FOR THE first time, Britain's 13 national parks are to celebrate National Parks Week next month - and visitors to the Yorkshire Dales and local residents are being asked to get their walking boots on to take part.
The Dales National Park is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and is organising a series of guided walks to mark the week.
On July 4, can delve into Malham's rich and varied past by taking a 2km stroll around the popular Dales village. The walk starts at 2pm at Malham National Park Centre and is free.
On the same day more energetic walkers can take part in the Calf and Cautley Spout Circle Guided Walk. This full-day 18km hike provides the chance to soak up the glorious Dales landscape and spectacular views. The walk starts from Sedbergh National Park Centre at 10.15am. The cost is £2.00 for adults and free for children.
On July 6 there is the chance to explore the famous shanty towns that were created during the construction of the Ribblehead viaduct. The 3km walk commences at 2pm from Ribblehead Station and costs £2.00. To encourage people to leave their cars at home during National Parks' Week, no charge will be made to those arriving by public transport.
The less energetic can call into the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes on July 6 and see a free demonstration of traditional woolcrafts from 2pm.
The disused mines and lime kilns around Carperby can be explored during a 7km walk on July 7. The stroll will be full of historical interest and starts from Aysgarth Falls National Park Centre at 2pm. The cost is £2 for adults and free for children and anyone using public transport.
Also on July 7, Lower Wharfedale Ranger Phil Richards will hold a free drystone walling demonstration at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes from 2pm onwards.
Wildlife fans can join local guide Hugh Kemp on 2km stroll around Snaizeholme. Meeting at Mirkpot House car park at 2pm, he will help participant spot tracks and signs of local wildlife. Booking is essential and participants should bring binoculars. For more information ring 01969 667450.
On 8 July there will be an 8km walk around Grassington, exploring the remains of early settlements above the present village. An expert guide will explain how village farmsteads developed into a thriving mining community. The walk starts at 1.30pm at Grassington National Park Centre and costs £2.00 for adults. Children and anyone arriving by public transport goes free.
Throughout National Parks' Week, visitors can enjoy an exhibition of photographs by Tessa Bunney, showing the people and landscape of Nidderdale. The 'Moor and Dale' show is being held at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes. It is open from 10am until 5pm every day and admission is free.
For more information about any of the events taking place during National Parks' Week please contact 01969 667450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org