CONTRACTORS are continuing their work on the latest section of a major new National Trail that will run through the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
It is hoped that the 4km section of the Pennine Bridleway National Trail at Newby Head will be completed by early spring, allowing walkers, cyclists and horse riders to enjoy the beauty and freedom that the area has to offer.
A 4.5km section of the Thwaite Lane and Long Lane bridleways is also receiving attention. The lanes will remain open during the work, which will include filling pot holes, minor surfacing and restoration together with the replacement of existing, gated crossing points. The improvements should be finished early in the new year.
So far this year the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) - with funding from the Countryside Agency - has upgraded and improved about 15km of the Trail, which enters the National Park at Long Preston, weaving through the Dales via Settle, Malham Moor, Feizor, Austwick, Selside and Newby Head and exiting at the Cumbria county boundary above Garsdale.
The route, which is due to be fully opened in 2009, runs through some of the most outstanding scenery and wildlife habitats in the National Park including the Ingleborough Complex Special Area for Conservation and Ingleborough National Nature Reserve.
The YNDPA's Pennine Bridleway Project Officer Gareth Evans said: "We aim to have approximately 55km of the 81km that run through the National Park completed by April.
"It has been a busy year for the Pennine Bridleway Team but none of the projects could have been completed without the help and support of local landowners, residents, parish councils and user groups. We owe them a big thank you."