A new year of new access

Image: Peak District National Park chief executive Sarah Fowler (right) with Ann Diver of the Clarion Ramblers

Ramblers groups and campaigners have donated more than £1,300 to help improve access to land in the Peak District National Park.

The Peak District Access Fund was launched in 2014 and raised around £1,000 in its first year. Now South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire Ramblers (£532), Sheffield Clarion Ramblers (£400) and the Sheffield Campaign for Access to Moorland (£400) have made it a successful start to 2016.

Sarah Fowler, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, thanked the groups at a special ceremony at the Moorland Discovery Centre at Longshaw.

The donations are ringfenced for access improvements and are used to install new gates, improve signs and to repair paths or put in new ones: £40 repairs one metre of path, £100 pays for a volunteer working party to work on access projects, £110 pays for a fingerpost, £150 pays for a new stile, £250 pays for a new wicket gate.

Sue Smith, access officer for the National Park, said: “It is particularly gratifying when support comes in from the people who make use of access and appreciate as much as anyone how valuable it is.

“People are passionate about getting out and about in the Peak District National Park and the fund gives them a way of showing their support and actively help to improve access to the countryside that everyone enjoys and is inspired by.’’

Access campaigner Terry Howard, who has strong links to all three donating groups and also sits on the Peak District Local Access Forum, said: “The Clarion Ramblers were actively involved in campaigning for access from the early 1900s, followed by the Ramblers in the 1930s and SCAM from 1982.

“It could be argued that were it not for the campaigning of these three organisations, we may not be enjoying what we have today. To carry on in the spirit of giving, the donations were made to improve access.’’

People can keep up to date with the work being done to improve access in the Peak District National Park and donate at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/accessfund.

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