Sunday morning climbing Roseberry

The National Trust acquired the main western slope of Roseberry Topping in 1984 and, by July 1995, had spent £500k on improvements with another £500k planned over the next four years. Much of this money was spent on footpath improvement which had been somewhat neglected when in private ownership.

With folks climbing Roseberry increasing year on year, the pressure on footpaths has increased.

In 1993, a new path was laid using 200 tonnes of sandstone airlifted by helicopter1“Roseberry Topping”. Great Ayton Community Archaeology Project. 2006 ISBN 978-0-9554153-0-2. Today, that path looks inadequately narrow and is particularly avoided on the descent resulting in severe erosion on either side.

The highly eroded main path up Roseberry
The highly eroded main path up Roseberry

In 1999, new paths were laid up the south side from the folly and east side from the col, again using airlifted stone and soil2“Ayton Happenings”. A booklet edited by Malcolm Race and produced for the Millennium in aid of Parish Church Funds.. This south path is also showing signs of deterioration.

National Trust fundraising to repair eroded footpaths

In Spring 2019, the Trust resurfaced a mile of muddy path along the bottom of Newton Wood. This was to be the first phrase of a long term project and was, surprisingly still funded by the EU, The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development3National Trust. (2019). We’ve been working to minimise the mud on some of Roseberry’s well-used routes. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Jul. 2021].. But then Covid hit, Trust income took a dive and of course EU funding has finally dried up.

And visitor numbers rocketed.

Attention is now on the highly eroded main path up Roseberry. Something needs to be done. It’ll be a mammoth job; expensive and far too big for one day a week volunteers.

So today, I am using this blog to publicise the Trust’s campaign. I know times are hard but if you have enjoyed the delights of Odin’s hill sometime over these last two years, please consider contributing a fiver.

6 Replies to “Sunday morning climbing Roseberry”

  1. How about some of the 10,000’s of charity event organisers chipping in a few quid first?
    Or even the NT imposing a £5 charge per head for using the footpaths c.f. car park charges. Roseberry Topping is out of control.
    How are the car parking restrictions in Newton panning out?

    1. Peter, neither of the car parks in Newton are owned by the National Trust.

      In general, the yellow lines seems to have worked. Just the odd report on FB of infringements. Touch wood.

  2. I think I was getting hot under the collar about the large number of charity event organisers who have the notion that they can do what they like, where they like and when they like. They probably think little, if at all about, the damage they cause and the detritous left behind. I bet they contribute nothing to causes like you describe yet I believe that they really ought to. After one such event I removed three disposable barbeques from the summit and in the process ruined my rucksack. I don’t visit Roseberry any more despite having a lifetime NT membership and it being on my local patch. It’s too depressing.

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