With the Cut Gate project funded and contractors confirmed, today was the day to head up for a site visit to discuss the planned works. A sunny, blue skies day certainly helped!
We met with Moors for the Future (who are managing the Cut Gate project), Peak District National Park Authority and a host of other trail users – mainly to meet Andy from Terra Firma who will be carrying out the work.
It’s great to see users getting a proper consultation on repair works like this, but thankfully there was little disagreement anyhow. The planned work is primarily drainage, to get the standing water off the hill and away from the route.
Moors for the Future should be following up with a map and notes, which we’ll share. In the meantime, here’s a loose explanation of what’s going on.
Bog of Doom
The main boggy section of Cut Gate, which proves most difficult to pass when the weather’s been wet. This area will have the most significant works, with new drainage and a slight detour of the trail to keep it higher. This will be one of the longer sections of flags, around 70m – and a clapper bridge in one spot.
In between the two boggy sections, a new drainage channel will help to keep water away from the trail. No trail works as such in this area, but the drain will cross the trail at a couple of points – these will have stone pitching or flags as appropriate.
Bog of mild peril.
Further South towards the Cairn, this section has a split and significant amoutns of water gathering at the bottom. The trail will be routed one side, with drainage the other. A small clapper bridge and flags will then allow the trail to cross this drain, with water draining away using the existing pipework.
Between this bog and the Cairn, there’s a few setions of exposed peat that are being used as smoother route choices. These will be tidied and a route through the rockier sections encouraged. Where possible, the route will be held to around 1m in width – to allow the moorland to recover.
National Trust area
Beyond the Cairn and heading towards Derwent, the land changes into National Trust ownership and management. Although not directly part of this project, there is a little funding from the main project that’s being offered to the National Trust to carry out some trail work.
This is yet to be confirmed, but conversations today suggested that the steep section between the cairn and the flagged section is priority, along with the very bottom of the trail between the stream crossing and Slippery Stones.
We’ll keep you in the loop on this separate work, but it will once again be minimal and appropriate – mainly focussed on drainage.
The work on the bogs begins in October, ending in March before nesting bird season.
Huge thanks go to everyone we’ve worked with on this project, particularly Chris Maloney (Keeper of the Peak/Peak District MTB)
It’s been a collaborative project in terms of the two local mountain bike groups working together, but also one of our more successful projects in working with other user groups and land managers. We now have allies in the worlds of rambling, climbing, horse riding and conservation – people who are now singing our praises.
Big thanks go to Magic Rock brewery and Radventure for their help in the early stages of the project. Very much appreciated!
But most importantly, thanks to each and every one of you who helped with the fundraiser. The BMC and Moors for the Future headed it up, but every donation, sponsored event, raffle ticket and social media share has counted.
We look forward to sharing the improved Cut Gate with you as soon as it’s finished – ideally enjoying this iconic trail more of the year round!