Part of the notorious boggy section on Nin Standards Rigg. Photo: Yorkshire Dales NPA

Part of the notorious boggy section on Nin Standards Rigg. Photo: Yorkshire Dales NPA

Supermarket shoppers have the chance to bag some cash to help improve a notoriously boggy route across a Yorkshire Dales fell.

Tesco is offering its Northallerton and Catterick Garrison customers the opportunity to vote for a project to improve the route across Nine Standards Rigg.

The badly eroded route is used by thousands of walkers each year undertaking Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk. The peat is badly damaged on the high moorland, and the area has turned into a bog.

In partnership with the North Pennines area of outstanding natural beauty, which has provided expertise in peatland restoration, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is aiming to make significant repairs to this damaged section of the route, between Kirkby Stephen and Keld.

The work and two other projects have been picked by Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative, which has teamed up with Groundwork to provide grants – all raised from the 5p bag levy – for environmental and green-space projects.

Shoppers in the two stores will be given a token to vote for one of the projects from 31 October to 13 November. The one with the highest number of votes will receive £12,000, the second placed project £10,000 and the third will have £8,000.

Michael Briggs, the national park authority’s area ranger for Swaledale, said: “The route crosses large areas of blanket bog and the ground near Nine Standards Rigg is extremely boggy with very little vegetation.

“With no clear path to follow, walkers have found themselves lost and some have even become stuck in the bog.

“The aim of the project is to lay a flagged surface to provide a defined, hard route so that walkers aren’t trampling soft peat or sinking into it and then needing to be rescued.

“Once there is no further footfall on the peat, it will be able to recover. It will then be re-seeded with heather brash to help vegetation to re-establish. Eventually mosses will reappear and the peat will be able to regenerate.”

The cairns of Nine Standards Rigg overlook the Eden Valley. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The cairns of Nine Standards Rigg overlook the Eden Valley. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Lindsey Crompton, head of community at Tesco, said: “The first round of the Bags of Help initiative was a fantastic success.

“In total 1,170 community groups were awarded £8,000, £10,000 or £12,000. That’s a massive £11.7m being invested into local projects.

“We are already seeing some great results from groups transforming their own environmental and green-space areas.

“We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for round two. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Nick Cotton, the national park authority’s member champion for recreation management, said: “We are very grateful to the Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative for giving us the chance finally to repair the route over a difficult and remote site.

“Not only will it be of tremendous benefit to the landscape in terms of revitalising the peat, but it will also be welcomed by the walkers, who won’t have to struggle on this section of the route any more.”

The Coast to Coast Walk, which runs from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire, enters the Yorkshire Dales national park shortly after leaving the nine prominent cairns that give the fell its name. It then crosses the notorious bog before dropping down into Whitsundale and Keld. The authority introduced three alternative routes to be used at different times of the year to help reduce erosion.

  • This story was amended after the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority informed grough Tesco had put back the dates of the vote.

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