What we do

Raising the Standard

The North Pennines AONB Partnership worked with a range of partners, including the Friends of the North Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA), to repair part of Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walking route.

Raising the Standard

Voted the second best walk in the world by the readers of Country Walking magazine, Wainwright’s 190-mile Coast to Coast trail attracts thousands of walkers each year. The route from Kirkby Stephen, via Nine Standards Rigg, to Keld, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, crosses large areas of blanket bog and takes in some of the most beautiful places in England. But despite its beauty and popularity, or probably because of it, the route was suffering. The high amount of foot traffic along certain parts of the route exacerbated the peat erosion and was damaging the structure of the peat. To combat this the YDNPA set up alternative routes to be taken during the winter months in an attempt to re-direct walkers away from fragile parts. However, the area near Nine Standards Rigg was still extremely boggy with very little vegetation. With no clear route to follow, walkers found themselves lost and some even became stuck in the bog. In 2016 a walker became immersed in the peat resulting in a team of five volunteers from Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue being called out to free him.


The AONB Partnership received funding from a number of organisations, both charitable and private companies. These include HF Holidays, the British Mountaineering Council’s Access and Conservation TrustRamblers Holidays Charitable TrustThe Wainwright’s Society and the Friends of the Lake District. The YDNPA has also been successful in raising funds from the Tesco Bags of Help fund and are improving the footpath in Yorkshire.

The North Pennines AONB Partnership also ran a successful Crowdfunding campaign to not only raise funding for the work but also the profile of the project. The campaign was called Raising The Standard and was launched in March 2016, running for five weeks. We had over 100 individual contributions to the project and raised a grand total of £30,500. A video was produced for the Crowdfunding campaign that can be viewed here:

The work

With £30,500 from the North Pennines AONB Partnership and £14,000 from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA), a total of 392 metres of reclaimed stone flags were laid along the section of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast. The flags ‘float’ on top of the damaged peat and will not only protect the peat, but give people a stable surface to walk on and encourage them to stick to a dedicated route which will prevent the area eroding further.

Funding from the YDNPA has also been used to spread heather brash (cut moorland vegetation) over the bare peat and a new stone was put in place to signify the boundary between Cumbria and Yorkshire. We replaced two signposts along the route and added a fixed point photo post which enables walkers of the route to photograph the area from a fixed location and help us monitor the restoration works.

This section of the Coast to Coast is not a Public Right of Way but accessed as a permissive route and under the Open Access legislation. To ensure future maintenance of the route, Cumbria County Council agreed to adopt the section as a Right of Way.

The work was completed in March 2017 by Terra Firma Environmental Ltd based in Lancashire.

You may also like...

Did you know…