Bradfield 'Walkers are welcome'
We are delighted to announce that Bradfield has been granted "Walkers are Welcome" status just recently. To put it into context, at the time of writing, there were fewer than 50 such accreditations across the country so far. Why seek this when the villages are jammed with visitors at weekends and during holidays? There are a number of compelling reasons for seeking it.
Firstly, one of the tenets of WaW is the support of public transport. This will feature heavily in our publications as and when they become available. The more we can promote the use of the bus services around the villages, the more pressure that can be eased on local roads and parking – Low Bradfield is a key example of where this is absolutely crucial.
Secondly, a key aim is to promote the responsible use of the countryside. Unfortunately, we hear of far too many incidents where walkers leave gates open, let dogs off near animals and their young, leave litter or otherwise cause a nuisance to those who rely on the countryside for their living.
Of course there will always be those who see our area as their playground but I do feel that it is vital that we push the old "Country Code" message as far as we can- this is something that will be featured on the Group’s website. Our aim is to educate visitors and support residents by encouraging responsible walking around the area.
The accreditation should enable us to draw down resources to provide a series of guided walks – again a way that we can control access to some of the more sensitive areas in the parish. We will always attract families and the more serious walkers to the area – being part of the Peak District National Park will make sure of that – add to that the close proximity to the city so we are a natural attraction for visitors.
The group comprised of local businesses such as Our Cow Molly and the Postcard Cafe as well as local residents, and the Parish Council, Peak Park and Ramblers Association have agreed to develop initiative at a reasonable pace as we are tasked with creating a sustainable body with strong links to the community. The first leaflet giving information about Bradfield and displaying an easy walk around the village can be found at the Plough, Postcard Cafe and Our Cow Molly plus other outlets around the area. This will evolve and other walks/trails guides will follow. We are encouraged to learn that the Parish Council has now secured funding through East Peak Innovation Partnership to provide information about walking routes in the area by way of leaflets and interpretation boards together with way-marking and signage. In addition there is a now dedicated Bradfield Walkers are Welcome website – www.bradfield-walkers.org.uk As soon as further information is available, we will make it known.
It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the considerable support this application has received; thanks go to Bradfield Parish Council who have nominated Councillors Mavis and Peter Butler to sit on our steering group and have given us a grant to help us set up, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive who have sponsored our initial leaflet, the Peak District National Park for assisting with our running costs and, in particular, Chris Prescott who has been instrumental in getting the project off the ground and acting as the focal point for the successful application.
The membership of the steering group is evolving but we have appointed Chris to be Secretary, Hannah Isherwood as Treasurer and myself as Chairman. We are proposing to have an official launch event later in the year and when we have finalised dates and details we will spread the word as widely as possible.