TV soap bosses are ploughing £20,000-plus of funding back into Ilkley Moor following a controversial filming shoot which churned up sensitive landscape.

Work recently got underway on resurfacing a track and footpath in one of the busiest visitor areas of the moor, in a moorland improvement project funded by the makers of Emmerdale.

Emmerdale came under fire from the Friends of Ilkley Moor and countryside lovers when heavy vehicles filming close to the Cow and Calf Rocks gouged muddy ruts into the ground in January.

The crew was filming dramatic scenes of a car accident, screened earlier this year in an episode of the Yorkshire soap opera. Emmerdale’s producers recently donated £2,000 to the Friends towards its work helping landowner Bradford Council enhance the iconic and much-visited landscape.

As well as repairing the ground churned up in January’s filming, the television company is paying for the resurfacing of a footpath and track along the edge of the moor, with work estimated to cost around £26,000.

Chairman of the Friends of Ilkley Moor, Owen Wells, said: “After the filming the Friends had many disagreements with Emmerdale as to the funding of the work to repair the damage done by the filming equipment, but I am pleased to say apart from a £2,000 donation to the Friends and funding for the damage, we are most grateful for a further grant.”

Mr Wells said a substantial part of the £26,000 has been set aside to re-surface the path from Cow and Calf Rocks to Backstone Beck.

The TV company appointed moorland contractor Dinsdale Moorland Services to carry out the work and will be paying the contractor directly. Permission for the work was obtained from Natural England and English Heritage.