We have widened and improved a section of the popular Sea to Sea (C2C) cycle and walking route as part of community work for Tracks of the Ironmasters to make the path accessible for wheelchairs, buggies and large bicycles.
The 16 miles of paths, which runs from Whitehaven to Rowrah and Workington to Seaton, Siddick and Broughton Moor, gets its name from the former railway line which once carried iron ore from the surrounding mines. It is now a haven for people who want to walk and cycle, as well as wildlife such as red squirrels, lizards, bats and wildflowers.
Widening the tarmac path by over a metre to 1.5m, with no barrier access will allow easier access for people with disabilities, while larger three wheeler family bikes and buggies will also benefit from the new look path. Improved access as well as restoration of historic bridges, features and natural habitats along the route was highlighted as a priority by local communities.
As part of the work local volunteers worked with our regional team to select and remove sections of grass verges alongside the path at Camerton, and reseed them, to help preserve grasses rich in wildflowers and wildlife.
Sustrans Project Officer Nikki Wingfield said:
“Tracks of the Ironmasters is a really exciting project which will help us open up this fascinating area as a vibrant history and nature trail accessible by foot or bike for all ages and abilities. By upgrading this section of the route to allow access for a wider range of bicycles and non-motorised vehicles we hope to make it much easier for local people to be able to enjoy the path.”
In May 2016 we won a £859,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to preserve and improve the natural, social and industrial heritage of Tracks of the Ironmasters, and to share it more widely. The path is linked to former iron ore mines at Knockmurton and Kelton and ironworks at Workington, Cleator and Distington and includes a number of historic bridges and remnants of the path’s past, such as a rock crusher and railway signal.
The C2C route attracts around 15,000 cyclists every year for the challenging 140 mile long distance ride between Whitehaven and Sunderland.