Work has begun to repair a major section of footpath and river damage on the outskirts of Keswick dating back to the extreme flooding that hit the Lake District in November 2009.

Local contractors working with National Park staff estimate they could be working on the path besides Newlands Beck at Little Braithwaite for up to 10 weeks.

During that time they will install 1,200 metres of timber logs to strengthen the beck, increasing the beck capacity and so safeguarding the repaired riverside path from future storm damage. This timber log technique will allow the bank to be re-profiled and the popular footpath to be restored.

Since the 2009 flooding, when a total of 253 bridges were damaged in the Lake District, LDNPA staff have been working with the riverside landowner – Lingholm Estates – the Environment Agency and the local community to assess the work that needed to be done and then access funds to support that work.

“The work will look great when it’s finished and the path and the river will be even better than before the floods,” said national park Paths for the Public Project Co-ordinator Dylan Jackman.

“But the absolute winner is the local community. This project – led by the Above Derwent Flood Group - has brought everyone together with a common purpose that is now nearing its goal of producing a better river course and footpath,” he added.

Since 2009 the LDNPA and its partners have completed more than £1.4m of repair work funded through the Rural Development Programme for England, Cumbria County Council and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

All this will enhance the Lake District rights of way network for the benefit of visitors, local people and communities whilst adapting the network to improve flood resilience against future weather events. It’s estimated that another £500k of work still needs to be done.