This is an archived press release

Wednesday 31 March 2004

31 March 2004


National Park boundary signs are being spruced up this spring by the Peak District National Park Authority's countryside maintenance team.

There are more than a hundred boundary signs on major and minor roads announcing entry to the National Park. Signs range from the familiar large millstone on a stone plinth to circular metal signs mounted on walls, bridges and posts. They have become a characteristic part of the Peak District landscape and 'welcome' the many millions of visitors who visit the area each year.

Countryside maintenance team superviser Pam Pickering, said: "The rangers carried out a comprehensive survey of boundary signs noting what was there and its condition in order to produce an annual maintenance programme. They found that 30 signs needed immediate attention so they called us in to sort the problem out."

Metal signs have been cleaned and repainted, several have been replaced. The large millstones have been tidied up – some needed new metal letters on the bases and some needed rescuing from the vegetation that had grown over them.

The Authority's Chief Executive, Jim Dixon said: "The Peak District is a unique and special place and it is important that people know that they are entering somewhere that's recognised as of national importance. I hope too that as visitors pass the boundary signs they are inspired to learn more about the Peak District from our website, publications or information centres, or even better take part in the hundreds of guided walks and events this year across the Park."

The spring clean coincides with the special guided walk that is taking place along the National Park's boundary during April, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Authority's ranger service.

Led by National Park ranger Andy Valentine, for the first time ever in the history of the Park the entire boundary – almost 200 miles – will be walked over 15 consecutive days.

The event takes place between 10 and 24 April, starting and ending at Marsden in Yorkshire. Along the way the walks will take in 194 miles of beautiful Peak District countryside through Cheshire, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, South and West Yorkshire and Staffordshire.

What better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ranger service than walking through some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK?

People are invited to join Andy on the boundary walks on as many days as they want whether they want to walk the entire distance or just want to cover one stretch.

Walkers are encouraged to raise funds for the Peak District Lifeline Appeal. The appeal, coordinated by the National Park Authority and British Heart Foundation, is aiming to equip rangers with 50 life saving defibrillators, one for each year of the service. They will be used by rangers to help heart attack victims in remote areas. The cost of each defibrillator is about £1,000, so every penny counts towards saving a life.

The walks are not circular, but the start and finish points are all easily accessible by public transport. The walks are free and booking is not required. However, booking is essential for people wanting to take advantage of a free mini-bus service from the end to the start of each walk – phone 01629 816290.

There are some steep climbs on many of the walks.

If anyone would like contribute to the Lifeline Appeal but cannot take part in the walks, they can forward donations to the British Heart Foundation, Peak District Lifeline Appeal, Oak House B, Ransom Wood Business Park, Southwell Road, Mansfield NG21 0HJ. Cheques should be made payable to the British Heart Foundation. Donations can also be made over the phone to 01623 624558.

This is an archived press release

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