Work safeguards popular path following storm damage

Work has been carried out to safeguard a popular footpath in Durham City following storm damage.

The banks of the River Wear beneath the footpath at Maiden Castle behind Durham City Rugby Club suffered extensively when Storm Desmond hit the region in December 2015, leaving the path at risk of falling into the river should there be a repeat of the storm.

Now, Durham County Council has carried out work to strengthen the riverbank, protecting the path against further storm damage.

The path which links Durham, Durham University’s sports centre at Maiden Castle and Shincliffe is popular with both walkers and cyclists, as well as the city’s running groups.

The work was timed to allow completion of a major rebuilding scheme at the site of a landslide across the river at Pelaw Wood, in order to ensure one side of the riverbank was always open for pedestrians and cyclists.

It involved the building of foundations at river level, beneath a stepped wall of stone filled wire cages. These have been finished with mats and willow planting.

The work was carried out over a nine week period and funded from capital money set aside for Storm Desmond footpath repairs across the county.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “We know how popular this path is with those who enjoy walking, running or cycling along this picturesque stretch of the River Wear. The damage caused to the riverbank in December 2015 left us in a position where any further storm damage could have led to the path crumbling into the river.

“The work we have done will hopefully protect the path against bad weather for years to come.”

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