Every year upwards of 100,000 people walk Yorkshire's Three Peaks route, putting a big strain on the area's footpaths. To help fund path maintenance work a sponsored group organised by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority will be taking on the classic 39km challenge on Sunday 7 June.
The event, ‘Walk the Three Peaks for the Three Peaks’, is being put on for Park Authority staff and their families, Dales Volunteers and members of the Friends of the Three Peaks group.
Steve Hastie, the National Park Authority’s Three Peaks Project Manager, said:
'Every year more than 100,000 people walk the Three Peaks and the Authority has a huge job on its hands to keep the footpath network in a good condition so that others can enjoy their visits.'
'We have asked people to aim for a minimum each of £50 of sponsorship but we are hoping the event will raise much more.'
'This walk is a real challenge and, although many people have completed it over the years, it is still a test of endurance and fitness. The route covers a variety of terrain, and even though the paths have been improved over recent years, certain sections can still be boggy and energy sapping. The climbs up the hills and the descents have some steep sections too.'
'We need all the help we can get in terms of donations of cash, materials and people’s time. This is the first event of its kind that we’ve organised and we hope to open it up next year to everyone if it proves to be a success.'
Since 2004 the management and maintenance of the path network in the Three Peaks area - and indeed the whole of the wider Ribblesdale area - has been carried out by a team of just two National Park officers. To help spread the load they've set up a support group, Friends of theThree Peaks