Welcome to the Mend Our Mountains Dartmoor appeal.
We're trying to raise £3,000 for Nun’s Cross Path - A popular mountain biking and walking route across Dartmoor that has been undergoing repairs over several years. You can help us by pledging today - the £3,000 we want to raise will enable us to undertake urgent work to halt the erosion in this area.
Dartmoor’s reputation for wildness is well deserved – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle immortalised its beauty and mystery in the Sherlock Holmes novels. Yet it is easily accessible from most of the South West of England, with major population centres like Plymouth and Exeter just a short drive away, and easy transport to links to London and beyond. Britain’s ‘most southerly wilderness’ sees around four million visitor days per year.
The Princetown-Burrator Loop is a circular route that leaves Princetown and immediately plunges into open moorland with all the desolate grandeur that Dartmoor offers on show.
Winter storms in 2014 destroyed several miles worth of trail on the route. Combined with erosion damage along these sections and others, this has meant the workload to repair the route has increased exponentially. The route is used by something like 30,000 walkers and 10,000 mountain bikers every year – that’s quite a lot of erosion.
Repairs have been split into phases, with some work being carried out in 2015 and 2016. In fact, the route benefited from a £8,497 boost in the last Mend Our Mountains campaign in 2016 (which ‘grew’ to £27,000 through other donations and match-funding) so it is great to come back to the same project and finish what we started.
This phase will see the repairs extended to Eylesbarrow, completing the circle and fully restoring this brilliant route. Although the first four kilometres of the section in question have already been done, the next four kilometres still remain, and as the most remote section of the route, are by far the hardest to repair.
The solution - and what your pledge will do
Sympathetic path repair takes time, energy and resources. Here in Dartmoor, experienced rangers and contractors will build cross drains to ensure that in heavy rain the path is not washed away or damaged. Proper drainage will also stop the ground nearby from becoming waterlogged. The path will be resurfaced using locally sourced materials to provide a durable surface, and at the same time erosion scars and associated damage will be cleaned up and restored.
Once complete, this will provide a high quality, sustainable and resilient route enabling a 12 mile (20 kilometre) circuit for walking and off road cycling from Princetown, boosting tourism and the local economy, as well as providing a high quality experience across remote moorland.
To help us reach this total (and those in our other Mend Our Mountains projects) we're working with a huge number of partners, many of whom have made incredibly kind donations - you can see some of them below.
It means we can offer an amazing range of rewards - from t-shirts and mugs to unique experiences. You can see all of these, most of which are totally exclusive to Dartmoor, on the right. We think there's something for everyone, on any kind of budget, and we've worked hard to make sure our partners are offering you something really great in return for your valuable pledge.
And it's not just about Dartmoor. As you've probably guessed, Mend Our Mountains is a huge campaign, spanning the entire family of 15 UK National Parks. We've got 13 primary projects in 11 parks, and every park will benefit in some way. Crowdfunding is just part of what we're doing - we want to raise £1,000,000 in total, the most ambitious campaign of its type ever.
If you want to take a look at all the projects in the appeal, and see how close we're getting to our overall target, check out the Mend Our Mountains Crowdfunder Homepage.
Pledge today and protect the Nun's Cross Path for the future.
Organic cotton Mend Our Mountain tees. Sizes shown: Men’s Medium, Women’s Small