HORSE riders on the Over Silton to Thimbleby bridleway can look forward to more beautiful views in the coming years, according to the North York Moors National Park.

The path is set for a £40,000 upgrade, made possible by a £30,000 grant secured by the park authority to help improve the bridleway and reduce the visual impact of electricity transmission lines running close to it.

The grant has been allocated as part of National Grid’s Landscape Enhancement Initiative (LEI), which has set aside up to £24m to support small-scale landscape projects in the 30 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and National Parks across England and Wales that contain existing National Grid electricity infrastructure.

The existing bridleway is often left unusable through the winter months when its clay-rich surface makes it impassable for horses and very challenging for walkers. Users are diverted along the busy A19, which is not only a more dangerous route, but also means that they cross directly under the electricity transmission line twice in places where there are long distance views of the line extending towards the horizon.

Richard Gunton, director of park services, said: “We hope that improving the surface of the bridleway will encourage more users onto the route where they will be able to enjoy the special qualities and serenity of the western side of the park.”

Upgrading the existing track to provide a firmer, better draining surface that will require lower levels of maintenance will give a greater degree of choice to users of the bridleway all year round.

The upgraded route is expected to be open to the public from summer 2018, with minimal disruption to public access during the works.