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Long Chains Combe Improvements

Work can now get underway to repair a remote path near Long Chains Combe in Exmoor National Park which was recently one of the projects in the British Mountaineering Council’s Mend our Mountains crowdfunding campaign.

For Exmoor, the aim of the project was to raise enough money to airlift stone into a remote part of the moor to improve the surface of an important path which is part of the Two Moors Way, a 102 mile route which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.  BMC’s Mend Our Mountains raised £7,500 for this work.

Sue Applegate, Rights of Way & Access Officer at Exmoor National Park said: “We were surprised and delighted at the amount of money we raised by this innovative project which will enable us to improve the surface of an ancient route, one of Exmoor’s most remote and rugged tracks.

“To repair a path we would normally use material that is on site, but in this case there was simply not enough suitable material for the scale of the job - because of its remote location a helicopter was the most efficient way of getting it there. The work would probably not have been able to go ahead without this funding and we are really grateful to everyone that donated from all over the UK and even as far away as the USA.”  

“We are also grateful to local businesses XMAN Events and Encounter Walking Holidays for donating rewards as well as the staff from BIH (Onshore) Ltd and local contractor Steve Atkins who worked with our National Park Rangers to lift the stone in.”

Carey Davies, The British Mountaineering Council’s Hill Walking Development Officer, said: “We are thrilled to be able to support restoration work near Long Chains Combe with proceeds from the BMC’s Mend Our Mountains campaign. 

“This work is happening because thousands of walkers and lovers of the outdoor landscape of Britain came together to make it happen. 

“Mend Our Mountains was a massive crowdfunding campaign which raised almost £104,000 in total for eight path repair projects in some of the most popular and iconic upland landscapes in Britain. It was a real 'community' effort, with lots of different elements of our 'outdoor world' pulling together for a cause and being involved in different ways.

“It is great to be able to include this beautiful Exmoor location as one of the supported projects. Exmoor contains some of the most awe-inspiring and entrancing landscapes in Britain. 

“The Exmoor coastline is rightly famous among walkers and climbers, where picturesque villages nestle among breathtakingly huge coastal cliffs. But the inland landscapes are wonderful too, like The Chains, where the atmosphere of older eras is preserved among tightly-wound valleys and moors dotted with ancient stone circles like the ones at Long Chains Combe. 

“Everyone should be free to explore the British outdoors, but the accumulated impact of walkers does take a toll, which you can see here. The Chains also gets a lot of rain, and in the past has experienced some of the highest daily rainfall Britain has ever seen, which exacerbates the problem of erosion.

“Our National Parks do a fantastic job of looking after the landscape but they are under increasing pressure, particularly after half a decade of budget cuts. This is why we ran Mend Our Mountains. There is no substitute for proper funding and support for National Parks, but if walkers, climbers and others are given the opportunity to give something back voluntarily to the landscapes they love, then they will.”  

The repairs to the path will be starting in the next few weeks so that a reliable, dry path is in place before the autumn.