The Pennine Bridleway will eventually enter Mallerstang from the Yorkshire Dales via the High Way

The Pennine Bridleway will eventually enter Mallerstang from the Yorkshire Dales via the High Way

Businesses are being urged to cash in on a new national trail.

The Pennine Bridleway will run for 330km (206 miles) from Derbyshire to Cumbria when complete. Sections of the trail are already open and the authority in the Yorkshire Dales is holding an event to encourage business people to capitalise on the increased number of visitors using the bridleway.

Malcolm Petyt, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s member champion for recreational management, said: “In the Yorkshire Dales, the Settle Loop, which opened in August 2005, has already proved very popular with visitors and is a taste of the high standard of national trail route to come. Visitors can enjoy the spectacular scenery, and businesses have already opened or expanded to service these visitors.

“Over the next two years, new sections of the Pennine Bridleway will be opening in the north of the national park, providing a continuous route through it into Cumbria.

“These new and restored bridleways will provide fantastic opportunities for new businesses including the provision of accommodation and refreshments for riders, cyclists and walkers, stabling and horse box parking and baggage transport.

“We would like to thank the landowners and farmers for their help in creating the route through the Dales. It provides a unique opportunity for local businesses to develop and diversify in line with the principles of sustainable tourism.”

The free workshop, which be staged at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes and will include advice on marketing, business start-up, planning, funding and sustainable tourism, as well as views on the likely needs of visitors on the bridleway.

Natural England, which is organising the event with the park authority, has overseen the creation of the Pennine Way. Anna Righton, Natural England Pennine Bridleway project manager, said: “A series of short presentations and the opportunity to engage with the speakers on a one to one basis will provide local business people with a fantastic opportunity to learn more about sections of the trail near to them, share ideas, network and consider the planning that might be required to develop their business.”

The Pennine Bridleway will eventually stretch from Middleton, just south of the Peak District national park, to the Fat Lamb Inn, near Ravenstonedale. A further 225km (141 miles) northern extension to Byrness, Northumberland, has received the approval of the Secretary of State and will take the total distance to 555km (347 miles).

Bookings for the 25 November workshop can be made with Sheila Ogden on 0300 060 1826.

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