ONE OF the most famous long-distance hiking trails in Britain has fallen under the stewardship of National Park bosses in Yorkshire, with the help of a six-figure investment.
As of this month, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) is responsible for all 268 miles of the Pennine Way National Trail, which takes ramblers from Edale in Derbyshire, through the Yorkshire Dales and to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders.
The Authority has been given £350,000, which it will receive annually, to manage the trail from Natural England which currently manages 15 National Trails in England and Wales.
David Butterworth, chief executive of the YDNPA, promised that walkers would benefit from the deal.
“The move represents a great challenge and a unique opportunity to bring together for the first time all 18 organisations which have rights of way over the Pennine Trails, and currently share responsibility for maintenance and control,” he said.
“It is a big undertaking, but after a year of shadow-managing the trails in partnership with local authorities, other national parks, charitable trusts and areas of outstanding natural beauty, we are confident we can not only manage this great national asset successfully, but enhance and improve it for everyone.”
The sum awarded to the National Park from Natural England will also be used to maintain and improve the Pennine Bridleway, a 205-mile route between Derbyshire and Cumbria that runs parallel to the Pennine Way.
The Pennine Way, which this year sees the celebration of its 50th anniversary, was the first UK National Trail to open in 1965.