A short, popular walk in the Westmorland Dales can be enjoyed once again after a footbridge close to Scandal Beck was put back into place.
Flood waters ripped the footbridge from its abutments earlier this year and left the structure against a field wall.
The footbridge was a key part of a circular walk out of Ravenstonedale village to Bowber Head and back by Low Lane or via Ash Fell.
The ranger service obtained consent from Cumbria County Council for works on ‘ordinary watercourses’, carrying out an ecological impact assessment. A local contractor then built mortared stone walls either side of the stream and laid concrete pads, before the wooden bridge was repaired and lifted into place.
The work was funded through the ‘Discovering the Westmorland Dales’ project, part of the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership scheme supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Member Champion for Recreation Management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Nick Cotton, said: “Keeping public rights of way open, well maintained and easy to use on behalf of Cumbria County Council, and helping landowners with stiles and gates, is our bread and butter. It’s been just over four years now since the National Park was extended to include the ‘Westmorland Dales’ and it’s been great to see how rangers have gone about improving the state of the rights of way network and building relationships with local farmers and landowners.
“In the west area of the National Park, reaching from Kirkby Lonsdale in the south to Sedbergh and beyond to the Westmorland Dales, there are 339 footbridges. This one crossed a tributary only a few metres away from Scandal Beck, just upstream from Ravenstonedale village. As is typical in the Dales, innocent little streams can become pretty vicious after heavy rainfall and the footbridge couldn’t withstand the force of the water. Rangers have put back the bridge slightly higher than before and carried out some landscaping. I’m glad to see it looking well again. Ravenstonedale is a beautiful part of the world and a quiet place to see wildlife such as red squirrels and kestrels.”