Peak District MTB Dig Day – Aston Bridleway

The trails in the Peak District are currently suffering badly, it’s been one of the harshest winters for a while in regards to the damage that’s being caused to the trails. No one group is directly responsible for this damage and people are becoming more aware of areas known for being boggy/waterlogged and avoiding them, but a bit of manual work is needed every now and then.

This week I tagged along to a Peak District MTB ‘Dig Day’. PDMTB is a ‘voluntary organisation that aims to preserve, improve and promote mountain biking within the Peak District National Park’. The work they do is so beneficial to us mountain bikers – they are responsible for managing and maintaining trials, promoting mountain biking in the Peak District and developing relationships with relevant landowners and other users of the Peak District. I can’t begin to quantify the work they have put in for all of us mountain bikers!

The dig met at Cafe Adventure in Hope at 10am before heading up to the Aston Bridleway, as this was the focus section of the day. All tools were provided (I will be taking wellies next time!) it was simply a case of assessing the worst areas and draining them out. The group split into smaller numbers over the bridleway and kept working all the way up. A number of old pre-existing drains were found and cleared out with one being completely rebuilt resulting in a large amount of water being diverted under the bridleway instead of running along the length of it. It was incredibly satisfying walking back down the bridleway and seeing the amount of water that had been moved due to the drains being sorted.

Everyone who was digging was like minded and easy to get on with, making it a very enjoyable day. If you fancy taking part check out this link to see when the next dig-days are. I put together a short video to document what work was carried out, unfortunately I didn’t get any proper audio recorded this time but I will remember next time!

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