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The Three Peaks walk is a gruelling test of stamina which I completed several times in my youth, but since the old knees started to crumble I’ve only walked them as singles. Despite the pain these hills have put me through, I will be joining the new Friends of the Three Peaks group which is being launched on August 21 by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA).
Local businesses and councillors as well as groups and charities that use the Three Peaks for sponsored walks – like the NSPCC and Heart Research UK – will join YDNPA staff for three walks before gathering at the Station Inn in Ribblehead. It’s the latest phase of a three-year project aimed at protecting and conserving the special area.
Calendar Girl Angela Baker, whose late husband John worked for the authority and initiated the original Three Peaks Project in the 1980s, will become the first member of the Friends,  set up to help support the authority’s work in the area, which sees around 250,000 visitors every year. Anyone wanting to join is asked to make a minimum annual donation of £10.
Steve Hastie, the YDNPA Three Peaks manager, says: ”The group is in its very early stages but we hope next year we will have an events programme they can take part in with activities like ranger-guided walks and chances to do practical things like path maintenance.”
Since the launch of the current Three Peaks Project last October, the authority has appointed Ian Middleton as the Three Peaks Ranger with the responsibility of maintaining Whernside, Ingleborough and Penyghent and the surrounding areas. www.yorkshiredales.org.uk.

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