Walk And Ride Festival Success For South Pennines

Posted: 9.11.08

The third South Pennines Walk & Ride Festival, organised by Pennine Prospects and held in September, has been hailed as a great success and plans are already underway for next year’s event, which will develop the sustainable tourism theme.

Around 1,500 people took part in the Walk and Ride Festival, with over a third having travelled to their starting point by public transport. As encouraging public transport use was one of the aims of the festival, which was sponsored by Metro, the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority, this element of the event was a great success.

Pam Warhurst, chair of Pennine Prospects, commented: “We are keen to develop this event as a sustainable tourism product, with better links to accommodation and other things to do and much wider publicity, supported by our three sub-regional tourism partnerships. This is one very practical way in which we can help put the South Pennines on the map, while delivering social and economic benefits to residents.”

The average attendance at the 83 events this year, based on the feedback forms received, was 12 people each, split almost equally between male and female. The highest number was 47 on the Ancient & Modern Routes Over Standedge walk led by Alan Schofield of the Saddleworth Historical Society on the second day of the festival.

Other well-attended events included the Wildflower Meadows walk led by Pete Watson of the Penistone Line Partnership on September 20, which attracted 33 walkers and Millstones and Waystones, on September 27, led again by Alan Schofield but this time on behalf of the National Trust at Marsden Moor, which attracted 22, as did the following day’s Foot It From the Flouch walk, led by Liz Colquhoun of Kirklees Countryside Volunteers.

Most visitors came the local South Pennines area and from neighbouring areas such as Leeds, Pendle, Wakefield, Greater Manchester, North and South Yorkshire. But the festival also attracted people from as far afield as Essex, Brighton and London.

Festival organiser John Manning commented: “Many visitors said that they are keen to see the event take place again next year, and the guides were commended on their knowledge and leadership. Visitors were impressed by the area, the variety of scenery and the amazing views. Several were delighted to discover areas they were not previously aware of, and many took part in more than one event.”

The 2008 festival also saw several new contributing groups take part, including the Peak and Northern Footpaths Society, the Friends of Denso Marston Nature Reserve, and the Rough Stuff Fellowship.

Yorkshire Water United Utilities Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council National Farmers Union
South Pennines Association Lancashire County Council Pennine Heritage Kirklees Council Calderdale Council
Bradford District Council Northern Rail Natural England Environment Agency The National Trust