Jane’s Walk For All festival ‘will aid Dales conservation’

NATIONAL park chiefs in the Yorkshire Dales have said the overwhelming response of participants signing up for the inaugural Walk For All festival will provide a real boost to future conservation efforts by taking the strain off the iconic Three Peaks.

Nearly 2,000 walkers of all ages and abilities have already signed up to the inaugural festival, launched by the family of Jane Tomlinson in her memory, making it the largest new charity event to be launched in the Dales for over a decade.

The huge response means the Tomlinson family are set to realise their dream of creating an annual event in Jane’s memory in the countryside where she and husband Mike used to explore.

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And it is hoped it will also help take the pressure off the three peaks, Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent, which are scaled by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority area ranger for Malhamdale and Ribblesdale Cat Kilner, who helped develop the Walk For All routes, said: “We are delighted at all the planning and are looking forward to the day of the event,

“We have spent a lot of time organising this event and talking with the partners and that is really quite key.

“This is one of the biggest events that I know of in the national park and the fact that we have moved it away from the three peaks is a good thing – it relieves the pressure from there where there are an awful lot of events.

“A lot of the Walk For All routes are very sustainable and sufficiently stable for large numbers of people.

“If it is well marshalled and people stick to the routes that are designated, it will be a great day.”

Only a few hundred places are now left for the event, which takes place around Settle on August 14.

Due to the large numbers expected to attend, the Jane Tomlinson Appeal is also urging more volunteers to get involved.

The Walk For All festival, which is being backed by the Yorkshire Post as a media partner, features four routes, covering 26 miles, 14 miles and five miles, as well as a four-and-a-half-mile route for people in wheelchairs.

Anyone wishing to sign up or volunteer for the event, should visit the website at www.walkforall.com.