Footpath Erosion in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

Footpath Erosion in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

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Footpath Erosion in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

I decided to look at what is the effect on footpath erosion because of
being in a national park. Footpath erosion has become a major problem
in the Yorkshire dales, the Yorkshire Dales Park Authority started a
project called Three Peaks project which is a counter erosion scheme.
The main problem is places at honey spots, which are most frequently
used because of the amount of people walking on them this is shown
photograph #24. It is shown here that walkers have to walk round the
path further adding to the erosion.

If Upper Nidderdale were to put in the national park they would suffer
these pressures and would have to make additional footpaths that are
hard wearing such as the ones in Malham but this would cause a blot on
the landscape.

One major factor is walker’s boots because they kick away and break
down the surface but this is by means no means the only factor. It is
not only the walkers that cause the erosion the bike and the heavy
footfall of fell runners who can also break the ground up.

It is not only human impact that makes the footpaths wear down, the
livestock has been a primary source of some of the most serious
surface on the surface because there feet break down the surface also
they eat all the roughage on the surface without this the soil breaks
down because there are no roots in the soil to keep the soil together.
The walkers come along and carry it of on there boots and is deposited
somewhere else.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park has set up schemes to prevent the
footpath erosion such as ‘the three peaks project.’ They have
introduced duckboards across the mud, this would stop the paths
eroding further but they look out of place and unnatural. They have
also tried to reduce erosion by replacing the peat with hard core,
this doesn’t look very natural and can be worn down again quickly but
this method is cheap but needs a lot of maintenance.

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They also laid
geotextile fabrics across the damaged surface this is cheap and is
quite effective but need maintaining.

The National Park authorities have tried to discourage walking on the
severely damaged and over-populated footpaths; in particular they have
tried to discourage large groups who visit on a regular basis. They
are also trying to persuade organisers of challenge and competitive
walks to do the same as the Harrogate Rambling Club who took the
decision to re route the walks away from most damaged areas and the
footpaths in the ‘Three Peaks Project.’

The National Park Authorities have introduced long tem measures to
ease pressure on some key footpath routes and honeypot sites. For
example restrictions on car parking and general vehicular access to
the start of some popular footpaths are going to be introduced.

The Authorities have tried to use restorations techniques such as
elevated board walks and huge rock staircases the only problems with
this is they can be totally out of place. This can be overcome by
using local materials whenever possible, in recent years they have
used stone pitching.

In June 1994 a British Upland Footpath Trust was set up by the
Ramblers Association (BUFT). There aims are to bring benefit to upland
repair to upland path repair programs by:

· Tapping into sources of funding for upland path repair.

· Raising the profile of upland repair through promotional work.

· Helping to improve standards through training and new opportunities.
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