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Doc Martin star to open Pennine trail
COMIC actor Martin Clunes is to visit Clapham next week to open the final section of a national trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
The star of programmes such as Men Behaving Badly and Doc Martin is president of the British Horse Society.
He will be in the village on Tuesday to celebrate the launch of the Pennine Bridleway, a 205-mile pathway from Derbyshire to Cumbria.
A special event will also take place in Horton-in-Ribblesdale on Sunday, June 17 when horse riders take to the bridleway.
The bridleway, a project Natural England has been developing for years, has involved creating a trail across previously inaccessible land, and the 85-mile stretch to be opened this month runs from the south of Kirkby Stephen to the top of the Mary Towneley Loop in the South Pennines.
The finishing touches are also being made to eight A4-sized maps showing the route at a scale of one to 40,000.
Horse-friendly gates with high-level catches, as well as lower ones, have also been created along the route so that riders can enjoy the countryside on horseback.
Janet Cochrane, one of the organisers of the June 17 event, rode the route recently and said: “It was brilliant not to have to keep getting off and on again for the gates – we went through about half-a-dozen and didn’t have to dismount once.”
Ms Cochrane, a director of the Ride Yorkshire Foundation, is helping to organise a ‘funride’ from Horton Quarry as part of the celebrations with the British Horse Society.
Gill Woods, Ride Yorkshire’s Dales’ co-ordinator, said: “We’ve been developing circular rides to link with the new trail, and we’re expecting it to give a boost to local horse and rider B&Bs and catering businesses.”
Ms Woods, from Selside, has identified eight and 11-mile circular routes for the June 17 pleasure ride using long stretches of the Pennine Bridleway as well as quiet lanes.
Proceeds from the ride will be split between the British Horse Society to support their work of maintaining equestrian access to the countryside and the Ride Yorkshire Foundation, which aims to get more disadvantaged groups and children and adults with physical, learning and emotional disabilities riding.
Entry for the fun ride costs £20, which includes food from the Crown at Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
For details, go to www.ride yorkshire.org, email janet. firstname.lastname@example.org or phone her on 07773 422413.
Anybody willing to provide horse and rider accommodation along the Pennine Bridleway should also get in touch.