Emma Ashton-Wickett, Heart of Teesdale Paths OfficerThe Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership and the Friends of the North Pennines are working together to roll out a ‘Donate a Gate’ scheme across Teesdale and the wider North Pennines area. The idea behind the scheme is to make the area’s popular footpaths more accessible by replacing awkward stiles with gates, and members of the public are being encouraged to sponsor a gate to make this possible.

The ‘Donate a Gate’ scheme invites members of the public to pay for a stile to be replaced and the new gate fitted with an engraved plaque. This could be in remembrance of a loved one, to commemorate a special occasion or as a gift to someone who loves walking in Teesdale and the North Pennines. Everyone who ‘Donates a Gate’ will be given a choice of the location of the gate (subject to conditions), choose their engraving and receive a personalised map of the area around their gate. 6 gates have already been donated.

“This scheme is a great way to leave a lasting tribute whilst benefitting the hundreds of walkers who will use that route in the future,” said Emma Ashton-Wickett, Heart of Teesdale Paths Officer “We hope that this scheme will be as popular here as it has been in other parts of the country.”

This scheme forms part of the Partnership’s Paths for All People project that aims to improve the footpaths and bridleways around the Heart of Teesdale area, to make them more suitable and accessible. This includes work on the Teesdale Way and the Greta Walk.

For more information on the scheme please contact Emma Ashton-Wickett on 03000 260645 or emma.ashton@durham.gov.uk , or Friends of the North Pennines on fotnp@hotmail.co.uk.