Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

Bridge between nature and art at North Lees

This is an archived press release

Thursday 30 October 2008

30 October 2008

Bridge between nature and art

The official opening of Hoodbrook Bridge
Walkers on the Peak District’s glorious North Lees estate, above Hathersage, are able to enjoy a new hand-crafted footbridge specially made at the site.

The Hoodbrook Bridge was made from two oaks that grew nearby in Warren Wood. It was created by Edale traditional craftsman Robin Wood, commissioned by the Peak District National Park Authority, and paid for by Derbyshire County Council.

An opening ceremony was performed by national park chair Narendra Bajaria, together with Mrs Muriel Prigent, 87, whose family farmed the North Lees estate for more than 100 years, and Cllr Jane Marsden, chair of Outseats Parish Council.

Mrs Prigent said: “I used to play here as a child, and my children and grandchildren played here. I love this spot, and the bridge sets it off beautifully.”

Mr Bajaria said: “It’s a great honour for me to open this bridge, which is an excellent example of sustainable development in the national park. It uses timber that was growing near the site, it showcases Robin’s superb local craftsmanship, and it’s a great example of partnership between the National Park Authority, Derbyshire County Council, the parish council and the community.

“I’m delighted that Mrs Prigent, who represents the great heritage of the national park, could join us to mark this occasion.”

Mr Bajaria also paid tribute to national park rights of way manager Mike Rhodes, who commissioned the project, the Countryside Maintenance Team who helped construction, and North Lees estate warden Bill Gordon.

This is the second footbridge made by Robin Wood for the National Park Authority. The first - Golden Clough Bridge at Grindsbrook, Edale - won a Peak District and South Yorkshire Countryside Design Award, to be presented on November 18.

Robin keeps his carbon-footprint low by working on site: “It’s been a lovely place to work,” he said. “I am inspired by traditional woodworking methods. The bridge uses jointing techniques used in wooden boat-building while the curved main beam is similar to those used in local barn roofs.

“I want to create something of local distinctiveness and character. It costs a little more but will last for generations and be crossed by millions of people.”

Oak has a high tannin content - a natural preservative which means it lasts for many years outdoors without using harmful chemicals.

This is an archived press release

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