Hundreds of tons of flagstones piled up on Rombalds Moor for almost six months are finally being laid in place to form new paths.

The 300 tons of paving slabs were flown onto the moor by helicopter in February, ready to be be laid to stop the landscape along popular walking routes being churned up by visitors.

The airlift was put off by bad weather earlier in the year. And when all the stones were finally lifted onto the higher ground, the work could not be completed before the start of the breeding season for ground nesting moorland birds.

The work was delayed until the end of the nesting season in July.

Each stone, weighing between a quarter of a tonne and three-quarters of a tonne, is between ten and 15cms thick, and was salvaged from a demolished mill in Lancashire.

The stones have already been put into position alongside the boardwalks on the Millennium Way, the path to Dick Hudson’s. The boardwalks will be removed which will allow the ground beneath it to regenerate.

Bradford Council countryside officer, Richard Perham, said: “We are delighted after the long delay we have started the work, which we hope to finish by the end of this month. Apart from laying of the flags on the path to Dick Hudson we are also placing them on the path from the trig point to Whetstone Gate, more than 1,000 metres of path improvement in all.”

The work has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the South Pennine Watershed Landscapes and aims to prevent erosion of the uplands landscape.