A new footbridge opened in May 2002 after a long campaign. It was reported to be the first new bridge for over 200 years on the upper reaches of the Tees. The 80 metre footbridge links the village of Mickleton with the Teesdale Way north of the river. It was opened by Lord Barnard and the Earl of Strathmore, who own lands to the north and south of the Tees, respectively. Councillor Bob Pendlebury of Durham County Council whose backing eventually led to the bridge being built, presided at the ceremony which was followed by celebrations in the village.
The opening of the new bridge has allowed circular walks to be made in the area and it links with the Teesdale Way. Somewhat below the bridge the East Skears tributary joins the Tees from the north. Further upstream another tributary, the River Lune, enters the Tees on its south side. This river has two reservoirs not far from that point, the Grassholme and the Selset reservoirs.