A PROJECT to create a safe route for walkers and runners in Burley Woodhead was finally completed recently with the creation of a set of steps by volunteers from the Burley-in-Wharfedale Walkers are Welcome group.

The steps, up a steep and muddy bank between Coldstone Beck and Robin Hole, complement the new footpath completed in December alongside a busy and dangerous stretch of Moor Road in the village.

The group had raised over £5,000 during 2018 to fund the work which was undertaken jointly by Bradford Council contractors and volunteers. Many local residents contributed to the cost along with donations from Burley-in-Wharfedale Parish Council, the Long Distance Walkers Association, Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust, and Burley-in-Wharfedale Community Trust.

David Asher, chairman of Burley-in-Wharfedale Walkers are Welcome, said: “The steps complete the project to provide a safe and accessible route for walkers and runners between Burley Woodhead, Stead and Burley Moor.

“We had a team of ten volunteers doing the work, supported by Richard Perham from Bradford Council’s Countryside Services.

“The path is fully signed at both ends, so we hope people will now avoid using the road.

“As well as providing new options for people from Burley-in-Wharfedale and Burley Woodhead to access the many footpaths on the moor and the fields towards Ben Rhydding, the route also provides an alternative loop for Ebor Way and Dales Way link users who want to avoid crossing Coldstone Beck higher up on Burley Moor. This can be quite tricky when the beck is in spate.”

To say thank you to everyone who had supported the project, the group held a celebration at the nearby Hermit pub in Burley Woodhead a couple of days after the steps had been built.

Two dozen volunteers, local residents and funders, including from the Long Distance Walkers Association and Burley-in-Wharfedale Community Trust, came together to toast the end of the project.

The group is holding its fifth Annual General Meeting at the Red Lion, Burley-in-Wharfedale, on Wednesday, May 15 starting at 7.30pm, when Richard Smith from Lower Wharfedale Ramblers will give a talk entitled ‘Recovering Lost Footpaths’.

All are welcome to attend, and the group will be inviting suggestions for future footpath improvement projects around the village.

Anyone interested in volunteering, or finding out more about the fortnightly programme of guided walks, visit www.waw-burleyinwharfedale.org/ or email burleywalkersarewelcome@gmail.com.