This must be a contender for the most ugliest access track on the North York Moors. An ugly yellow scar crossing the delightful valley of Tripsdale, an offshoot of Bilsdale. Tripsdale and the surrounding moors are part of the Nawton Towers Estate, sometimes referred to as the Bransdale Moor Estate. In the late 1970s the estate began to allow “public access” in return for various tax breaks, namely relief from inheritance tax. That agreement was signed by the owner of the estate, Lady Clarissa Collin.
Fast forward 12 years to 1990 when twelve major North York Moors land owners, including Lady Clarissa Collin, wrote to the National Park Authority saying that access to the heather moors must be restricted to an “improved footpath system”. I’m not sure what resulted from this, but notices began to appear instructing that walkers to keep to established footpaths. It must have been around this time that the track across was upgraded.
But of course this is all now history. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 designated all moorland as Open Access land. However Open Access land does have some restrictions, dogs are only allowed on Public Rights of Way and bikes and horses must stay on Public Bridleways for instance. It would be interesting to see if the “rights” established by the 1978 inheritance tax break agreement are still enforceable.