A POPULAR Saddleworth walking route is to be improved after almost £50,000 wort of funding was secured.
Almost one kilometre of the Pennine Way from Haigh Gutter at Denshaw on the A640 in a north westerly direction will be made better in the scheme.
Oldham Council has secured funding of £43,173.01 from Natural England, via the Pennine National Trails Partnership.
It is also providing £7,618.76 towards the works, which will see the existing eroded pathway being replaced with a new gritstone surface making it much easier to walk along.
Better drainage will also be installed to help stop further erosion of the path and landscaping work will also be carried out.
Construction is expected to begin on Monday, October 16 and will last for four weeks, weather permitting – but the path will remain open throughout the works.
Natural England consent was required for the improvements because the site is designated as an Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is of national significance for the wildlife found here.
The 268=mile (431 km) Pennine Way is the oldest, and arguably the most iconic, of England’s National Trails.
Starting in the Peak District and stretching north to the Scottish Borders, it is one of the most challenging but rewarding long-distance walking routes and is steeped in history.
Pennine National Trail Partnership Manager Jo McAllister said: “This is the largest and final stage of a series of projects to improve the condition of the Pennine Way National Trail in the Oldham area.
“We’re delighted that the work has been made possible and that walkers will be able to enjoy a much better experience on the trail.
“We hope more people will now be encouraged to use this part of the trail to experience the beautiful landscape here.”
Councillor Chris Goodwin, Oldham Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods, added: “During Covid more people started to discover our countryside.
“That love of the great outdoors and getting some fresh air has stayed with people and they are continuing to go out walking and explore what the borough has to offer.
“The improvement work we are carrying out will not only improve walking conditions on this stretch of the Pennine Way but ensure it is accessible for years to come.
“I’d also like to thank council staff for bringing this funding into the borough.”