WORK has started to repair one of the Yorkshire Dales' most famous landmarks, the suspension bridge over the River Swale at Reeth, which was swept away in a massive flood two years ago.
The 42-metre bridge joins the parishes of Reeth and Grinton and there were doubts that it would ever be re-constructed because of financial constraints.
However, funding for the £113,000 project has come from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, the Rural Development Programme, Richmondshire District Council, North Yorkshire County Council, central government, the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and the local community of Grinton and Reeth, after the launch of a public appeal by William Hague, the former Tory leader.
National park chairman Steve Macaré, chairman of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, commented: "The Reeth Swing Bridge has always been far more than just a bridge, it is part of the cultural heritage of the area. It is very heartening to welcome this major landmark in the campaign to see the bridge rebuilt."
Rebuilding work is likely to last 12 weeks. The structure is believed to have been built in 1921 by public subscription. The national park stepped in to rebuild the bridge when the ownership, and the responsibility for the bridge, was unknown.