AUTHOR OF more than 50 books on the Yorkshire Dales, Colin Speakman, helped launch Burley-in-Wharfedale's new Walkers are Welcome group.

Ilkley resident, Mr Speakman, is a founder of the Yorkshire Dales Society, and key supporter of both walking and the use of public transport in the Dales.

He gave a talk on the history of walking for pleasure, at the launch event, on the first day of Burley Summer Festival.

More than 60 people attended the event and watched David Asher, chair of the group present the Chairman of the Parish Council, Councillor John Grimshaw, with a certificate confirming the village was now officially a Walkers are Welcome Village.

Mr Asher acknowledged the excellent cooperation between local organisations and residents which had led to the group’s formation and to the publication of the group’s first walking leaflet.

He said: "We are keen to hear from local people about which of the many walks around the village they would like to see profiled in any future leaflet."

The group is also hoping to join forces with neighbouring Walkers are Welcome groups in Otley, Baildon and Ilkley in promoting walks between the communities.

The group can be contacted through its new website,