Ramblers on a classic long-distance footpath devised by the legendary fell walker Alfred Wainwright will find the going easier underfoot, thanks to a package of improvements by North Yorkshire County Council's Countryside Service.
The Coast to Coast Walk, from St Bee's Head in Cumbria to Robin Hood's Bay in North Yorkshire, has been voted the world's second best long distance trail. More than 10,000 walkers enjoy it every year.
But in recent months, the section through Iron Banks Wood, alongside the River Swale near Richmond, deteriorated as a result of high levels of use during wet summer conditions. As well as being very boggy in places, there were also two steep sections which were badly eroded and very slippery in wet conditions. The existing bridges, boardwalk, stepping stones and stiles were also in poor condition and were not suitable for such a popular route.
"This is an incredibly popular long distance path, and apart from the enjoyment it provides to walkers it also funnels a considerable amount into North Yorkshire's tourism economy," said County Councillor Clare Wood, Executive Member for Countryside Services.
"The work carried out by our Countryside Rangers will ensure that the path is safe and easier to use for all those who like to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. The work also makes the path more accessible for less agile walkers and ramblers."
The Countryside Service is currently surveying the section of the Coast to Coast walk across the Vale of Mowbray, and is drawing up plans for further improvements.
The Coast to Coast walk was devised by Alfred Wainwright back in 1973. Linking footpaths, bridleways and quiet lanes, it crosses three of England's finest national parks - the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the North York Moors.