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Mark Leah, National Trust ranger commented: ‘The path had become uncomfortable to walk down, causing people to walk on the grass at the side of the path, causing erosion. Upgrading the pathway will hopefully help conserve the site and greatly increase visitor enjoyment across this great visual landscape’.

Flag Stone and Pitching Footpath on Mam Tor

The National Trust
17th Apr '14

Peak District walkers can now reap the benefits of improved access across one of the most iconic parts of the National Park as a major footpath improvement project comes to a conclusion.

Mam Tor, locally known as the ‘Shivering Mountain’ recently received a major financial investment to reinstate an 80m stretch of flag and pitched path leading across the ridge to Lose Hill.  Managed by the National Trust, this Scheduled Ancient Monument receives 250,000 walkers across its summit every year.

Wildscapes were commissioned to strip out the old path and build a replacement with locally sourced gritstone and reclaimed flagstones.

Involving extensive airlifting and meticulous planning to ensure completion by Christmas 2013 before the weather turned, the work creates a better walking surface and helps reduce erosion on this important landmark. All work was carried out without the use of any heavy plant machinery to minimise damage.

Mam Tor is made of rocks of Carboniferous age, approximately 320 million years old. The 1,696 ft. summit is encircled by a late Bronze Age and early Iron Age Hill Fort.The earliest remaining features include two Bronze Age burial mounds; one just below the summit and the other on the summit itself. Visitors can continue to enjoy the splendour of this area whilst at the same time, be content in the knowledge that the archaeological features of this Scheduled Ancient Monument are receiving greater protection from erosion with the new surface now in place.

John Thompson, the Wildscapes Team Leader stated: ‘The rebuilding of this section of the footpath has been a really good project to work on. Wildscapes, with its expertise in moorland conservation, coupled with the National Trust’s passion for looking after these historic areas has led to improved access and protection of this iconic section of the Peak District National Park’.

Myles Flanagan, who led the work parties on Mam Tor noted: ‘The airlifting to position all materials onto site involved careful planning and good communication to ensure accuracy and visitor safety. This was especially important considering some flagstones weighed up to 400kg. The weather was also a key factor and completing this work before the winter really hit was crucial.  To complete all the construction by Christmas Eve was really satisfying and hopefully gave an unusual Christmas gift to visitors’.