A COMMUNITY affected by the devastating impact of flash floods has secured funding to carry out vital repairs to safeguard the sustainability of their dale.

Arkengarthdale was badly affected by flooding at the end of July and the Parish Council says it is extremely grateful for donations, from individuals, agencies and other groups, to support its efforts to improve the dale’s resilience against future flooding.

Following a recent appeal, The Duke of Norfolk immediately doubled his already-generous donation of £5,000 to £10,000 with a further donation from Charles Cody, owner of the CB Inn.

Within days, Joe Rafferty, of Ard Rock, the renowned mountain bike event that draws thousands of visitors to the area each year, came forward with a fabulous offer of £10,000 from the Ard Rock organisation.

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Volunteers from the mountain-biking fraternity and the Dales Bike Centre, in Fremington, have already supported the dale with the clean-up effort.

The £10,000 funding will be kindly donated via the Two Ridings Community Foundation and the contract has been signed by the Parish Council.

Joe Rafferty, Ard Rock organiser, said: “Swaledale and Arkengarthdale have been the host of Ard Rock for seven years now, and the valleys and beautiful scenery have given us all so many good times and special memories.

“On behalf of Ard Rock and the mountain bike community, we’re delighted that the funds we raised are supporting the great work that the Parish Council are doing right now to repair the land and protect the community, families and businesses.”

This funding will be instrumental in shaping the dale’s recovery process in an enduring way to help prevent a repeat of the devastation.

The main priority is to continue clearing around four miles of the Arkle Beck.

Already, Richmondshire District Council have removed and will be replacing the contaminated chippings in Langthwaite, a relatively low-cost project but one that will have a large, positive impact on the village.

Stephen Stubbs, Chairman of Arkengarthdale Parish Council, said: "The response to our appeal is incredibly humbling, that so many parties have reached out with funding streams to help our plight is wonderful.

"We are overwhelmed with their understanding, support and kindness. We are determined to do everything we can to give families and businesses protection and peace of mind, doing as much as we are able to minimise the risk of further flooding. Our aim is to ensure that our Dale does not suffer again."

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The extent and scale of the flooding was unprecedented and its effect will be long-lasting.

The funding will enable the Parish Council to react quickly and make a significant contribution to improve the dale's future resilience, keep families and businesses safe and help protect the communities further down the dale towards Reeth and Grinton.

Stephen Stubbs said: "We are experiencing more extreme weather and nobody can guarantee there won't be floods in the future, but we can do our best to reduce the risk.

"There is a real sadness and eerie feeling coming home on an evening and passing the iconic Red Lion Inn, with no lights and four skips placed outside.

"We hope the community will be reassured by the tangible efforts and action, seeing their properties and businesses being protected and supporting their wellbeing."