‘Bennerley Viaduct has Facebook followers in Germany’

A Victorian viaduct is to be brought back into use for walkers and cyclists more than 50 years after it closed to trains.

The 1,410ft (430m) Bennerley Viaduct, known as the Iron Giant, is the UK’s longest structure of its kind and, together with Devon’s Meldon Viaduct, is one of only two such viaducts in the country.

The viaduct was previously on a list of “at risk” heritage sites by the World Monuments Fund but has now been repaired.

“There’s Bennerley viaduct tea towels in Hawaii, they’re in Australia, they’re in Canada,” said Kieran Lee from the group.

“This viaduct has got an absolutely tremendous reach. There was a couple of lads with a camera and I thought they were filming wildlife and they’d come all the way from Germany to see the viaduct and they had been following it on Facebook.”

The bridge is owned by the charity Railway Paths, which secured funding for the £1.5 million restoration.

That funding has come from Historic England, the Railway Heritage Trust, the World Monument Fund and Broxtowe Borough Council, with much of the work carried out by volunteers from the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct.

Video journalist: Caroline Lowbridge

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