Sirius and National Park join forces to improve countryside access

The company behind Woodsmith Mine has joined forces with the North York Moors National Park Authority to make improvements to a popular walking route.

Ten staff from Sirius Minerals joined a team of park rangers and volunteers to carry out a variety of access works along the famous ‘coast-to-coast’ path, including the construction of a new boardwalk and replacement of steps.

The enhancements to the footpath cover a four kilometre stretch between Little Beck and Maybeck near Whitby, and are fully funded by Sirius Minerals as part of their section 106 planning permission contributions, which include commitments to landscaping and ecology in the local area.

Sirius Minerals’ £3bn polyhalite project, which involves the construction of the mine near Whitby with a 37km mineral transport tunnel to a processing plant and port at Teesside, has so far made financial contributions totalling £2.4million to enhance local landscaping, as well as funding ecology schemes, promotion of tourism, improvements to education and supporting local people to find employment.

“From the outset, the company has been committed to ensuring that the local community benefits from the project, including through promotion of the region and improvement of access and infrastructure,” said Gareth Edmunds, External Affairs Director for Sirius. “Working closely with the North York Moors National Park Authority allows us to do this, whether it’s through direct financial assistance, or practical help such as the maintenance of access paths like this one.”

The Little Beck to Maybeck stretch of the path consists of a woodland route, where walkers can follow the beck to Falling Foss waterfall via Little Beck Wood Nature Reserve.

“The National Park rangers and volunteers are a committed team and we were only too happy to lend a hand with these improvements and we hope to be able to do it again in the near future, commented Gareth.

“It’s really exciting that local businesses like Sirius are working with the NYMNPA to enhance the National Park and we’d like to encourage others to get involved too,” said Briony Fox, Director of Polyhalite Projects.

If you’d like to volunteer for the National Park, please contact Joan Giles on 01439 772700 or check out http://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/looking-after/volunteering

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