Walkers on the coast to coast route will find one little part of it easier to cross after some muddy work by volunteers with the North York Moors National Park.
A 65-metre wooden boardwalk has been constructed through Sneaton Forest and was officially opened last Friday. Jack and Steph Newman, who run the nearby Falling Foss tearooms did the honours watched by volunteers and staff from the North York Moors National Park.
Mr Newman said: “We are absolutely delighted with the new boardwalk. It will make a huge difference to so many of our customers that regularly walk the Falling Foss to Maybeck path.
“Although we keep a supply of emergency socks and trousers behind our counter, the board walk will certainly reduce the number of wet feet and muddy bottoms that we see in the garden.
“Hats off to all the volunteers that have worked so hard to make this happen.”
On its way through Sneaton Forest, the route of the Coast to Coast crosses May beck at a ford just upstream from Falling Foss waterfall.
The ford can be slippery and often floods, becoming impassable, so the National Park has created a second path running alongside May beck providing an alternative to the ford crossing. The new path also makes use of an old stone arch bridge to cross the beck.
Naomi Green, Northern Area Senior Ranger at the North York Moors National Park, said: “The recent wet weather has led to some really challenging conditions but our volunteers battled on regardless to get the job done.
“The boardwalk – one of the longest in the national park – provides a clean, easy to use and enjoyable path which is also suitable for the less able and pushchairs.
“I hope those who make use of it over the coming months say a silent thanks to our hard working volunteers for all their effort.”
Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk passes through three national parks – Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors – on its route from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay on the east coast.
Tens of thousands of people walk the route each year and in 2004 it was named the second best walk in the world.