Peak District Charity Launches Appeal to Replace Historic Bridge

In an urgent bid to preserve a key piece of the Peak District’s walking infrastructure, a charity has initiated a fundraising campaign to replace the iconic footbridge over the River Wye at Cressbrook.

The bridge, a vital link connecting several villages to the popular Monsal Trail, was closed in 2020 after being declared unsafe.

The Peak District National Park Foundation (PDNPF) is spearheading the effort to gather the substantial funds required for the bridge’s replacement.

The project faces a daunting cost of up to £200,000, a figure that reflects the bridge’s significant size and the complexities of its location.

The 60ft bridge, originally constructed by the military in the 1980s, has now become a responsibility of the Peak District National Park Authority.


Despite the authority’s commitment to taking on the bridge’s stewardship, it lacks the necessary funds for its replacement.

The project’s high cost is partly due to the planned use of durable fibreglass in the construction, a material choice aimed at ensuring the bridge’s longevity.

The authority has agreed to bear the costs of dismantling the existing structure, estimated at £20,000.

To date, the PDNPF has contributed £20,000 towards the project, and an additional £10,000 has been donated by the Access and Conservation Trust.

However, this leaves a significant shortfall, potentially up to £150,000, to complete the project.

The PDNPF is now reaching out to the community for support, emphasising the bridge’s importance in linking the scenic footpath from Cressbrook to Litton with the open access land on the south side of Water-Cum-Jolly, which joins the Monsal Trail.

The charity is hopeful that community contributions will strengthen their application for a major grant from the Farming in Protected Landscapes fund, a move that could see the project come to fruition in 2024.

As the deadline for grant submission looms at the end of February, the appeal has so far raised nearly £9,000.

The PDNPF remains optimistic, calling on the community’s spirit and the shared love for the Peak District’s natural beauty to help bridge the funding gap.

The replacement of the Cressbrook bridge is more than a construction project; it’s a community effort to preserve a beloved part of the Peak District’s heritage and to ensure continued access to one of the UK’s most cherished walking trails.

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