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Tourism hopes with new walkers status for Baildon
Baildon has just been accepted onto a nationwide scheme of rambler-friendly towns and villages called Walkers are Welcome, which is supported by Countryfile’s Julia Bradbury.
And the parish council hopes its new status will draw hordes of walkers not only to the Moor and Heritage Walk, but also to the town’s shops, cafes and restaurants.
“It’s great news. We only found out this week that we are now officially a ‘Walkers are Welcome’ town,” said parish councillor Marian Taylor.
Baildon will soon feature on the scheme’s website of recommended UK rambling destinations.
Coun Taylor was on a steering committee set up to gather the necessary 350 signatures from local people in favour of applying for the scheme and to make sure Baildon met the other five criteria needed for approval.
“There are lots of beautiful walks around here, not just Baildon Moor, but also the Heritage Walk, Baildon Green, Baildon Bank and the Riverside Walk too,” Coun Taylor said.
“We are hoping this will bring more tourists to Baildon and naturally that will help with things like path maintenance. And also we hope they will use the cafes, shops and, of course, the new market.”
Broadcaster and rambler Julia Bradbury supports Walkers are Welcome and said: “It’s such a simple concept; set up an accreditation scheme for walk-friendly towns, then encourage the towns to network together for support, advice and ideas.
“It involves all the local community and leads to engaging and welcoming the walkers that they attract as a consequence. More broadly, it shows that people genuinely love welcoming walkers to their ‘homes’; to show off what lies on their back doorstep,” Julia said.
Walkers are Welcome chairman Nigel Botting congratulated Baildon on joining-up.
“We’ve got nearly 100 towns and it’s always good to have another one from Yorkshire,” Mr Botting said.