Appeal launched to restore treasured beauty spot in Ripon

Coun Stuart Martin with his dog Meg on the Fairy Steps.(1710141AM2).

Coun Stuart Martin with his dog Meg on the Fairy Steps.(1710141AM2).

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An appeal backed by the Ripon Gazette has been launched to protect and restore one of the city’s most treasured beauty spots.

Ripon City Councillor Stuart Martin was contacted by a resident who raised concerns about the deteriorating condition of the Fairy Steps - a much-loved and scenic walking route for many in the district.

Coun Martin and the Gazette is inviting readers to get in touch and share anything they know about the history of the steps, which are near the Rustic Bridge.

Coun Martin said: “The concrete is coming away from the steps, and floodwater has eroded them.

“This is a local beauty spot. We want to see them in good condition. We have got to do the best we can to protect the Fairy Steps, they are heritage items.

“If readers can contact me if they know anything about the history of the Fairy Steps, that would be fantastic because we can then look at applying for some funding when we know more about them - or if anyone is interested in helping to restore the steps, please get in touch.”

This is not the first time that residents have emphasised the importance of protecting the steps from floodwater.

In 2008 the Gazette published a letter from a reader which said: “My main concern is the state of the area around the Fairy Steps, the erosion is putting the whole structure at risk.

"These Steps are of national historical importance, reconstructed by the Army during the First World War to enable horse-drawn field guns to be deployed on the higher ground of Hell Wath Common.

“I believe this structure stands as a memorial to all those soldiers who trained in Ripon and did not return to their homes after the horrors of the trenches.”

Coun Martin said: “I think most people are aware of the steps. When I was in senior school and did cross country runs, I used to go up the Fairy Steps and up to Studley.

“It is a special place to be, I like listening to the water, listening to the birds singing, and looking at the different flowers growing when I walk my dog.

“I got in touch with the ranger from Harrogate Borough Council to discuss what can be done, and now we just want to explore options for funding. We could possibly look into heritage lottery funding or an awards for all grant. We are also hoping to get an engineer out to look at the steps. I am working with officers at Harrogate Borough Council.

"It is a really important heritage site in Ripon and I would implore people to get in touch if they have any information."

Could you help protect the Fairy Steps? Call Stuart Martin on 07811 390448 or email: bigstu.martin@virgin.net.