A bridleway repair project led by the Peak District National Park Authority has been shortlisted for possible funding from the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA).
Winners of the EOCA Awards are chosen by the public in a Europe-wide vote. The project with the most votes in each category (Ecotourism, Forest, and Mountain) are awarded up to €30,000.
The shortlisted Peak District project, part of the British Mountaineering Council’s Mend Our Mountains campaign, aims to repair a stretch of the Cut Gate bridleway colloquially known as the ‘Bog of Doom’.
Sarah Slowther, fundraising development manager for the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “We are delighted that EOCA has recognised the significance of the Cut Gate project by shortlisting it for this important European award. “We now need members of the public to vote for Cut Gate and help us win the funding needed to repair this iconic Peak District route, so please get voting and tell your friends!”
Anyone who loves the Peak District National Park or has an interest in conserving wild spaces, species and habitats can go online and vote for Cut Gate bridleway in the Mountain category of the EOCA Awards: http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/donate
The Cut Gate bridleway runs through an area of internationally important and naturally beautiful blanket bog habitat in the Peak District National Park. This spectacular route is one of the best single-track mountain biking routes in the UK, but it becomes virtually impossible to negotiate in wet conditions.
Sarah Slowther explained: “When it rains, the boggy sections are impassable, causing people to divert around the sides – sometimes hundreds of metres from the original route. This spreads and deepens erosion at an alarming rate, causing extensive damage to the surrounding peat bog. We want to repair the bridleway and encourage users to follow the route to prevent further damage to the surrounding habitat. Our aim is to preserve the character of the landscape and boost people’s enjoyment of the route.”
Chris Maloney of Peak District MTB and Keeper of the Peak said: “Cut Gate is an iconic route loved by mountain bikers up and down the country. We’ve led on the campaign to patch up the boggiest section of Cut Gate, ensuring that it’s repaired in the right way. Securing this money will be a big step towards achieving our ambitions for mountain bikers and other users. One of the special things about the Cut Gate project is its partnership approach: the BMC is leading the national campaign, the Peak District National Park Authority’s Moors for the Future Partnership is looking after project management, and user groups such as Peak District MTB, Ride Sheffield, Peak Horsepower and Keeper of the Peak are promoting the campaign and supporting the fundraising effort. It is a great example of the community coming together to promote responsible use of a route and instigate positive change balancing conservation and recreation.”
For more information about the Cut Gate bridleway campaign, visit: mendmountains.thebmc.co.uk/donations/cut-gate.