District council provides £50,000 grant for Swale Trail

Councillor Peacock is pictured with park ranger, Michael Briggs.

Richmondshire District Council has put forward a grant of  £50,000 for a unique new mountain bike trail.

The Swale Trail – which will run through Swaledale from Reeth to Keld – is aimed at young mountain bikers and families who want to ride together.

It will be promoted to people with mobility difficulties and families with buggies – and as a ‘multi-user trail’ can also be used by walkers and horse riders. And 75% of the 12 mile track will be traffic free.

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The £229,213 project has attracted not just the district council’s funding but £50,000 from Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, £8,000 from North Yorkshire County Council, £13,000 from the Pennine Trails National Trails Partnership and £98,000 from the Yorkshire Dales LEADER programme.

Access rights for the trail already existed as it brings together sections of bridleway and unsurfaced roads – with work to upgrade the surfaces and improve drainage and erosion due to be completed by Easter next year (2018).

People will be able to complete as much or as little as they want of the trail, as it divides into three sections with options to visit villages, pubs, cafes, accommodation and other tourism businesses.

“This will be a great asset to the district and opening in the year we host the Tour de Yorkshire makes it all the more special,” said council leader, Councillor Yvonne Peacock.

“Our grant scheme can make a real difference to people’s lives – and this encompasses all age groups and can be used by serious cyclists as well as those just riding for leisure.”

Nick Cotton, YDNPA member champion for recreation management, said: “We have great cycling in the Yorkshire Dales for experienced cyclists, but it has long been recognised that we lack easy cycle routes for families and those new to cycling.

“The Swale Trail will play a major part in addressing this.  It will be a wonderful new asset in Swaledale for visitors and residents alike. “It was really helpful that Richmondshire District Council supported the project at an early stage. “Without their £50,000 financial contribution we couldn’t have put the funding package in place.”