Eskdale Trail improvements completed

Lake District National Park Authority
Lake District National Park Ranger Adam Phillips, pupils Matilda and Zac from Brantsy Primary School and Linda Jones-Bulman, a Lake District National Park Authority Member and Cumberland Council Councillor. Photo: Lake District National Park Authority.

The Lake District National Park Authority has announced the completion of work to improve the 8.5-mile Eskdale Trail, which runs from Dalegarth to Ravenglass.

The trail upgrades were made thanks to a package of more than £2 million of funding.

The Eskdale Trail improvements are part of the Connecting Cumbria’s Hidden Coast programme, which is led by Cumberland Council and funded with £1.15 million from Sellafield Ltd and more than £1 million from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund. Partner organisations such as Community Rail Cumbria, Eskdale Railway and Muncaster Castle also supported this project.

The Eskdale Trail is a combination of country lanes, stony and earth tracks, and grass fields. The improvements are aimed at attracting cyclists and walkers in the valley connecting them with the La’al Ratty (the local name for the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway) to make it more accessible as a fun way to explore Eskdale.

To celebrate the reopening of the trail, school children from Bransty Primary School in Whitehaven attended a special event where they walked some of the trail and had a ride on the nearby La’al Ratty train.

Lake District National Park area ranger, Adam Phillips, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve been able to upgrade the much-loved Eskdale Trail. The work carried out was a collaborative effort with local artist Chris Brammall designing and fabricating the new finger posts and gate latches that give the Trail its distinct image and our field rangers who installed them as well as improving the surfaces. We hope this will be enjoyed by all.”

Councillor Anne Quilter, Cumberland’s Portfolio Holder for Vibrant and Healthy Places, said: “It’s wonderful that we’ve been able to make this beautiful valley accessible to more people. This work is part of a wider programme to attract visitors to our amazing coast, and to improve life for those who live here. It includes events, a new café, maps, footpaths and public art. Cumberland’s coastal area is a hidden gem and we want to celebrate it and raise its profile.”

Other stakeholders and interested parties attended the event including Sellafield, Muncaster Castle, Eskdale Railway, Eskdale Mill and Lake District National Park Authority members.