Off-roading in a Trampa

Jill Sykes
 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

The Journal of 2013 carried an article by Roger Moore about a recently built bridge over the River Ribble taking the Pennine Bridleway from High Birkwith to Selside. I was fascinated by an arched bridge made up of small lengths of timber but expressed my regret to Roger that I could no longer walk the mile from the nearest road to see it.

Last September, to my delight, Roger and his wife Anne organised the loan of a Trampa from the National Park who in turn had borrowed it from Lancashire County Council ... no light-weight affair but a vehicle that would manage the comparatively rough terrain of the Bridleway.

Peter Lambert of the National Park staff delivered the Trampa and accompanied us from the Selside end under the railway and to the Low Moor Bridge. He had been the local supervisor when the bridge was designed and constructed by the Forestry Commission in 2011 and so was able to show us the novel building method. I was able to get close to see under and into the arches. Peter later let me see photographs taken during construction and the working drawings.

We finished the morning with welcome tea and scones at Blind Beck farm tea-rooms to the north of Horton-in-Ribblesdale. There is a 17th century carved salt cupboard to wonder at over a meal. The thrill of the old, after the thrill of the new!

I was so pleased, and grateful to the National Park, to be able to travel about two miles off-road and my three companions all enjoyed the opportunity to see the bridge again.