By Geoff Courtney
CAMPAIGNERS who are central to the bid to have part of the former Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway reopened to walkers after it was ravaged by floods more than two years ago, have until the end of June to raise £300,000 in order to unlock significant additional funding that could see their hopes come to fruition.
The trackbed between Keswick and Threlkeld in Cumbria, now a trail popular with walkers, tourists and cyclists, was closed after Storm Desmond struck with devastating effect in December 2015.
Two original railway bridges crossing the River Greta were washed away, as was 220 yards of embankment, a third bridge was damaged, and a section of raised boardwalk destabilised.
Raise the shortfall
The damage caused was estimated at £5.4 million, and last December Highways England started the financial ball rolling with a grant of £2½ million, while the Lake District National Park Authority announced a fundraising partnership with the Lake District Foundation to raise the shortfall of nearly £3 million.
The foundation funds conservation, environmental and cultural heritage projects, and its fundraiser Heather Askew said the organisation was looking to raise at least £300,000 towards the shortfall by the end of June, which if achieved would release other funding.
She said the LDNPA expected phase one of the path reinstatement regarding design, environmental and planning consents to be completed by July, with phase two, the reconstruction, starting in the summer subject to the required funds being raised.
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