A team from Yorkshire’s own national heart charity Heart Research UK has been helping keep the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park in tip-top condition. Eleven staff got stuck in with picks, spades and wheel barrows to dig trenches, install drainage and refill a footpath in Horton-in-Ribblesdale alongside Rangers from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and Friends of the Three Peaks.
Heart Research UK has been a member of the Friends of the Three Peaks for the last three years. The charity’s annual fund-raising Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge takes place on Saturday (18 June) and this year it will be giving even more to help maintain the area. Barbara Harpham, National Director of Heart Research UK said, “We’ve run a Three Peaks challenge for 15 years now and the people in the area have always been very supportive and welcoming to us. Through our partnership with the Friends of the Three Peaks we want to show that we take the enhancement and preservation of this stunning landscape seriously and we’re not afraid of a bit of hard graft to do our bit to maintain it for walkers and visitors.”
Steve Hastie, the Authority’s Three Peaks Project Manager, said, “The route’s popularity means there is always a list of jobs to do in order to keep the footpath network in good condition, so the practical help of corporate members – in terms of volunteers, materials and donations – is a great help. Many charities use the Three Peaks route as a means of raising cash and they donate £1 for each participant in the event towards the maintenance fund for the footpath network around the Three Peaks. Having seen exactly how much work is needed, this year Heart Research UK has generously increased its donation to £1.50 per walker – let’s hope others follow this fantastic example!”
The Friends of the Three Peaks group was launched last year and is latest phase in a new, three-year project to try to protect and conserve the area, which, in 1986, was judged to have the most severely eroded footpath network in the UK. The Friends group was created to provide a mechanism for individuals or organisations to commit to longer-term support for the Authority’s work in the area through annual donations that are ring-fenced for work on and around the Three Peaks. The group has an annual membership fee of £10, although you can pay more if you wish. As a ‘Friend’ you will receive regular newsletters, be able to go on Friends walks and have the opportunity of becoming involved in looking after the Three Peaks paths. It provides a way for people to put something back into the area.
Anyone wanting to become a Friend should log on to the YDNPA website at www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/threepeaks and complete the form before returning it to Friends of the Three Peaks c/o Josie Simpson, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Colvend, Hebden Road, Grassington, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 5LB along with a cheque made payable to ‘Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’ and marked on the reverse ‘Friends of the Three Peaks’. Alternatively, you can visit a National Park Centre and give an Advisor the completed form and membership fee in cash or cheque.