A GRADE 2 listed viaduct is in urgent need of repair after suffering serious frost damage during the unusually hard winter.

The piers and side walls of the exposed Smardale Gill viaduct, near Kirkby Stephen, need urgent repair and the harsh weather has also impacted on the water-proofing.

It is estimated by the Northern Viaduct Trust, owners of the Thomas Bouch designed viaduct since 1989, that well over £30,000 is needed to make the structure sound.

The trust is appealing for further funding assistance at a time when it is already committed to a programme of bridge repairs on its popular Northern Viaducts Way walk which includes two other Bouch-designed viaducts just outside Kirkby Stephen.

Smardale Gill viaduct links the two parts of the path through the Smardale Gill National Nature Reserve owned by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust and is used as a footpath by permission of the trustees of the Northern Viaduct Trust. Any donations should be sent to the NVT Treasurer, 26 Pembroke Drive, Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees TS17 5BB.