School children have helped to launch a series of walking trails that offer things to see and activities to do along the way for everyone in Selby, whatever their age, ability or interests.
The Selby Trails are part of a project created by North Yorkshire County Council and are designed to encourage people to get outdoors to discover the history, nature and culture on their doorstep.
Pupils from Selby Community Primary School helped to launch the trails on Friday, 10 November, with a green carpet event at which they received Selby Trails young explorer packs and balloons. The children discussed the benefits of the trails in the run-up to the launch.
Vicky Poole, who manages the school’s work on healthy lifestyles, said: “It is so important for families to explore new and exciting things that they can do together and rediscovering the area where they live is a fantastic way for this to happen. The trails will encourage the whole community to get out and about and this will lead to improvements in both physical and mental health.”
Funding from the County Council’s public health team has supported improvements to footpaths to create the trails. There are currently ten trails. These range in length from just over one mile to about eight miles. The walks are mainly flat and between them they take in sights such as Selby Abbey, Westfield cemetery, Selby lock basin, David Mayne’s sculpture, Brayton Barff Woods and Fairy Pin Well.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “This initiative helps us to make the most of the area’s public rights of way to showcase the town’s natural assets. It’s an invitation to local people to get out of the house and into the outdoors, to walk, socialise and discover the nature, history and landscape on their doorstep.”
County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, added: “There are huge benefits to outdoor activities, and if you go out with family or friends it can be even more fun. Download the young explorer pack, which includes things to see and do along the trails, and it’s a way of tempting children outside, too, with no cost to mum or dad.”
The free, downloadable trails are at www.northyorks.gov.uk/selbytrails. The website also includes the children’s packs, with fun, free and fascinating things to see and do, plus advice on setting up your own walking group and information about the benefits of getting out and about. Details can also be found on the Selby Trails Facebook page.
The public health team is keen to find out how walking the trails helps people to improve their health and wellbeing. Anyone going out on the trails can help by filling in a questionnaire on the website before downloading a trail, then repeating the questionnaire after three months, six months and a year to chart progress.