Cutthroat track bridleway

Works update in consecutive order - please scroll down to see additional weeks.

Week beginning 5th February:

Works to repair the popular Cutthroat track bridleway got underway on Tuesday 30th January.

The digger is being used to start on the drainage works at the site. Excess water makes the route incredibly muddy, meaning that large stretches are badly degraded as users struggle to manoeuvre their way.

Adding drainage features to the route will help to stop water cutting through it, helping wildlife in the area and restoring poor surfaces.

The works are undertaken in symmetry to each other so once the new drainage features have been installed in this particular area, contractors will start to construct the new pathway surface using a locally-sourced sub soil (the more caramel-looking pile of soil in the photograph).

All works undertaken at the site are being done with an archaeologist present, due to historical sensitivities. Land over which the Cutthroat track runs has been the subject of a range of archaeological surveys since the mid-1990s.

The most significant features recorded included an extensive Bronze Age field system, cairnfield and settlement.

People in the Bronze Age (4000-3000 years ago) lived in round houses constructed of wood, wattle and daub, and thatch. The houses were clustered together in small groups, near to stock pens and systems of small hand-worked fields.

At the site, there are cairns (human-made pile of stones); linear stone banks and earth lynchets (earth terraces found on the side of hills). This confirms that in the Bronze Age (about 120-160 generations ago) people were living and farming here. They were clearing the land of stone into piles which created the clearance cairns, and creating and cultivating small fields, defined by the linear stone banks and lynchets.

The Moors for the Future Partnership team is working closely with Peak District National Park Authority colleagues to ensure the protection of this site during the works, and for the long term too. 

Friday 9th February:

This week, around 95 metres of path has been constructed using local soil to create the new 200m stretch of the track. 

The soil is still in its rawest form. It requires more stone, drainage and vegetation works over the coming weeks to finish it off.

The archaeologist who’s been present at the site has not found any historically sensitive items in soil movements.

Next week will see a continuation of works downhill towards Cutthroat Bridge. Soil from underneath the current line of the path is being dug up and laid back onto the surface to provide a more sustainable route.

Local stone will be brought to the site to create ‘water bars’ which will help users to cross the boggy bits and keep their feet dry! 

Week beginning Monday 26th February 2018

After the first month of the project, the route is looking a whole lot better – with foot and bike prints implying that visitors to the area are already enjoying the improved pathway.

The new soil material is making it a lot easier for cyclists, walkers and horse riders to manoeuvre the once treacherous and boggy terrain.

These photos were taken just a few weeks apart – at the start of the project, and most recently last week:

Work is due to come to a close before the end of next month; in time for the breeding season so as not to disturb birds that will be nesting close by. 

Week beginning 12/03

The Beast from the East scuppered our efforts to get anywhere near the track for a week or so. The A57 Snake Pass route was closed for days as the relentless snow showed no signs of stopping.

As soon as the road was accessible again, our hardy staff, contractors and volunteers were back out on site to progress with the job.

Around 370 metres of the new pathway has now been laid – with approximately 80m still to go before the end of the month.

Moorland plants and shrubs have been moved to make way for the soil path to be put down. They will be used to landscape the area around the route, to cover the bare soil and help to hold water on the hill.

More stone features called water bars will also be installed, to help keep the track as dry as possible for all of its visitors to enjoy. 

Related content: 

News article, 22nd Jan 2018 - Work to repair a stretch of popular Peak District bridleway set to get underway

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