Fisherman’s Bridge on the upper Lune, was destroyed in December 2015 during Storm Desmond, along with Birks Bridge on the Rawthey and a section of footpath, also on the Rawthey, near Brigflatts. As a result, three footpaths needed diverting, including sections of the recently established Sedbergh Quaker Trail. However, as of the beginning of this year, the path network around Sedbergh is entire again.
On Friday the 23rd of February a small crowd watched as Cumbria County Councillor and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Member Nick Cotton cut the tape to officially open the new bridge. He said:-
“Fisherman’s Bridge on the Lune near Goodies had stood for 60 years. A county surveyor’s note stamped 16 July 1957 recorded that it cost £363 7s 10d (£363.39).
After Storm Desmond, only the stumps of the four piers on the riverbed remained of the old structure.
The new bridge cost £110,000, with individuals and local groups donating £12,500 to the project – including WMB Trust, FoLD, Yorkshire Dales Society in memory of John Willson, John Hatt, Ramblers Lake District Area, Kendal Group and Lancaster Group, The Dales Way Association, Sedbergh Parish Council, Sedbergh Anglers, Sedbergh Walking and Cycling Group, and Richard & Dorcas Thomas.
The 35 metre long bridge was a year in the planning and took eight weeks to construct. The new bridge was designed with only one pier, to create less obstruction to flow during flood events. A total of 22 steel beams, each weighing 130kg, were bolted together to span the river and support a wooden walkway.
Cumbria County Council Contractors constructed the stone clad piers and wooden steps. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority constructed the bridge itself.
The bridge was almost lost during a period of heavy rainfall on 22nd November last year when the river level rose in excess of 4 metres. This force of water pressed against the scaffold which was swept away, and bent the bridge sideways and downwards on the longest of the two spans (23m length). Fortunately this remained attached and the scaffold was salvaged. Luckily the project had been insured by the YDNPA.
I should like to pay a special tribute to David Clare who craned the damaged bridge off the piers, repaired it in the adjoining field and then craned it back on to the piers, all within two weeks of the damage being done.
The bridge recreates the link between Firbank (part of the new extension to the YDNP) and Howgill. It is an important link as it is the only footbridge across the River Lune for miles in each direction, the nearest crossings being road bridges at Lincoln’s Inn on the A684 and the Crook of Lune Bridge to the north along Howgill Lane. In fact it is the only publicly accessible footbridge over the River Lune between Kirkby Lonsdale and Tebay, a distance of over 30km.
Finally, I’d like to thank the Capstick family of Hole House Farm for their support and co-operation in allowing access for our machinery over their land and for allowing us to park our cars and meet up here today.”
The new bridge is on the route of the ”Sedbergh Quaker Trail”, which was devised by Dave Smith of the Sedbergh Area Walking and Cycling Group and supported by the Sustainable Development Fund. The trail is described in booklet available by post at the Sedbergh Information Centre on Main Street, Sedbergh, telephone: 015396‑20125. Further information about walking in the Sedbergh area can be found on the Walking and Cycling Group’s website: www.sedberghgateway.org.uk.
The Bradford on Avon WAW walk leaders were often asked at the end of their walks whether a map of the route could be made available so people could follow it at their leisure. So we started to consider how we might do this.
Two of our regular leaders were using ‘Viewranger’ on their smartphones and suggested we give it a try. We did and liked what we found so decided to start using it.
So, what is Viewranger? It’s a free to download smartphone app that can be used on desktops and tablets as well as smartphones. You can use free Open Street Maps or pay to download tiles of OS 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 maps.
It’s very flexible and adaptable. You can set it to record a walk you are doing – it works by GPS so wifi signal is not required, you can plot a route to follow using your desktop, or you can follow someone else’s route.
We try to record all of our regular monthly walks and share them in our monthly newsletters. We are also building a suite of walks on our website: www.walkbradfordonavon.org/viewranger-walks.
Bradford on Avon Walkers are Welcome’s big project in 2017 was to record the whole of the Bradford on Avon Walking Wheel on ‘Viewranger’. You can access this at: www.walkbradfordonavon.org/viewranger-walking-wheel-routes. You can also download the routes to your phone or tablet and can even adapt them to suit your needs
Viewranger’s website is: http://www.viewranger.com/en-gb
If you’re in the lovely Bradford on Avon area of West Wiltshire, just 10 miles from Bath and would like to walk The Wheel but would prefer a paper map, a 1: 16,000 version can be bought at our Tourist Information Centre, Ex Libris bookshop, Town Library or Holidays and Cruises Travel Agents. They are laminated, fold up small enough to fit into a standard pocket and are very durable – a bargain at £5 each.
Full details of this year’s Annual Get-together and AGM , which will take place from 12th – 14th October 2018, can be found at http://walkcromer.co.uk/walkers-welcome-annual-get-together-2018/
Walk Cromer say “Walk Cromer are delighted to invite you to this lovely part of the world – we have boundless seas, wide open skies, clifftops, beaches, historic buildings, towns and footpaths galore!
Several National Trails pass through or link from Cromer, making us the ideal centre for a few days away on a walking holiday, and late season walking can be particularly glorious.
We are located on the very Eastern edge of Britain with good public transport links by both bus and rail – and we aim to make your visit well worthwhile.”
As with the very enjoyable event in Hebden Bridge last year, they have arranged an opportunity to turn attending the get together into a walking holiday.
There is a special rate for the get together if you book by June 30th, to aid final planning all bookings are requested by August 31st.
One of the most successful walks during the recent walking festival organised by the Boroughbridge group was, with the help of the local Hightimers drama group, the annual Ghost Walk.
Members of the Hightimers portrayed characters from Boroughbridge local history including Lady Lawson Tancred who set up one of the first women’s land army groups during the first world war, Archie White who was a recipient of the Victoria Cross(pictured), The white lady of The Devils Arrows, three monolithic standing stones from just outside Boroughbridge, and a knight who was killed during the 1322 battle of Boroughbridge.
Taking place over the Easter break the new walks,working with the local community in the villages of Copgrove and Helperby were well received. Sadly the last day encountered terrible weather but still a few hardy souls turned out.
Plans are already in the pipeline for next years festival.
Dursley Welcomes Walkers vice-chairman Dave Ashbee, joined forces with local traders to answer 10 general knowledge questions each day for 5 days on their home county of Gloucestershire. The quiz was live on air and hosted by Mark Cummings of Radio Gloucestershire. Many towns and companies have taken part in the morning quiz and some of the questions were quite challenging but a lot of fun. The team thoroughly enjoyed the experience and had a great time playing along with Mark on BBC Radio Gloucestershire.
Following earlier news of their nomination, the Boroughbridge group of Walkers are Welcome have won a best event Community Award for the three day walking festival they organised in 2017.
Collecting the award, Barry McCallum thanked the community for voting for the Walkers are Welcome group, saying how much the success of the whole event had been due to the hard work put in by all the members of the group.
News submitted by Stocksbridge Walkers are Welcome:
The Ramblers recently held a competition to find the UK’s Best Neighbourhood Walking Area Award. After making the shortlist: the football equivalent of Stocksbridge Park Steels reaching the third round of the FA Cup, we were part of an online vote for the winner. In the vote, Hastings Old Town got 21% of the votes, Stocksbridge was a close second with 19.5%. We are obviously disappointed not to have won but we are delighted we made it to the final and finish as runner-up in a close finish. We were the only town in Yorkshire to achieve the short-list: this which says a lot about the wonderful walking country that is on our doorstep. We would like to thank everyone who voted for us. As in Strictly Come Dancing, the best does not always win the popular vote. The competition gave us the opportunity to create a higher profile for both our town and Walkers are Welcome as a group, demonstrating the potential of local media ‘ to ‘sell our message’. At the same time it was fun to reinforce the message about the importance of walking for improved health and well being.
The Ramblers is already inviting nominations for the same award in 2019, so if you think your area deserves to be recognised, why not put your area forward for recognition.
After all you’ve nothing to lose!
Anyone wanting information or advice about how to go about can contact us via our website
This month the national committee considered the accreditation application for Middleton-in-Teesdale, County Durham. “A model application,” exclaimed Chairman, Sam Phillips and everyone agreed.
Middleton-in-Teesdale has a population of just 1,100 but has managed to pull together a group of ten people from all areas of walking and tourism in their area including the Responsible Tourism Lead, Shane Harris at the North Pennines AONB Partnership. Shane is particularly pleased to have another Walkers are Welcome town in the North Pennines AONB.
This small charming town, almost in the middle of nowhere, provides a vast array of footpaths and walks both within the town and out into Upper Teesdale. This part of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers walkers a peaceful escape into a landscape of impressive waterfalls, such as High Force, green dales, heather clad moorland, traditional hay meadows and beautiful woods. For historians there are the remains of the area’s lead mining industry etched in the ground to explore. For botanists, there is the ‘Teesdale Assemblage’ – a group of twenty internationally important plants including the famous Spring Gentian. For the birdwatcher, a vast array of bird life such as the curlew, lapwing, and black grouse; and for geologists all the wonders of a UNESCO Global Geopark with its globally important Earth Heritage. The area offers something for everyone.
Middleton-in-Teesdale is already working closely with nearby Walkers are Welcome towns Alston and Barnard Castle, also not too far from Kirkby Stephen and Sedbergh. This is an area where the counties and cultures of Cumbria, Co. Durham, and North Yorkshire merge.
Pictured High Force shortlisted by BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2018 in the Landmark of the Year Catagory.
The Boroughbridge Walkers are Welcome group have been nominated to receive one of the Boroughbridge Town, Mayor’s community award.
The winners will be announced at the Mayor’s Civic Service at the end of March.
Kirkby Stephen and Stocksbridge Walkers are Welcome towns have both been shortlisted for The Ramblers Best Walking Neighbourhood Award. Voting is open until 13th March at http://www.ramblers.org.uk/Get%20involved/Campaign%20with%20us/Britains%20Best%20Walking%20Neighbourhood%20award?utm_source=walk%20mag&utm_medium=
‘Nestled in the Upper Eden valley, Kirkby Stephen is a Walkers are Welcome town with attractive historic buildings and cobbled yards. Amenities are easily accessed by pedestrians, with well-maintained footways. The town also has links to long-distance trails including Wainwright’s Coast to Coast and Lady Anne’s Way.
It’s the little touches that make this town particularly enjoyable to explore on foot, from the large planters lining the streets to eye-catching displays of herbs and vegetables. A particular highlight for residents and visitors alike is the Poetry Path, which celebrates the beautiful Eden Valley and describes the area’s farming heritage through a series of inscribed stones, placed along a network of ancient lanes.
Frank’s Bridge dates from the 17th century and is popular with families, providing a safe space for children to feed ducks and enjoy picnics. The Northern Viaduct Trust Path also offers an accessible all-weather route along a disused railway.’
Situated on the edge of the Peak District in the Upper Don Valley, Stocksbridge is a former steel town that now boasts Walkers are Welcome status. Much of Stocksbridge is subject to a 20mph speed limit. Pavements are maintained and streets are well lit. Numerous paths lead directly to the town centre, while other walking routes criss-cross the town. In many cases, walking is the quickest option for making a journey.
Many streets are lined with trees, hanging baskets decorate buildings and planters have been placed at each of the entry points to the town. Interpretation boards provide local information to visitors. This all helps to give walkers an enjoyable experience.
For those looking to walk further afield, the Trans Pennine Trail passes close to the town. This coast to coast route is popular with walkers and cyclists alike.
“Walking the Transpennine Trail towards Barnsley is an unglamorous stroll, but it cuts through history like a knife. Here we are walking by sites from the Industrial Revolution and the post-industrialisation that knocked this place for six, and still reverberates like a struck gong. Walk by the site of the Oaks Colliery disaster – still the biggest mining disaster in UK history – and pass over Stairfoot Roundabout, where all those railway lines used to converge.”’