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National Trail Register: the Pennine Bridleway to be added to the list of National Trails

The new bridge at Selside

From 1st January 2013, the Pennine Bridleway, which was officially opened on 12th June 2012, will be added to the list of National Trails on the National Trails Register, and so completion of this new Trail can be counted towards a Bronze (minimum of 5 National Trails completed), Silver (10) or Gold (15) Award. All those who already hold a Diamond Award, for having completed 18 National Trails without the Pennine Bridleway, will retain their Diamond status. But from 1st January 2013, all new applicants for a Diamond Award must have walked all of the National Trails including the Pennine Bridleway, 19 trails in all. A new Diamond Level certificate will be available from the start of 2013, which states that all 19 National Trails have been walked. Those at Diamond Level already, but who subsequently walk the Pennine Bridleway, can claim for a new “19 National Trails” Diamond certificate, if they so wish. No doubt many already at Diamond level will wish to do this, but it was decided, although the Diamond Award is intended for those who have completed all of the National Trails, not to demote all those presently at Diamond level down to Gold until they complete the Pennine Bridleway. These walkers attained Diamond Level before the Pennine Bridleway had been added to the list of National Trails on the Register, and some may now be unable to complete the new Trail because of reasons of health or age, so it would be unfair to deprive them of their Diamond status. A new NT Claim Form, which includes the Pennine Bridleway, will soon be available on the LDWA website, or from the Recorder by emailing him or by sending a SAE. The Pennine Bridleway is at present about 200 miles in length, from Middleton Top in Derbyshire to The Street near Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria, but there are plans to extend the Trail further north, so that eventually it will extend over the entire Pennine chain and thus be over 300 miles in length. It is likely that this extension will not be opened for many years, so for the present only the currently opened length of the Trail has to be walked when including this Trail in your application to the Register (the Mary Townley Loop, a significant part of the Trail, must be walked when including the Pennine Bridleway in your claim). Although the new trail is a bridleway throughout its entire length, so can be completed on horseback or by mountain bike, for the purposes of the LDWA NT Register it must be walked, not ridden. More details in the full Annual Report of the NT Walkers’ Register in next April’s edition of Strider.