The moors above Hebden BridgeThe Pennine town of Hebden Bridge celebrates its Walkers Are Welcome status this Sunday.

Ramblers’ Association chairman Kate Ashbrook will be helping the town celebrate and urging others to follow its lead.

She will join Natural England board member Pam Warhurst who will open the event in the West Yorkshire town at 10.30am. Hebden Bridge is the first centre in the country to gain the accolade, which involves maintaining footpaths in a good state, encouraging use of public transport and providing other facilities for walkers.

Ms Ashbrook said: “The Ramblers’ Association is delighted to see Hebden Bridge designated as the first town which welcomes walkers.

“Walking is great exercise and, with obesity on the rise, it is more important than ever for people to make walking part of their daily lives. We hope this initiative will be a model for other towns in Britain, encouraging as many people as possible to go for a walk — and encouraging the local authorities to get their paths in good order.”

Kate AshbrookKate Ashbrook, right

Hebden Bridge Walkers Action is behind the campaign to have the town, famous for its accommodating attitude to alternative lifestyles, designated as walker-friendly. The group has developed three new walking trails around the town.

The day if free, but some events need booking to ensure a place. Read the details on the group’s website. Moffat, in the Scottish Borders, is expected to follow suit with Walkers Are Welcome designation some time this spring.

See also: Pennine town celebrates Walkers Welcome status