Walkers welcome in Pocklington

Pock T Council - Pocklington is now a "Walkers are Welcome" town.  John Brown, Sue Douthwaite, Jo Green & Martin Cooper
Pock T Council - Pocklington is now a "Walkers are Welcome" town. John Brown, Sue Douthwaite, Jo Green & Martin Cooper

A BID to have Pocklington put its best foot forward has paid off after it was announced that the town has achieved the Walkers are Welcome status.

Pocklington has become the 55th town in Britain to be granted the special status, which is designed to attract people to the area to enjoy outdoor pursuits.

The successful bid comes after hard work by the Pocklington and Wolds Gateway Partnership, who say they are keen for people to enjoy the area more which would boost trade and tourism.

Leading Gateway figure Jo Green said: “Pocklington’s greatest strength is the friendly service that our businesses provide.

“It was even commented on recently in a national magazine [Countryfile]. I hope this scheme will draw attention to the kind of welcome that is available in Pocklington.”

Chairman of the Gateway Partnership Grahame Hicks said “We look forward to welcoming walkers to the obvious delights of the region and hope that they find many of the hidden gems – some of which are not even well-known to the locals.”

Market Weighton became the first town in East Yorkshire to successfully join the scheme in May, 2008.

Earlier in the year, local businesses in Pocklington gathered signatures to show there was local support for the scheme, which will promote the town through a national network of Walkers are Welcome towns.

Gateway members have been working with Pocklington Town Council and Pocklington Ramblers’ Association to help meet the criteria. They feel the town is an ideal location for walkers with the choice of the hills of the Wolds and the flat land of the Vale of York.

There is the Chalkland Way and the Wilberforce Way, both long distance paths, which pass through the town, with the Wolds Way and Minster Way also close by.

To capitalise on the recent news, there are plans to distribute information around the town outlining programmes of organised walks.

Stickers are to be passed to local businesses to display while a weekend of walks are planned for March to celebrate the new-found status.

The news has been welcomed by Pocklington Ramblers, with member Tony Corrigan saying: “East Yorkshire and Derwent Ramblers are delighted that Pocklington has been awarded Walkers are Welcome status and believe it will attract more walkers to visit the area and also encourage the local community to take up walking.

“Now established for several years, Pocklington’s own ramblers group is recognised as one of the most active in the area with many walks starting in the town or a nearby village. Recognising the importance of supporting a local economy, most walks conclude with tea and scone at a café.”

Gateway’s Jo Green announced the news to councillors at the recent monthly full council meeting, where she was praised for the work.

Speaking to Jo, Mayor of Pocklington Councillor Martin Cooper said: “I would like to congratulate on behalf of the town council for the work you have done. It should be a good thing for Pocklington.”