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It's an often misunderstood fact that one of the most destructive elements of Green Road maintenance is nature herself. The unregulated flow of water can, in a short amount of time, far surpass the impact of thousands of feet, hooves and wheels.

High Peaks & Potteries TRF member Peter Potts recently teamed up with Peak District National Park Conservation Volunteers to tame the flow of water down Cumberland Lane. Here's how they got on.

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that The Peak District National Park is one of the Nations “Jewel in the Crown” when it comes to a huge range of outdoor activities. Whether you’re into trail riding, horse riding or just Sunday afternoon strolls, you’d be hard pressed to find an area that caters for every level of adventurer.

Perched at the gateway to the Park, the guys (and girls) at the High Peak and Potteries TRF are aware of their privileged position and recognise that with this privilege comes great responsibility.

In group rep Andy Teece’s words...

“In the current climate, none of us can take for granted the fantastic opportunities that we have on our doorstep and anything that we can do to sustain this has to be a good thing.”

With this as a mantra, the group have recently teamed up with The Peak District National Park Authority’s, Peak Parks Conservation Volunteers (PPCV) and arranged a working party of fit strong young men and women all willing to help. Unfortunately none of these were available so we went along instead!

All arrangements in place, packed lunches prepared, wellies polished, the sun shone on Saturday morning of the 14th May when around a dozen members of the club met with Dave Camp and his colleague Carol, from (PPCV) at Clough House Car Park, Wildboarclough.

Dave delivered the induction along with a few housekeeping procedures, including instruction on the correct end of a shovel to hold, for those of us who needed it (you know who you are!!). Tools were duly despatched, shovels, spades, pick axes, goggles, etc. and off we set, up, what we affectionately call “Cumberland Cottage”.

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Anyone who rides in the Peaks will likely have ridden up or down “Cumberland” and will, no doubt, have noticed, certainly on wet days, the amount of water that flows down the lane, as opposed to through the land drains. At certain times of the year, it could be rightly compared to riding up a waterfall. This may not sound a problem but all of this water does untold damage to the lane and over time, erodes the surface covering. Our task for the day therefore, was to re-instate as many of the existing land drains as we could find.

We set about, clearing channels, embedding new stone to provide additional support and even discovered a few redundant drains and disused culverts, which we were able to put back into operation. There was even a prize for the most innovative and artistic design which went to Rich Pointon’s team for their inspired creation of a spa. (This may even prompt an annual well dressing festival).

By the end of the day, we are happy to report that the water on Cumberland now flows freely and a couple of us have even been back to take a look a few weeks later and guess what? …. It’s still working.

The day’s work finished at around 4 o’clock when we bid adieu to Dave and Carol which left a few of us just enough time to nip in to the local for a well-earned shandy on the way home!

Many thanks to Dave and Carol for arranging the day and hope to make this a regular event.


TRF volunteers work with National Parks, councils and land owners across the country to conserve Green Roads. Our members have a diverse skill set, from muscle to engineering and land management expertise. If you would like to get involved in conservation efforts in your area contact your regional group to find out what's going on.