Horse riders have secured a £7500 award towards the cost of path repairs to the Cut Gate bridleway in the Peak District National Park.
Peak Horsepower Equestrian Access Group, which works to extend and improve the bridleway network in the National Park, secured the money through the British Horse Society’s Paths for Communities Fund.
The repair project is part of the British Mountaineering Council’s (BMC) Mend Our Mountains campaign, in conjunction with the UK’s national parks.
Cut Gate – aka the Bog of Doom – is a popular route with mountain bikers, horse riders and walkers. The repair project is being championed by user groups including Peak District MTB, Ride Sheffield, Keeper of the Peak and Peak Horsepower – and is now 75 per cent of the way towards its £70,000 target.
Peak District National Park fundraising development manager Sarah Slowther said: “Cut Gate bridleway is enjoyed by horse riders, mountain bikers and walkers so it’s fantastic that the fundraising efforts reflect this. Money raised by Peak Horsepower is great news for Cut Gate and everyone working on the campaign. We couldn’t do it without the support of users and advocacy groups, who continue to amaze us with their support and enthusiasm.”
Charlotte Gilbert, chair of Peak Horsepower Equestrian Access group, added: “The Cut Gate bridleway is a spectacular route, offering an increasingly rare opportunity to experience wilderness on horseback. It is a key route, linking the areas around Howden and Langsett reservoirs to other bridleways and is part of a 70-mile circular horseride, the Kinder Loop.
“For much of the year, however, it is too dangerous to ride because of the risk of disappearing in a bog! Peak Horsepower is delighted that horseriders have been involved in the multi-user effort to secure the funds for vital repairs to the bridleway and that we have been successful in obtaining this generous donation from the British Horse Society Paths for Communities Fund.”
Mark Weston, director of access for The British Horse Society, said: “Our Paths for Communities Scheme was designed to help provide safe off road opportunities for equestrians across the country. Access for riders is a vital part of the BHS’s work and allows for the continued growth of the equine industry and we’re delighted to have been able to grant £7500 to the Cut Gate bridleway, helping to secure future access for riders, cyclists and walkers within the Peak District National Park.”
Dan Noble, chair of mountain bike advocacy group Peak District MTB, said: “This is a great boost to the Cut Gate appeal and helps us to within touching distance of the target. From the very start this has been a collaborative effort from user groups and it’s wonderful to see them coming together to support this important landmark project.”
Chris Maloney, who runs the website KoftheP and twitter feed @KoftheP, added: “What a huge endorsement for working together this is. We all have an impact on the places we ride, walk, run or climb so getting so close to our target just shows what we can achieve when we’re united as outdoor groups. Thank you so much to Peak Horsepower and the BHS. It’s fantastic bringing our groups closer together.”