Local walks are being brought to life with the launch of the Scarborough Trails.

group of walkers

The Scarborough Trails are part of a project created by North Yorkshire County Council with Scarborough Borough Council. They are a collection of walks with things to see and activities to do along the way and they are there for everyone in Scarborough, whatever your age, ability or interests.

The themed trails, based in Eastfields, Burton Riggs and Scarborough town centre, are designed to increase access to and engagement with the outdoors, encouraging people to experience the history, nature and culture that Scarborough has to offer.

The free, downloadable trails at www.northyorks.gov.uk/scarboroughtrails mean people can discover everything from the home of the artistic Sitwells to the Easter Island statues that sit on Jonno’s Field to some of the tallest trees in Britain.

The website also includes children’s explorer packs, with fun, free and fascinating things to see and do, plus advice on setting up your own walking group and the information on the benefits of getting out and about. Details of Scarborough Trails events can also be found on the Scarborough Trails Facebook page.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Public Rights of Way, said: “This initiative helps us to make the most of the area’s public rights of way to showcase its natural assets, combining beautiful scenery and architecture with places of historical and cultural interest. It’s an invitation to local people to discover more about the treasures on their doorstep.”

County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, added: “We want to encourage local people to enjoy more exercise by using existing trails around the town and discovering hidden gems by using the downloadable trail maps.

“Many adults are inactive for more than seven hours a day, which increases to ten hours a day for people aged 65 and over. This can increase the risk of developing many illnesses. The Scarborough Trails are a simple way to enjoy walking and having fun while benefiting your health and wellbeing.”

Anyone interested in seeing the difference getting out on the trails makes can fill in an online questionnaire before downloading a trail, then repeat the questionnaire after three months, six months and a year to chart their progress. The data collected will help the County Council understand the effectiveness of the campaign and may be used to support funding bids.

In recent weeks, the Trails have been launched with a green makeover of rows of houses in Victoria Street, which with the help of residents were filled with green balloons, banners, posters and doormats. The Trails team also visited Scarborough’s Seafest and spoke to everyone from avid walkers to intrepid young explorers.

Eleanor Eisenstadt, community liaison officer for the Scarborough Trails, said: “I had a great time speaking to residents about the launch of this inspiring project. Everyone was really excited to download our trail maps and discover the hidden gems right on their doorstep. This was especially true for the parents with young children, who were excited to have free and engaging activities ready for the summer holidays, such as our Hero of the Outdoors interactive game.

“If you’re already a hero of the outdoors and think your street needs a green makeover, contact us via the Facebook page to say why we should green your doorstep. And if you would like to get involved by hosting a walking group or outdoors event or by suggesting your favourite trail or discovery, email info@scarboroughtrails.co.uk.”

As well as the themed trails, residents are encouraged, with the support of the project, to organise their own walks and spread the word about what else the area has to offer. Local resident and nature enthusiast Martin Dove has arranged a series of free butterfly walks at Rowan Fields in Crossgates. The first took place on 4 August when he was joined by a group of nature lovers and some gorgeous August sunshine. Armed with their identification guides, they spotted nine species of butterfly. The walks are continuing weekly throughout August.

This story was published 14 August 2017