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Action plan has been unveiled to tackle problems at Britain’s highest beach

Gaddings Dam is often referred to as Britains highest beach
Gaddings Dam is often referred to as Britains highest beach

After two summers of hot weather attracted an abundance of visitors to Gaddings Dam, Lumbutts, near Todmorden, work on a project to tackle some of the issues that have arisen is due to start next month.

CROWS (Community Rights of Way Services) has been working for six months with Todmorden Town Council and Calderdale Council’s tourism and highways departments developing and consulting on proposals to manage some of the problems caused by visitors to Gaddings Dam.

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Villagers and businesses had concerns about litter and inconsiderate parking when huge numbers of tourists travelled to bask in sunshine at “Britain’s highest beach”.

Richard Peters, secretary of CROWS, said: “It is clear that Todmorden has a popular visitor attraction that is not likely to disappear.

“This project does not aim to discourage people from visiting the dam but it should contribute to the management of some of the problems caused by visitors.”

The aim of the project is to urge visitors to enjoy Gaddings Dam but to clearly explain to the realities of visiting the site. It also aims to guide people up suitable access routes to reduce erosion of the moorside and prevent any accidents.

During the hot summer months parking has been a major problem at the beauty spot above Todmorden.

Calderdale highways team has already put down some white lining and, following some comments from interested parties, will do further lining work in the next couple of months.

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Todmorden Town Council proposes to put in a roadside interpretation board that will help people understand the area that they are visiting.

The board will spell out where to park, how to get to the dam and dos and don’ts about litter, fires and more.

The board will include a link to a webpage to provide further information.

There are also plans to clearly mark how to get to the dam as visitors have been going straight up the hillside, damaging the moorland habitat.

Working with Calderdale Highways, CROWS will waymark and improve two routes on public rights of way and put up signage.

CROWS hopes to start work in early October and the project will be done in four phases which will be completed well before the next tourist season.

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