Welcome to the Mend Our Mountains Cut Gate appeal.
We're trying to raise £6,000 for Cut Gate - one of the best singletrack mountain biking routes in the UK – which becomes virtually impossible to negotiate when it rains. You can help us by pledging today - the £6,000 we want to raise will enable us to undertake urgent work to halt the erosion in this area.
Bog of doom
Considered one of the best singletrack Mountain Bike routes in the United Kingdom, Cut Gate runs through the heart of the Peak District and is used by thousands of bikers every year. Although the trail is predominantly enjoyed by bike, it also makes a great walking route and is even used by horse-riders. An otherwise hardy route between Langsett and Howden Reservoirs, it has short sections of muddy bog in areas prone to flooding, which have become colloquially known as the ‘Bog of Doom’!
The boggy sections are impassable and dangerous in wet conditions – causing riders to divert round the sides, sometimes hundreds of metres from the original route of the path. This spreads and deepens erosion at an alarming rate.
The main areas prone to flooding are two ford crossings on Featherbed Moss, east of Margery Hill on the Cut Gate path. The bridleway drops to the stream crossing in a natural dip. At the bottom of the dip the stream water backs up regularly resulting in the aforementioned impassable bog.
To avoid the deepest part of the flooded area, visitors will often detour around – working their way up or down the streams until they find a narrow enough section to cross. The problems associated with lack of drainage are especially pronounced here – although it is a common problem across many paths that are in poor condition.
The solution - and what your pledge will do
Using the funding raised under Mend our Mountains, the plan is to improve the whole of the route with a big focus on the most waterlogged areas. The work will improve the drainage in the area of the ford crossings, resurface the wettest sections with the tried-and-tested technique of stone-flags, join these sections with improved path sections and repair the badly eroded downhill sections using pitched stone techniques.
This will re-establish a single path line and allow the surrounding moorland vegetation to recover.
Without this proposed work, these boggy sections will go through continual cycles of worsening ground conditions during periods of wet weather. Where the main path line proves impassable, trail users will continue to detour leading to further damage and erosion.
Your donation will directly support this innovative collaboration and restore to full health one of the most impressive routes across the high moorland of the Peak.
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 Cut Gate, 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 Cut Gate. 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 Cut Gate for the future.
Organic cotton Mend Our Mountain tees. Sizes shown: Men’s Medium, Women’s Small.