03 Mar Pennine Way Improvements
The Pennine Way National Trail cuts across the western edge of Redesdale. There are a number of sections of the Pennine Way which are very boggy and wet underfoot. The 2.68 km section around Gibshiel and Padon Hill is in a particularly poor state, forcing many walkers to use a lower parallel route along a local road and forest track which means that they miss out on stunning views across Redesdale from both Padon Hill and Brownrigg Head.
A second section north of Byrness is also being surveyed to establish the cost of improvements of the route through the forest to Byrness Hill.
The aim of the project is to restore the Gibshiel section of the Pennine Way into a sustainable and useable route that is long lasting and hardwearing. The repair to the route will use the soil reversal technique in which a mechanical digger is used to construct a turfed ditch. The sub-soil material removed from the drain is placed alongside the drain to produce a solid, hard wearing walking surface. A specialised grass seed mix is then sown to encourage a rapid re-generation of the vegetation to bind all the works together. The technique is very cost effective and is welcomed from an environmental perspective as there is no need to import foreign materials i.e. stone to create the new path surface. The work is planned to be undertaken by a contractor during summer and autumn 2018.