Boost for Walkers' Action Group

Hebden Bridge Walkers’ Action is campaigning for Hebden Bridge to be the country’s first Walkers Welcome town, and as sign of support Hebden Royd Town Council has awarded the group a £200 startup grant.

What’s your favourite local walk?  That’s the question which Hebden Bridge Walkers Action group have set local people – and the answers they receive will be posted on their new website,

From the HBWA website

Hebden Bridge Walkers Action is a newly formed community group set up by a group of walkers and country-lovers living in and around the town who argue that  Hebden Bridge can do more to promote its network of footpaths and bridleways.

Among other objectives, the group have the target of making Hebden Bridge the first official Walkers Welcome town in Britain.

 “We have the potential to capitalise on our town’s great location and interesting history.  We’ll be campaigning to ensure that visitors can find out more easily how to undertake walks from the town centre, especially to Hardcastle Crags.  We’ll also be checking to ensure that the council maintains all the paths in our area in first-class condition,” says Andrew Bibby, chair of the group.

In order to obtain official ‘Walkers Welcome’ status for the town, Hebden Bridge Walkers Action needs to demonstrate support locally for the initiative.  One challenge is to collect the necessary signatures of 250 local residents, and petitions will shortly be available for signing in several local shops.  The group also plans to talk to the local business community, Hebden Royd council and other parish councils in the area.  “This is something which should benefit the whole town – it should mean more money coming into the local economy, as well as better access to the countryside for those of us living here,” says Andrew Bibby.

The Walkers Action website is central to the group’s planned activities, and the selection of walks submitted by local people will be a key feature of the site.  “We’re looking for everything from short strolls to half-day hikes,” Andrew Bibby says, adding that the group is waiting to see which walks come top of the favourites list.  “Everyone has somewhere they really like to go.  We’re expecting Hardcastle Crags,  Lumb Falls and Crimsworth Dean, Hebble Hole and the Colden valley and Jumble Hole Clough to feature in many people’s lists of favourite walks.  But we’re also expecting some less obvious choices.  The main thing is that as many people as possible send in their contributions,” he adds.

Hebden Bridge Walkers Action has already had preliminary discussions with Calderdale Countryside service officials and National Trust staff, towards the aim of improving the footpath route between Hebden Bridge and Hardcastle Crags.  At present, the route is not easy for visitors to find, and a leaflet produced many years ago to help walkers has long been out of print.

The group is planning a public event later this year to carry forward its work, and hopes that the town will be able to announce its new ‘Walkers Welcome’ status in time to attract walkers early in 2007.

More details about Hebden Bridge Walkers Action can be found on the website, or by ringing HB 844026.

Hebden Bridge Walkers Action - website

We try to make sure that the Hebden Bridge Web news is correct, but if you are aware of any errors or omissions, please email us

If you have comments on Hebweb news please make a contribution to our discussion forum

More news from the Hebden Bridge Web