Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

Doctor’s Gate bridleway is saved from being a ‘Bog of Doom’

This is an archived press release

Friday 4 August 2023

Doctors Gate route after repairsRepairs to a site on Doctor’s Gate – a bridleway in the north west of the Peak District National Park, near Glossop – have been completed.

The route is in the Dark Peak area, known for its panoramic views of moorland and brooding skylines. It is popular with mountain bikers and walkers who enjoy the challenges of steep sections and high moorland.

The landowner reported that parts of the route on Mossy Lea Farm had become extremely boggy, in places walkers could sink in up to their knees. The trail had also widened as people sought to avoid the worst parts, but subsequently damaged adjacent moorland habitat.

Work started in March this year to repair 300 metres of the worst section, called a ‘Bog of Doom’ by mountain bikers. Slabs of gritstone have been laid to pave the most frequently waterlogged parts and create steps on some steeper points, provide a safer route and allow the surrounding landscape to recover.

Now bikers and hikers can enjoy the improved conditions knowing that these also protect the surrounding internationally important moorland habitat and the wildlife that makes a home there from harm.

The repairs have been paid for by a grant to the landowner from the Defra-funded Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) programme, administered by the Peak District National Park Authority. Contractors Making Trax completed the work to a high standard at this hard to reach site.

Jeremy Young, the landowner, said: “Mossy Lea Farm is an area managed for vulnerable ground nesting birds including curlew, lapwing and red grouse. The trampling of habitat and disturbance by increasing numbers of visitors was starting to impact the ability of nature to thrive. We were delighted to receive the support and guidance from FiPL in order to make the route safer and more attractive to visitors whilst also protecting the upland habitats.”

Phil Mulligan, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “Restoring routes in sensitive areas is an important task in our role to protect precious moorland habitats, enhance people’s enjoyment of the National Park and support nature’s recovery. I’m delighted that we have been able to enhance Doctor’s Gate thanks to the funding from the Farming in Protected Landscape programme and the support of the landowner.”

National Park ranger Tom Lewis said: “The repairs help stop erosion, protect the peat, allow habitats to recover, benefit wildlife, and people enjoy a better experience because of it. The work will help protect the route for years to come.”

Greville Kelly, from Peak District MTB, said: “We’re delighted with the improvements to Doctor’s Gate – it was virtually unpassable in bad weather and I’ve seen people turn back rather than cross the bog. If anything, we’d love to see more bridleways in the National Park so maintaining existing routes like this in the public rights of way network is critical to us.”

Doctor’s Gate is an ancient route between Glossop and the Snake Summit, recorded as a Roman road. It may have been part of a trackway linking the forts at Brough on Noe, in the Hope Valley, and Melandra, near Glossop. The present way onto the moors was a packhorse route from medieval times to the eighteenth century, and follows a different alignment to the Roman road but carries the same name.

Find out more about cycling and walking in the Peak District at National Park visitor centres at Bakewell, Castleton, Derwent and Edale, or online at

This is an archived press release

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