The Scarborough Ramblers have built up a strong relationship with the North York Moors National Park Authority (NYMNPA) to improve the places people walk in the park, giving their time to practical projects such as vegetation clearance.
After finding that problems they’d reported within the park – like overgrown paths – were slow to be resolved due to rights of way budget and staffing cuts at the NYMNPA, the Scarborough Ramblers decided to offer their time, labour and skills to help out.
Working together with the NYMNPA, the group began to tackle jobs such as cutting through an overgrown stretch of footpath covered in broom and gorse which was so obscuring the path that two unofficial paths had sprung up each side to avoid it.
They also cleared away vegetation which was hampering the opening of three gates, fitted some board revetments to hold back part of a bank and cut back vegetation on a bridleway used by horse riders, cyclists and walkers alike.
Realising the NYMNPA struggled to resource the supervising of volunteering activities the Scarborough Rambles then went one step further and set themselves up as a fully-fledged working party with their own insurance cover through the Ramblers.
“Very shortly we will be self-supporting and able to pick our work days and how we work,” explained Les Atkinson, Footpath Secretary for the Scarborough Ramblers. “All the National Park has to then do is negotiate with landowners where needed, supply materials and away we go.”
“Our next job is replacing two stiles on the Cleveland Way which will be interesting,” added Les. “Ramblers looking after where we ramble, nothing could be better.”