AN OTLEY councillor is teaming up with a walking group to create a new guidebook.

Councillor Ryk Downes (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) spoke about the North West Leeds Green Gateway when he addressed the recent AGM of Walkers are Welcome Otley.

During his talk Cllr Downes described his experiences of walking and documenting the route which goes from Leeds to Otley and back, taking in a number of sites of interest including Golden Acre Park, Kirkstall Forge and Yeadon Tarn.

Speaking after the group’s annual meeting Walkers are Welcome Otley Chair, Jur Keessen, said:”It was a successful evening where our activities and achievements of the last year were discussed.

“For the second part of the meeting Councillor Downes told us about his experiences of describing the North West Leeds Green Gateway.

“Ryk is proposing to publish this walking route in a guidebook with descriptions and maps, and Walkers are Welcome Otley are willing to assist him.

“As of the meeting Ryk is a member of our steering committee so we’ll have a strong basis for our further cooperation on this project and can research publication together.”

Cllr Downes, who is known as a keen long-distance runner, said: "I also do quite a lot of walking. The North West Leeds Greenway is a route that the city council developed and I helped with by suggesting one or two alternative branches especially around Otley.

"It's a really good route that can be accessed easily by bus which means you don't have to do it all at once and can spread it over a few days.

"It's a valuable green corridor and I thought producing a proper guide book for it would be useful which is why I brought the idea to Walkers are Welcome Otley."

Helping with the publication of the guide was one of the priorities for the year ahead that the group agreed on at the AGM. Other priorities will include publishing, with the Friends of Chevin Forest, two walking leaflets for Otley Chevin, increasing publicity and recruiting new members.

In his report, Mr Keessen said: “Publicity is one of our core aims: to publicize Otley as a walking centre and attract walkers to the area.”