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Work to start on walkway

WORK will start next month to improve a former railway line, now a popular route for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.

The nine-mile line through open countryside from Broompark, on the edge of Durham City, to Bishop Auckland is to have £28,000 of improvement work carried out.

A ramped path is to be built to turn the steep slope from the Deerness river to Broompark Picnic Area into a gentle incline which is more manageable for users.

Work has already started to clear low scrub and gorse bushes from the area to ensure there is no disturbance to nesting birds during construction.

Staff from Durham County Council, which is carrying out the work following an award from County Durham Environmental Trust, have already started work to improve the biodiversity of the area by digging new ponds edged with native pond plants and sowing new native wildflower meadows. Construction work is expected to take two months to complete, with staff from the council’s Countryside Service helped by members of the local community, including Durham Voluntary Countryside Ranger Service and young people from New College, Durham and Bishop Auckland College, who will be learning about conservation and enhancing their practical skills.

Coun Bob Young, Durham County Council Cabinet Member for Strategic Environment and Leisure said: “This project is a fine example of how access improvements can benefit individuals, communities and wildlife too.”

John Wearmouth, Chairman of CDENT, added “In agreeing to fund this project we are particularly impressed by the way in which the County Council is to involve volunteers and young people in the improvement of the popular walkway.”

  1. April 30, 2009 at 9:14 am

    About time,,, steepness of the climb wasn’t too bad, i managed it in lowest gear but lost traction, gonna be a lot easier.


  2. Sarah
    July 27, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Although this will be better for the local community, I have to admit I am a little saddened. When we passed through Durham two years ago I was happy to find that little had changed at Deerness Valley in the nearly fifteen years since my last visit.

    For the record, a love of the place seems to be hereditary. My three daughters paddled in the Deerness and were desperately keen to return again. Not so easy given that we live in Derbyshire!

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