On 11 December 2020 Dr Neil Hudson MP will be re-opening Smardale Gill Viaduct and unveiling a new interpretation panel that will explain the history of this marvellous monument of Victorian engineering.
The permissive path over the top of the iconic Smardale Gill Viaduct has been closed for a year due to necessary work to up-grade its hand-rails. The work, identified during an inspection in 2019, is now complete and the viaduct is open for walkers.
The 2019 inspection also identified the need for further repair work to the surface deck of the viaduct and its stonework. The Trust has commissioned a comprehensive survey that will take place over the next few months to establish the exact nature and cost of the works necessary to conserve this Victorian monument.
The restoration work is likely to be substantial and costly and NVT will be launching a new fund-raising campaign in the New Year.
Smardale Gill Viaduct stands 90 feet above Scandal Beck in the beautiful countryside of the Westmorland Dales just south of Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria. Surrounding the viaduct is the Smardale Nature Reserve run by Cumbria Wildlife Trust. It is one of the last remaining homes to the red squirrel and a must-do for all visitors.
Donations can be made via the website www.edenviaducts.org.uk or by swiping the QR code on the Interpretation Panels. Every single donation helps.
Neil Cleeveley, Chair of Northern Viaduct Trust said: “On behalf of the NVT Board, I would like to thank our funders: the Yorkshire Dales National Park Sustainable Development Fund, Westmorland Dales Love Your Landscape Fund, the Hadfield Trust, HF Holidays, and Railway Ramblers for their kind donations to the restoration.
“2020 has been a hard year for everyone due to the pandemic. Nature, fresh air and the beauty of our surroundings is of proven benefit for everyone struggling through these hard times. That’s why we’re so pleased that this marvellous viaduct is open again.
“Of course, we have our fingers crossed that the current Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted, as we all hope, in early December so that we can go ahead with our social distanced opening as planned. If not, we review the position following the Government’s review.”