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Visitor experience improved at Ribblehead Viaduct

News footpaths and sound posts were part of the Ribblehead vistor enhancement scheme

Parking areas and footpaths have been repaired and extended at Ribblehead Viaduct, one of the most iconic sites in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, in a project made possible by National Lottery players.

Ad hoc parking and camping was causing damage to the historical settlement of Batty Wife Hole, which straddles the T-junction of the B6255 and the B6479 roads.

Over the course of six weeks, contractors installed or repaired a total of 380 metres of kerb and parking along verges of the two roads; installed a 42 metre aggregate path on Blea Moor Common to better link the parking areas to an existing footpath to the viaduct; and put in two ‘sound posts’ where people can listen to recordings, made by young rangers, of people’s experience of walking in the Three Peaks area.  Earth bunds were created along the 2.5 metre-wide parking verges to prevent vehicles going onto the Ancient Scheduled Monument.

Parking areas, with earth bunding, were improved as part of the Ribblehead visitor enhancement scheme

The £60,000 project was managed by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and funded by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) through Stories in Stone. This four-year programme of community, conservation and heritage projects was developed by the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership, led by YDMT, and is mainly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Philip Farrer, one of the trustees of the Ingleborough Estate, which owns the land, said:  “The Ribblehead Viaduct is now attracting visitors from far and wide resulting in increased pressure on the roads and parking in the immediate area. We are delighted with the excellent improvements that have been made, enabling walkers and sightseers to have a much more enjoyable experience. Thank you to all who helped put the funding in place to allow this to happen.”

Chris Lodge, Stories in Stone project officer at YDMT, said: “It’s fantastic that the Stories in Stone grant has been able make such a difference, helping to conserve and protect this iconic area for the future. Working with Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and a local archaeologist and historian has ensured the work has been carried out sympathetically and without damaging this scheduled ancient monument. I think the results are excellent and will ensure the area continues to be a popular and accessible visitor destination for many years to come.”

Rob Ashford, YDNPA Area Ranger for Ribblesdale, added:  “Ribblehead Viaduct, and the land around it, is at the heart of the Three Peaks area. The new interpretation and better parking and pedestrian access has improved the experience for the many tens of thousands of visitors who come to the site every year.”

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