Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

A Tale of Erosion and Repair on Roseberry Topping

Roseberry Topping, perhaps the most popular honey pot in Cleveland, bears the weight of incessant foot traffic. Prior to the National Trust’s takeover in 1975, the upkeep was a bit lax, as it was deemed mere agricultural land. Fast forward to 1995, the Trust had rolled up its sleeves and pumped some serious effort into repairs, primarily targeting the troublesome path erosion1“Roseberry Topping”. Great Ayton Community Archaeology Project. Page 180. 2006 ISBN 978-0-9554153-0-2..

While they tried letting nature do its thing on some paths, the main trail up the west side wasn’t having any of it. To tackle the erosion headache on this path, a rather unique fix was deployed: a whopping 200 tons of stone was airlifted in by helicopter. This aerial spectacle unfolded in 1993, and the new path was carefully crafted for both convenience and blending seamlessly with Mother Nature. The Countryside Commission footed the bill for this endeavour, which saw a collaboration from different groups. Skilled hands from Scotland built the path using stones from a wall quarried two centuries earlier in Ingleby Greenhow, matching the sandstone of the summit. The surplus stones didn’t go to waste either; they were used to sprucing up the path to Little Roseberry, showcasing the project’s resourceful flair.

But, as luck would have it, 31 years down the line, that western ascent is feeling its age. The footfall has surged, especially post the Covid lockdowns. Folks habitually avoid the stepped path and walk on the side, creating a sizable erosion gully.

Thankfully, the plans for patching up this worn-out path are well in the works. And yes, you guessed it, another helicopter stint is on the horizon. Watch this space.

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    “Roseberry Topping”. Great Ayton Community Archaeology Project. Page 180. 2006 ISBN 978-0-9554153-0-2.






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