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Gritstone blocks from a scree slope on Ingleborough have been picked and bagged in readiness for the High Lot path repair

Popular ‘Three Peaks’ fellside path to close for repair

Monday 20 July, 2020, by News Release

A public footpath leading to the summit of Ingleborough is to close for up to six months for essential repairs.

The path, known as High Lot, is thought to be used by tens of thousands of people a year walking from Chapel le Dale to the top of the mountain – often as part of a Yorkshire Three Peaks route. 

High footfall, heavy rainfall, drainage issues and a steep incline has caused the existing stone pitched path, installed in the late 1980s, to slip. 

During the past month, staff from contractors Terra Firma Environmental Ltd have picked and bagged 160 tonnes of large gritstone blocks from a nearby scree slope.  Later this week the stone will be lifted by helicopter and dropped next to the path in readiness for works to begin. 

A total of 172 metres of stone pitching will be removed, with the gritstone blocks then dug deep into the ground to make a durable new 1.5 metre wide pitched path.   Associated drainage and landscaping work will also be undertaken. 

An alternative way to the summit across open access land is being suggested for use during the duration of the path closure, which will run from next Monday, the 27th of July, to 25 January 2021 – although as the works are expected to be completed by the end of October, the path could reopen earlier. 

If you are going to walk the Three Peaks route and this affects you we have put together a frequently asked questions page here.

Map showing section of High Lot path to be closed and alternative route © Crown copyright and database rights 2020 Ordnance Survey 100023740

Member Champion for Recreation Management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Nick Cotton, said:  “High Lot is one of the most well used public paths in one of the finest National Nature Reserves in the country.  It’s our shared objective with Natural England to protect the reserve by tackling footpath erosion.  We also want to maintain the path network on Ingleborough to the very highest standard as for many people the Yorkshire Three Peaks is the first they see of the National Park. 

“It is important for people to observe the temporary closure of the path.  The High Lot section of path to be repaired is very narrow and there isn’t room for the contractors to work safely with walkers passing by.  I would ask that people walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks look up the alternative route to the summit that we are recommending, and give themselves a bit more time to complete it, as it is a steep way and not easy to use.”

He added:  “It’s satisfying that a local source of stone has been secured for the repair job; the gritstone blocks will be led to the path from only 400 metres away.  It’s going to look great when finished.”

The High Lot path is in the Ingleborough Natural Nature Reserve, which is managed by Natural England.   The repair job is part of the three-year Ingleborough Access Project (2019-22) managed by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) with £180,000 funding from Natural England. 

The YDNPA has obtained consent from Natural England for the removal and use of boulders from the scree slope.  Special care was taken to ensure important plant species were avoided.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Picture of News Release

News Release

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

Website: www.yorkshiredales.org.uk

40 Replies to “Popular ‘Three Peaks’ fellside path to close for repair”

  1. Peter Riley says:

    Have used this path many times going back to 1963. It has lasted many years & will be wonderful when it is repaired.

  2. Mark Bainton says:

    Will the alternative route be sign-posted?

  3. Andrew Coffey says:

    If we took the alternative route, what would be the time and distance added to the route you would normally take?

    • Comms Team says:

      Hello Andrew. I’ll see if I can find out about any distance added and come back to you. Wendy (Communications team)

    • Wendy McDonnell says:

      I have an answer now – see below. Thanks, Wendy

      • The alternative route is 400m (0.25 miles) longer
      • The alternative route follows open access land and not an engineered public footpath. Due to the more difficult terrain and additional length the alternative route will, therefore, take longer to walk.
      • The length of time taken to walk the alternative route depends on individuals fitness – but an estimate of an extra 15-45 minutes is advised

  4. Tom Davis says:

    How far is the reroute in miles?

    • Comms Team says:

      Hello Tom. I’ll see if I can find out and come back to you. Wendy (Communications team)

    • Wendy McDonnell says:

      I have an answer now – see below. Thanks, Wendy

      • The alternative route is 400m (0.25 miles) longer
      • The alternative route follows open access land and not an engineered public footpath. Due to the more difficult terrain and additional length the alternative route will, therefore, take longer to walk.
      • The length of time taken to walk the alternative route depends on individuals fitness – but an estimate of an extra 15-45 minutes is advised

  5. John Ferris says:

    The alternative route looks a bit longer. Can anyone tell me how much extra distance will be added please?

    • Comms Team says:

      Hello John. I’ll see if I can find out and come back to you. Wendy (Communications team)

    • Wendy McDonnell says:

      I have an answer now – see below. Thanks, Wendy

      • The alternative route is 400m (0.25 miles) longer
      • The alternative route follows open access land and not an engineered public footpath. Due to the more difficult terrain and additional length the alternative route will, therefore, take longer to walk.
      • The length of time taken to walk the alternative route depends on individuals fitness – but an estimate of an extra 15-45 minutes is advised

  6. Andrew Coffey says:

    Did a dummy run on the new route last night, could not see any signs to indicate the new route at all, I noticed a earlier question and you confirmed the signs would be there, can you confirm please.

  7. Dave Andrews says:

    Hi
    Thank you for posting all that information
    Hope everyone is ok

  8. Claire says:

    Hi

    Is this route safe?

  9. Tony Skill says:

    The temporary route is now very well bedded in and is very easy to identify. Well done YDNP on the excellent signage of the temporary route which is now well established.

  10. Phil Passfield says:

    My brother and I have just got back from doing the 3 peaks , I did it last year and its just a wonderful what ever the weather, especially as we live in Essex one of the driest and flattest parts of the country. The temp route up Ingleborough having now been well used is now boggy in places , especially as it rained all day for us. Im a fairly fit 60 yr old but it is more challenging as you are climbing more and definitely took us 45mins extra ,but the view when you walk around the rim towards the top was worth it. The route was still well marked.

  11. Richard Sykes says:

    Having completed my 2020 quota of Three Peaks rounds, I have now used the ‘alternative route’ four times. To describe it as ‘a public footpath’ is to stretch poetic license to breaking point. The route is more or less the path taken by water draining off the hillside; this especially so at the top where it consists of a 5 foot deep rut through peat with ‘a floor’ of loose boulders. I can only commend Mr Phil Passfield for his stoic understatement : “boggy in places”.

    Would Comms Team please provide an update on the High Lot works (between 20.08.20 and 07.10.20, I didn’t see or hear any work in progress). Does the official completion date of 25.01.2021 still stand?

    • Comms Team says:

      We’ll ask the rangers. Wendy (Communications team)

    • Comms Team says:

      Dear Richard
      I’ve checked with our rangers. We can’t put an exact date on the completion date as you’d expect given the location of the work. However, the work is in progress and we are expecting the work to be completed in November if all stays on track. The contractor will need to then clear the site and make sure the footpath is safe for public use.

      The only other option would have been to have no alternative route at all and we didn’t think this was an option. The alternative route is not an engineered route, it is a temporary route whilst this work is carried out. The alternative route is a more difficult route that requires care and does take longer.

      We will let people know when the route is reopened. I would suggest keeping an eye on our social media sites in addition to our website. Thanks, Wendy (Communications team)

  12. Simon Johnson says:

    Hi Wendy

    Ref – Richards comment on 12th Oct do we have an update on the current works end date ? planning on a few Winter 3 peaks challenges before Christmas but would delay if the temporary path is still the only option.

    Kind Regards

    Simon

    • Comms Team says:

      Hello Simon
      I’ll get that update and be back to you as possible. Thanks, Wendy

    • Comms Team says:

      Hello Simon
      I’ve checked with our rangers. We can’t put an exact date on the completion date as you’d expect given the location of the work. However, the work is in progress and we are expecting the work to be completed in November if all stays on track. The contractor will need to then clear the site and make sure the footpath is safe for public use.

      The only other option would have been to have no alternative route at all and we didn’t think this was an option. The alternative route is not an engineered route, it is a temporary route whilst this work is carried out. The alternative route is a more difficult route that requires care and does take longer.

      We will let people know when the route is reopened. I would suggest keeping an eye on our social media sites in addition to our website. Thanks, Wendy (Communications team)

  13. Mark Bainton says:

    It’s not going to be long before the alternative route needs some work on it!

  14. Simon Johnson says:

    Thanks Wendy

  15. chris, says:

    Hi Wendy / Comms Team,
    Is it possible to give us all an update on the expected ‘opening date’ of the repaired High Lot path..?
    I noticed it was previously anticipated by the team that completion would be in November and then ‘just’ require the contractors to clear the site and carry out their safety assessment before letting us all loose on the repaired section…
    I’d very much appreciate it if you could update this page with a reply, giving current status of the path and the expected opening date.
    Thanks in anticipation,
    Chris.

    • Mark Sadler says:

      We had been discussing with contractors to get the route open in the week before Christmas – but the snow of the last couple of days has made things a little difficult. Our focus is on getting works to a point where we consider it safe to re-open. Right now, we can’t give a specific date, but we will make sure that we publicise the reopening widely.

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