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NEWS RELEASE No: 144551 MARCH 2011

Repaired - Hamsterley forest path swept away by floods

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Bedburn Riverside Trail

A footpath washed away in violent storms in Hamsterley Forest last year is set to reopen after a £6,500 repair project.

The Forestry and Durham County Council have linked up to reinstate the scenic Bedburn Riverside Trail - the most popular walk in the 2,000 hectare (5,000 acre) woodland, near Bishop Auckland.

Taking in spectacular views of Bedburn Beck, the 1.5 mile path was weakened by flooding in 2009, before being swept away in torrents of water during a June storm last year. 

Now engineers have re-laid the route and resurfaced it with stone, meaning that it can be used by people of all abilities, including pram and wheel chair users. 

Richard Gilchrist, Chief Recreation Ranger, said:

“The flooding caused a lot of damage in the forest and the Bedburn Trail was a high profile victim.  Hamsterley is a beautiful wood and some of the finest views can be seen by walking along this lovely path.  We are delighted that it is now back on track.”

The Riverside Trail starts at Hamsterley Forest Visitor Centre and also takes in mixed woodland, offering great vantage points to spot wildlife.  Durham County Council have backed the work as the trail is also a designated Right of Way.

In a separate move forest chiefs have surfaced the main car park in Hamsterley.  Previously the area became muddy in wet weather, but now visitors can keep their feet dry and park on an all weather surface thanks to the £30,000 scheme.

Notes to editor

Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For more visit

Media calls to Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038.