THE trail of damage wreaked across the Lake District by Storm Desmond is close to being fixed, a meeting has heard.

Since the record-breaking rainfall and gales of December 2015, more than 200 public rights of way have been put right, said park officials.

The Lake District National Park Authority has led on a major project to mend 65 footpaths and bridleways, 90 bridges and 43 items of “access furniture” across the 912 square mile park.

To guard against winter storms to come, futureproofing has been undertaken to give the park’s infrastructure more “resilience” from severe weather.

The cost of the £3million project, called “Routes To Resilience,” has been met by European Union funding, via the Rural Payments Agency, a wing of Defra.

At a meeting of the park’s rights of way committee at the authority’s headquarters in Murley Moss, Kendal, on Tuesday, flood recovery project manager, Ged Acton updated members.

He said: “We have spent £2.3million of the fund, and 81 per cent of the time frame in which to spend the money has now elapsed.

“Initially, the project was due to end in October 2018, but we received an extension for three large jobs that are going to run until the end of the year.

“From April to September we have completed 37 jobs.

“The last three jobs are at Bullfell Beck, Mungrisedale, where the pathway is being reflagged and a new bridge installed.

“Two new bridges also need to be installed at Troutbeck, and Greenhead Gill above Grasmere. Contractors are in place and work is ongoing and operating to schedule,” he said.

The progress was welcomed by committee members. Louise Waterhouse, of Troutbeck, pointed out that contractors had been working on Sundays to get the job done.

John Thompson, of Penrith, said: “We are getting good reports from local people that things are progressing very, very well, so all credit to our officers and the workmen doing the jobs.”

Committee chairman, Geoff Davies, of Braithwaite near Keswick, said the programme was a real success story.