VIDEO: Whitby's ancient paths laid more than 800 years ago being given new lease of life

Ancient paths near Whitby laid by monks more than 800 years ago are being given a new lease of life with help from a community initiative supported by Anglo American.

By Duncan Atkins
Monday, 21st March 2022, 2:18 pm

The Monks Trod that connects Whitby Abbey to nearby villages have been buried for over 25 years, but are now being restored to their former glory by the Skills4Work team, who are clearing a long stretch of the ancient paths near Hawsker with support from the Hawsker Court Leet in conjunction with the North York Moors National Park Authority.

Skills4Work is a North Yorkshire County Council programme that helps 16-18 year olds in the Borough of Scarborough prepare for employment by offering them paid work designed to help them on a path to a trade or full time opportunities.

Jason Fenwick, Skills4Work Supervisor, said: “It’s great to be able to restore these ancient paths and bring them back to into use.

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Anglo American Community Liaison Officer Heather King with the Skills4Work team at the monks’ trod near Hawsker.

“We’ve cleared a few hundred metres and have a few hundred left to go.

"A lot of people are walking past and taking an interest in the paths.

"A lot of passers-by had no idea these paths existed and can’t wait to walk on them once they’re completely restored.”

Anglo American funds Skills4Work to undertake projects three days a week in the villages near the Woodsmith Mine site, at Sneaton, with tasks including footpath maintenance, hedge cutting, tree planting, bench installation and maintenance and driveway and paving projects, among others.

Three local youngsters recently graduated from the programme and landed full-time apprenticeships or employment.

Anglo American Community Liaison Officer, Heather King, added: “We’re thrilled to support Skills4Work as the initiative not only directly benefits the communities in and around Woodsmith Mine, but also offers great opportunities to young people in the area to develop skills and abilities they perhaps otherwise wouldn’t be able to, ultimately helping them get into employment.”

Other projects have included tree planting in Dunsley, maintenance at Stanghow Village Hall, painting work at Easington Village Hall and Sleights Sports Pavilion, and the installation of an information board in Sleights.