This is an archived press release
Friday 15 April 2005
15 April 2005
Pennine Way marks 40-year milestone in the Peaks
Britain's first long distance walking trail, the Pennine Way - which starts at Edale in the Peak District - celebrates its 40th anniversary on Sunday April 24.
Hikers are being invited to "Walk the Way in a Day" - registering to walk part of the route so that the whole 268-mile trail will be covered on the anniversary.
The Peak District National Park Authority, which helps maintain the path, has its own Pennine Way ranger, Martyn Sharp, who will not only be walking a 16-mile section but also makes an appearance in a BBC Radio 4 series of dramatised short stories celebrating the anniversary.
The series by Northern writers, each weekday at 3.30pm in the run-up to the anniversary, features real people's voices - including Martyn's on April 22, describing the moods of the Pennine Way in different seasons.
Martyn said: "The Pennine Way takes walkers through some of the most stunning and wildest scenery along the backbone of Britain. Its 40th anniversary is a fitting occasion to pay homage by walking a section of the route."
The Pennine Way was officially opened as Britain's first long distance walking trail on April 24 1965, with 2,000 people at a ceremony on Malham Moor in the Yorkshire Dales. It runs from Edale north through magnificent uplands to Kirk Yetholm in Scotland, with around 3,500 people a year completing it from start to finish, and around 150,000 a year walking part of it on day trips or longer tours.
Tony Hams, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: "It is a privilege that the Peak District is the gateway to such a famous route, which brings enjoyment to thousands of walkers every year.
"It is thanks to landowners, farmers and bodies like ourselves that the Pennine Way has been maintained over the past 40 years, and we will be happy to see it continue for many more years to come."
The Countryside Agency's "Walk the Way in a Day" celebration includes 50 one-day circular walks of between seven and 19 miles. Walkers can register to walk one of the routes at www.nationaltrail.co.uk/pennineway/walktheway.asp where they will receive a full route planner.