The path near Semer Water, one of the sites where the donated flags were used. Photo: Yorkshire Dales NPA

The path near Semer Water, one of the sites where the donated flags were used. Photo: Yorkshire Dales NPA

Flagstones that once lined the platform at a Lancashire railway station are helping walkers keep on track in the Yorkshire Dales.

The stones are been used at five sites in the national park to improve rights of way.

Building contractor J Murphy and Sons donated three trailer-loads of the redundant flagstones, which were removed from Kirkham and Wesham station between Preston and Blackpool.

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority said the flags have now been laid, improving the condition of about 400m of paths.

It said the stone has been used at popular places which were notoriously boggy, such as by Aisgill Force near Gayle and at Buckden Pike summit.

The authority’s area manager for the southern Dales, Kate Hilditch, said: “It’s becoming harder and harder to source Yorkshire stone flags, so we were delighted and grateful to receive this donation from Murphy.

“The flags have been put to good use and have already been enjoyed by many thousands of walkers.”

The flags have been used at:

  • Semer Water site of special scientific interest in Raydale. Flags were laid on a 60m section of boggy footpath from Marsett to Semer Water, where walkers were cutting wide and causing erosion
  • Aisgill Force near Gayle, upper Wensleydale. Flags were installed on a 20m section of a popular footpath near the waterfall Previous engineered surfaces had washed away with the beck in spate. The newly installed flags are expected to provide a sturdy and permanent solution
  • Mossy Moor, Wharfedale. Flags were laid along nearly 40m of a popular footpath that leaves Hebden and connects to other public rights of way via Mossy Moor reservoir. The flags provide a good surface for walkers and at the same time protect the fragile moorland vegetation which is important habitat for ground nesting birds
  • Buckden Pike summit, upper Wharfedale. Works have been carried out over a number of years, in partnership with the National Trust, to install flags along a route that links the public bridleway terminating at the summit and the public bridleway at Tor Mere Top. Stone from Kirkham and Wesham station was flown to site this year to provide a further 80m of flagged path, helping to address the increasing level of peat erosion
  • Whernside, Chapel-le-Dale. The remainder of the flags are currently being installed on a path on the Three Peaks Challenge route, near Bruntscar Farm, to provide a sustainable surface.

Murphy’s site manager Mark Rittenberg said: “We wanted to do something with the left over stone from Kirkham that would mean it wasn’t wasted and would also benefit the wider community.

“We got in touch with the team at the Yorkshire Dales national park because we knew they would be able to put the stone to good use.”

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