Walkers tramping Wainwright’s 190 mile Coast to Coast route will find the going a little easier thanks to the efforts of volunteers from the North York Moors National Park. Working in very muddy conditions, the volunteers have constructed a 65 metre boardwalk through Sneaton Forest towards the end of the long distance walk. The new boardwalk was officially opened on 6 February by Jack and Steph Newman of the nearby Falling Foss Tea Garden.
On its way through Sneaton Forest, the route of the Coast to Coast crosses May beck at a ford just upstream from Falling Foss waterfall. The ford can be slippery and often floods, becoming impassable. The National Park Authority has created a second path running alongside May beck providing an alternative to the ford crossing. The new path makes use of an old stone arch bridge to cross the beck and joins the Coast to Coast route higher up.
The path has been boardwalked affording an easier passage not only for Coast to Coast walkers, but also for the many families who visit the area to see Falling Foss waterfall. The boardwalk meanders through the woodland above the beck and has two raised viewing areas offering beautiful views of May Beck and its stone arch bridge.
Naomi Green, Northern Area Senior Ranger at the North York Moors National Park, said:
The recent wet weather has led to some really challenging conditions but our volunteers battled on regardless to get the job done. The boardwalk – one of the longest in the National Park – provides a clean, easy to use and enjoyable path which is also suitable for the less able and pushchairs. I hope those who make use of it over the coming months say a silent thanks to our hard working volunteers for all their effort!”
Jack Newman added:
We are absolutely delighted with the new boardwalk. It will make a huge difference to so many of our customers that regularly walk the Falling Foss to Maybeck path. Although we keep a supply of emergency socks & trousers behind our counter, the board walk will certainly reduce the number of wet feet and muddy bottoms that we see in the garden. Hats off to Naomi and all the volunteers that have worked so hard to make this happen.”
Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk passes through three national parks – Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors – on its route from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay on the east coast. Tens of thousands of people walk the route each year and in 2004 it was named the second best walk in the world.