WALKERS are Welcome groups from Wharfedale have been helping the organisation mark its tenth anniversary.

Hebden Bridge became the first official Walkers are Welcome (WaW) town a decade ago and since then more than 100 other communities have received the accreditation.

There are now 26 WaW towns in Yorkshire alone and last month representatives from groups in Otley and Burley-in-Wharfedale joined a national tenth anniversary gathering and AGM in Hebden Bridge.

Members from Baildon and Bingley WaW groups also attended.

Chair of Baildon WaW Bob Davidson, speaking on behalf of the four townships, said: "We were delighted that so many representatives from our local Walkers are Welcome groups were able to be present at this interesting and informative national event.

"Walking is very popular in and around our four communities and we have been delighted to work closely together recently to create the Welcome Way, a 28-mile circular walk which links up the communities of Otley, Baildon, Burley and Bingley.

"We will continue to work together to bring the pleasures of walking to an ever-wider audience and to help ensure our communities continue to offer a warm welcome to visitors who, in turn, help to sustain our local shops and facilities."

A recent national survey showed that since 2007 WaW communities have created more than 1,200 walking routes, covering some 6,400 miles, and brought abandoned routes back into use.

Thousands of miles of paths have also been maintained while groups have promoted the use of public transport and organised annual walking festivals, too.

More details about the work of the local groups can be found at waw-otley.org.uk or baildonwalkersareweclome.org .