Planning a visit?

What are you looking for?

Living & Working


Visit the Dales


Three Peaks Project

What is the Three Peaks Project?

Started in April 2009, this project aims to ensure the area is maintained and improved in the long term by generating a sustainable income to help pay for its management.

All donations to the project help to keep our Three Peaks Ranger, Josh Hull, in post. In 2016 your support covered the full cost of Josh's post as well as some of the materials he needed. Josh makes sure the Three Peaks route is kept in tip top condition, keeping him very busy! Without this support, the footpaths would soon fall into disrepair and become badly eroded once more, and the surrounding landscape would be severely  damaged.

As Josh says "I've lived in this area my whole life, it is my home and my playground. There's hardly one bridleway here I've not explored with my bike, or footpath I've not walked. After completing my apprenticeship with the Authority last year I was lucky enough to get a job here. I feel really privileged
to be looking after this landscape now for others to enjoy. And I still play hard too!"

Background to the Project

In 1987, a report by the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology claimed that the path network in the Three Peaks area was the most severely eroded in the UK. Some paths across the more fragile parts of the route had grown to 50m wide in places.

Since then, a great deal of effort and money has gone into improving the network and helping the surrounding vegetation to recover. So far, about 27kms of public footpath and bridleway have been transformed. However the number of staff managing the Three Peaks paths has dwindled from 13 in 1987 to two.

This means that, despite the support of a team of Dales Volunteers, the National Park Authority is slowly but surely falling behind with maintenance.

The knock-on effect is that some sections of path need major work doing to them far more frequently – perhaps as often as every five years – when we might have expected a 10-year lifespan before. As well as the extra work, every additional project adds to the maintenance burden.

Generating income

The area has benefited from grants in the past to help pay for major work and the Three Peaks Projects aims to build on this success to introduce new ways of generating cash to fund a Ranger to work specifically on the path network in this area. In 2013 your support fully funded this Ranger.

There are varied ways that the project aims to bring in funding:

  • organisers of sponsored events like charity walks asking participants to donate £1 of their entry fee to the project.

  • buying the Three Peaks app which gives loads of information about planning a walk and this special area

  • providing merchandise to celebrate walking one, two or all of the peaks (whether in one go or over an extended period);

  • joining the Friends of the Three Peaks

  • building business and community interest in the area that will help support it.

A number of major charities like the NSPCC and Heart Research UK are using the Three Peaks area to raise money for their causes this year and have already pledged their support for the project. They will be donating cash to be used directly in the upkeep of the Three Peaks path network.

The money the project generates is used to fund an additional member of staff – a project ranger – who focusses on the continuing maintenance of the paths in this special area. The aim is for the ranger's costs to fully met by the income the project generates.

Please donate today

Maintaining the paths in the Three Peaks costs on average £28 per metre. Could you give a little to help with this vital work?

You can donate by visiting our donation page or by clicking the logo below.

Befriend The Three Peaks

Join the club for exclusive newsletters and guided walks plus more

The Three Peaks

Find out everything you need to know about walking the iconic Yorkshire Three Peaks.

Three Peaks app

Buy this app for routes, maps and 360 degree panoromas

Help the Three Peaks

Help us look after the Three Peaks paths. Donate online!

Day in the Dales

Join our sponsored Three Peaks Challenge walk on 18 June