A POPULAR footpath which forms part of a Yorkshire Three Peaks route will be closed for up to six months for repairs.

The path, known as High Lot, which leads to the summit of Ingleborough is used by tens of thousands of people walking the route from Chapel le Dale, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

High footfall, heavy rainfall, drainage issues and a steep incline has caused the stone pitched path, installed in the late 1980s, to slip.

Contractors Terra Firma Environmental Ltd have picked and bagged 160 tonnes of large gritstone blocks from a nearby scree slope and the stone will be dropped next to the path, for work to begin, this week.

A total of 172 metres of stone pitching will be removed, with the gritstone blocks then dug deep into the ground to make a new 1.5 metre wide pitched path, with associated drainage and landscaping work.

An alternative way to the summit across open access land is being suggested for use during the duration of the path closure, which will run from next Monday, until January 25. The works are expected to be completed by the end of October and the path could reopen earlier.

Nick Cotton, member champion for recreation management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “It’s our shared objective with Natural England to protect the reserve by tackling footpath erosion. We also want to maintain the path network on Ingleborough to the very highest standard as for many people the Yorkshire Three Peaks is the first they see of the National Park. It is important for people to observe the temporary closure of the path. The High Lot section of path to be repaired is very narrow and there isn’t room for the contractors to work safely with walkers passing by."

"I would ask that people walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks look up the alternative route to the summit that we are recommending, and give themselves a bit more time to complete it, as it is a steep way and not easy to use.”

He added: “It’s satisfying that a local source of stone has been secured for the repair job; the gritstone blocks will be led to the path from only 400 metres away. It’s going to look great when finished.”