The Yorkshire Three Peaks route attracts thousands of visitors each year

The Yorkshire Three Peaks route attracts thousands of visitors each year

More than 50 walkers are expected to tackle a Yorkshire Dales challenge, to raise cash to maintain the route they are walking on.

This Sunday’s Walk the Three Peaks for the Three Peaks will involve a circuit of the route up Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough to boost funds to keep the area’s paths in shape.

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has organised the event for its staff and their families, Dales Volunteers and members of the Friends of the Three Peaks group.

The tough challenge involves 1,600m (5,000ft) of ascent over the three hills.

Steve Hastie, the authority’s Three Peaks Project manager, said: “We have asked people to aim for a minimum each of £50 of sponsorship but we are hoping the event will raise much more.

“This walk is a real challenge and, although many people have completed it over the years, it is still a test of endurance and fitness. The route covers a variety of terrains, and even though the paths have been improved over recent years, certain sections can still be boggy and energy sapping.

“The climbs up the hills and the descents have some steep sections too.

“Every year more than 100,000 people walk the Three Peaks and the authority has a huge job on its hands to keep the footpath network in a good condition so that others can enjoy their visits.

“We need all the help we can get in terms of donations of cash, materials and people’s time. This is the first event of its kind that we’ve organised and we hope to open it up next year to everyone if it proves to be a success.”

Earlier this year the national park authority launched its money-raising ‘Hats on’ challenge where walkers are asked to take a selfie of themselves on the summit of the Three Peaks wearing a silly hat.

They are then asked to donate £5 to the project, share their photos on Twitter using the hashtag #sillyhatselfie or post it on the national park authority’s Facebook pages and challenge three friends to do the same.

“It’s a fun way of raising some cash while enjoying the satisfaction of reaching the top and we’ve had some great photos posted,” Mr Hastie said.

“Hopefully a few more will be added over the weekend.”

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