The High Lot footpath on Ingleborough. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The High Lot footpath on Ingleborough. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A section of the Yorkshire Three Peaks route will be closed for up to six months while the steep path is repaired.

The national park authority said stones on the path at High Lot, below Ingleborough summit, have slipped.

A 172m section of the path between the fell and Chapel-le-Dale, will close from next Monday, 27 July, with an alternative suggested route across open access land to the North-East, to reach Ingleborough via the flanks of Simon Fell.

The route to be closed is used by tens of thousands of walkers each year, on the ascent of the 724m (2,375ft) mountain. The path is also one of the steepest sections of the 39km (24-mile) Three Peaks Route.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority said: “High footfall, heavy rainfall, drainage issues and a steep incline has caused the existing stone pitched path, installed in the late 1980s, to slip.”

Gritstone blocks from a nearby scree slope have been picked and bagged. Photo: YDNPA

Gritstone blocks from a nearby scree slope have been picked and bagged. Photo: YDNPA

During the past month, staff from contractors have picked and bagged 160 tonnes of large gritstone blocks from a nearby scree slope. Later this week the stone will be lifted by helicopter and dropped next to the path in readiness for works to begin.

The existing pitched stone will be removed and the gritstone blocks then dug deep into the ground to make a durable new 1.5m-wide pitched path. Associated drainage and landscaping work will also be undertaken.

The closure will run from next week to January 2021, but the authority said it expects the works to be completed by the end of October, allowing for an earlier re-opening of the path.

The section of path to be closed and alternative route. © Crown copyright and database rights OS100023740

The section of path to be closed and alternative route. © Crown copyright and database rights OS100023740

The High Lot path is in the Ingleborough natural nature reserve, which is managed by Natural England. The repair job is part of the three-year Ingleborough Access Project managed by the national park authority with £180,000 funding from Natural England.

The authority has obtained consent from Natural England for the removal and use of boulders from the scree slope. It said special care was taken to ensure important plant species were avoided.

Member champion for recreation management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Nick Cotton said: “High Lot is one of the most well used public paths in one of the finest national nature reserves in the country.

“It’s our shared objective with Natural England to protect the reserve by tackling footpath erosion.

“We also want to maintain the path network on Ingleborough to the very highest standard as for many people the Yorkshire Three Peaks is the first they see of the national park.

“It is important for people to observe the temporary closure of the path. The High Lot section of path to be repaired is very narrow and there isn’t room for the contractors to work safely with walkers passing by.

“I would ask that people walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks look up the alternative route to the summit that we are recommending, and give themselves a bit more time to complete it, as it is a steep way and not easy to use.”

“It’s satisfying that a local source of stone has been secured for the repair job. The gritstone blocks will be led to the path from only 400m away. It’s going to look great when finished.”

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