we knew of the scheme was when we read about it in the Craven Herald on July 16th.

The National Park Authority has given the public until August 21st to comment. The Dales Way Association has prepared a report on the scheme, which can be found on our website.

The proposal is likely prove very unpopular with local walkers.

See the DWA report at:- http://www.dalesway.org/downloads/Hebden-fencing-report.pdf

Bolton Priory footbridge closed for repairs

priory bridge

The popular footbridge at Bolton Priory, which carries the Dales Way footpath across the river Wharfe, is to be closed for 2 days from Monday August 3rd to Wednesday August 5th.

In February the bridge was damaged by floodwater and in March the National Park Authority put a 6 month closure order on the bridge, though people continued to cross it.

High waters have delayed the repair work, which involves replacing a section of the bridge nearest to the Abbey. Local contractors will be carrying out the work.

Walkers should stick to the east side of the river from the Priory, taking the access road from the Cavendish memorial to the Cavendish Pavilion, to rejoin the Dales Way there.

Patchy reboot to Dales Way

The Station Inn at Riiblehead has re-opened

As businesses gradually open up again walkers are returning to the Dales Way, some doing day walks or short sections and others planning to walk the whole trail. Companies like Brigantes, Contours and Sherpa Van are booking full walking holidays or baggage carriage and pubs, cafes and B&Bs are beginning to welcome guests again.

The Station Inn at Ribblehead – a popular spot for Dales Way walkers, has now re-opened.

The picture is not the same everywhere however and the situation is changing rapidly. In Dentdale for example we hear that only Stone Close Tearoom and Ewegales Campsite are currently open while all three pubs remain closed.

It is important therefore that walkers check with individual businesses before setting off.

A list of accommodation providers can be found at http://www.dalesway.org/accommodation.htm

Short diversion near Sedbergh

A short diversion to part of the Dales Way footpath near Sedbergh will be in force throughout the summer whilst work is undertaken to repair damage caused by recent flooding.

footpath-close-Sedbergh2

This section is closed, take the path on the right.

The short section of footpath is to be found near where the Dales Way crosses the road bridge from Millthrop across the River Rawthey, then turns left across a field and through a section of woodland. The affected section is the part where the path passes through a narrow, enclosed dip (see map below).

An alternative, easy to follow section of permissive path leads off to the right just before this point, to rejoin the main footpath just before leaving the wooded area.

footpath-close-Sedbergh

The closure is for public safety owing to land subsidence at the root plate of two substantial trees caused by the recent heavy rain and high winds.

Diversion on Bradford Link Route

GlovershawBeck2020

The recent bad weather has caused a section of path at Baildon to collapse – alongside Glovershaw Beck. Bradford Council are in the process of obtaining a temporary closure of the route while they assess what they can do to restore the path.

Below is a plan showing the section of path (part of Baildon 18) which is not safe to walk – there is an alternative route available via the edge of Baildon Moor/Shipley Glen and Footpath 2 Baildon to reconnect with the link route.

council-alt-2

The collapsed section of path affects part of the route as described in paragraph 2 of page 3 of the self guided walk – link below and shown on Map 2.

Dales Way Bradford Link.

Update: August 10, This section is now open again.

Anniversary talk benefits DalesBus

874 at Bolton Abbey

The trustees of Otley Courthouse has made a donation of £100 to the Friends of Dalesbus – a group that campaigns for affordable public transport.

The donation was made following a public talk given at the venue on “50 years of the Dales Way” by Colin Speakman, chair of the Dales Way Association and Vice-chair of the Friends of DalesBus.

Hazel Costello from the Courthouse’s trustees said the donation was a token of thanks to Colin for giving a “very interesting and informative talk”.  She said “The idea of the DalesBus is to encourage as many people as possible to get to the Dales on public transport, and using public transport is more important than ever with the need to use less cars and more buses and so contribute to lessening the effects of climate change.”

DWA committee members Kath Doyle and Gordon Tasker were also on hand to show the new mobile Anniversary Exhibition.

The donation was reported in the Wharfedale & Aireborough Observer at the end of last month.