These projects really do show how interactive the Friends of the TPT are as a group of very supportive individuals who work behind the scenes to help promote and protect the Trail with the help and support of the TPT national office:
This project was kick-started by local volunteers identifying the need for benches and picnic tables that can be used by people with limited ability.
Unfortunately accessible street furniture is something that many Local Authorities today no longer have the budget to provide. The support of the local community provided an opportunity to address this problem and it is hoped we can now encourage others to continue this programme in other areas across the TPT. As Friends, we have a passion for providing better facilities for everyone, regardless of their background.
|Halton ||Thanks to funding from the P H Holt Foundation benches and picnic tables were installed at four locations:|
• Entrance from Parsonage Road
• Old Dock entrance
• Tarmac area west of above
• Junction of TPT into industrial estate
This project has given the local community a sense of pride with facilities that can now be enjoyed by locals and visitors using the Trail. It has been a wonderful opportunity to help local volunteers improve the Trail and showcase how such small changes can make such a big difference.
Many users now enjoy the picnic tables with their families despite being in a wheelchair / scooter or simply traverse from their wheelchair onto one of the benches to enjoy the company of their family or friends where everyone along this tranquil green corridor of the Trans Pennine Trail. The project has given back a sense of involvement and pride in their local community.
Remember, the Trans Pennine Trail is used in many forms with one of those being for health reasons – which can be recovering from physical operations but also to provide an area where people can also recover from mental health issues.
Thanks are also expressed to our partners at Halton Council who undertook installation of the equipment.
|Beeley Woods, Sheffield||This is a section of route that is just off the Trans Pennine Trail but it has always been the hope someday that it will become part of the Trail and plans are afoot to make that a reality as soon as possible!|
The Friends of the TPT were approached by two local supporters who are the Sustrans Rangers responsible for this stretch and who wanted to enhance the Trail by providing an information board about the wildlife in the Woods. With funding from Sheffield City Council and the Friends of the Trans Pennine Trail a beautiful information board was manufactured and installed at a really successful community/family event, with extra funding from the local Ward Pot to pay for refreshments and a Sheffield Wildlife Trust Education Officer to help organise activities.
The Rangers have since recruited a group of university student volunteers as Wildlife Champions with the aim of enhancing the Trail for people and wildlife and increase the sense of community spirit locally to provide a great place for people to come along and enjoy the woods. There have been regular workdays and further community events, with more planned, and feedback since the initial event really has shown just how important a project of this nature is.
|Godley Turntable, Tameside||The Godley Turntable is located on the Apethorn Godley old railway line, a section of the TPT in Hyde and owned by Sustrans, just off the TPT alignment. The turntable was built in the early 20th century and ended its useful life in about 1968 when steam engine use declined.|
When in use the railway line itself was part of the Cheshire Lines Network which joined the main Manchester to Sheffield line at Godley, adjacent to the turntable. It was an important junction in its day, carrying a lot of freight including coal between the Liverpool / Cheshire area and Yorkshire. Its importance was such that the junction / turntable was targeted during the Second World War, a bomb landing just yards from the turntable, now the site of a small pond.
Sadly all that was left of the seventy foot turntable base was some of the brickwork, two ash pits and part of a wooden walkway around the perimeter used to push the engines round. We knew it wasn’t feasible to bring the turntable back to working condition but there was a great need to get some funding to try and make this a visitor attraction that would benefit not only Trail users but the local community.
Before we ever made the funding bid there was a huge amount of effort from TPT/Sustrans volunteers - spending more than 750 hours of volunteer time removing the many years of growth and trees that had accumulated since the turntable was abandoned.
Only then did it become apparent that we didn’t just need a little bit of funding, we needed a lot more. So we worked with the Heritage Lottery Fund to pull together a bid that would:
• repair the brickwork and re-fix the coping stones
• resurface the base including installing new drainage grids
• clean up and repair the brickwork and steps in the ash pits
• provide an information board and accessible benches
• provide a set of steps to allow safe access down to the base of the turntable (sadly there wasn’t enough space to provide a ramped option)
• replace the remaining rotten wooden sleepers and those forming the perimeter walkway
• install a safety fence
• re-surface the path in front of the turntable to allow access to seats and notice board for disabled visitors
The majority of the works are now complete and already attracting many visitors who can now enjoy this pleasant environment that has been created. This project has also opened up an opportunity for local schools to use the site as part of projects on the history of the railway. The local scouts have been helping out building bug hotels and plans are being made to some mural work with a local secondary school.
|Stockport ||Kathy, our Treasurer, has been working for some time with our local supporters across the Stockport area which highlighted how much we needed to improve the information and facilities for local people and Trail users to enjoy.|
We've had some great results with funding secured funding from Tesco Bags of Help, CDL, Laser Quantum and Stockport Council.
This funding has enabled us to design and install six Interpretation Boards along the route. These are a wonderful way to inform both locals and visitors about the industrial history and heritage, and the flora and fauna that they will come across during their travels. Two clusters of quirky perching posts in the form of hazelnuts and acorns provide some useful resting places for Trail users.
With funding we received via our local Councillors, we now have a powerful leaf blower which will make clearing the TPT of leaves etc. over the Winter much easier and quicker ...and it's good fun to use!
We also have two new benches, part funded by a local business, Laser Quantum, which provide a much needed resting point and also give people a focus of somewhere where they can sit and just enjoy the area.
|Burn Airfield, Selby||Following frequent reports of winter flooding where the TPT crosses Burn Airfield south of Selby, the Friends successfully applied to Sport England for a grant to provide a weatherproof 2m wide path along the existing route, raised above the water levels where necessary. Our application was actively supported by Selby and North Yorkshire Councils, with the latter contributing financially to widen the path to an NCN-standard 3m. A public attitude survey held in spring 2020 showed widespread public support locally and indicated increased usage not only by travellers on the TPT but by runners, dog-walkers and people just taking exercise.|
The upgrade will be supported by an activation project to promote use and enjoyment of the new path section, including by the publication of leaflets and the provision of information boards relating the history of the Second World War airfield.
Friends hope that work can start on the path upgrade later in 2020.
|Skelton Grange Road Bridge, Leeds||A steep, open concrete staircase up to a bridge carrying the TPT across the Aire Navigation at Skelton Grange has long been a severe obstacle for travellers to and from Leeds. Various solutions have been considered over the years only to be rejected n grounds of practicality or cost. However, the resurfacing of the TPT from Leeds towards Woodlesford funded by Highways England and completed in March 2020 by Sustrans underlines the need to make this route accessible and safe for everyone, including families, disabled users and those with heavy or non-standard bikes.|
Friends Trustees are working with the Leeds Cycle Campaign and others to achieve a safe and accessible crossing at Skelton Bridge. A petition launched in March 2020 now has nearly 2,000 signatures and work is starting on a campaign video illustrating to public authorities and potential funders the necessity to open the route.
To add your name to the petition go to: