KEEN walkers, residents and businesses are being urged to sign a petition in a bid for Colne and its surrounding villages to become Lancashire’s first Walkers are Welcome town.
The national campaign supports the improvement of footpaths, better facilities for walkers and public transport to reach the countryside.
The Walkers are Welcome accreditation is proposed for the whole of the BB8 postcode area including Colne, Foulridge, Laneshaw Bridge, Trawden, Winewall and Wycoller.
Mr Tom Partridge, Pendle Council’s countryside access officer, explained: “We have until March 29th to get people to sign up. That’s when a representative from the national Walkers are Welcome Network is coming to look at our bid.”
Tom went to Café Cargo at Foulridge Wharf to receive the first completed petition of 250 signatures. Café Cargo owner Thomas Randall said: “Welcoming walkers is a major part of our business and we are part of the Colne district. Our aim is to get 1,000 signatures, so we’ll carry on asking people to sign. If you want us to be the first ‘Walkers are Welcome’ district in Lancashire, please add your name!” he urged.
Mr Partridge added: “You can also sign the petition electronically on our council website www.pendle.gov.uk. You can also send letters of support to firstname.lastname@example.org or addressed to me at Elliott House, 9 Market Square, Nelson BB9 0LX”
Petitions are also at the Discover Pendle centre at Boundary Mill, Colne, and at Colne Bookshop, Colne Library and Pendle Leisure Services offices at Bank House, opposite Colne Muni.
Mr David Penney, of Colne Connected - one of the organisations supporting the bid - said: “If we’re successful, it will help us promote Colne, Foulridge, Laneshaw Bridge and Trawden for walkers to come and stay for a short break or holiday.
“We want visitors and residents to enjoy the many walks that Colne and Pendle have to offer,” he added.
Once accredited, Walkers are Welcome will help improve the footpath network by volunteers carrying out regular surveys so that problems are sorted out quickly, and by campaigning for new footpaths to be created.
Pubs, cafes, bed and breakfast homes and other businesses who want to make walkers welcome can help by sending letters of support to help the council to get accredited. They can then use the Walkers are Welcome logo.