Much-loved Yorkshire artist Ashley Jackson put pencil to sketch pad to launch this year’s Yorkshire Dales Walking Festival.

Ashley is backing Walk For All’s new Wake Up to Walking campaign, which kicks off the countdown to the event on Sunday, August 18.

The Holmfirth-based artist officially launched the campaign by braving the elements to complete an outdoor drawing of Penyghent – one of the famous Craven peaks which will feature in this year’s walking festival.

The artist and TV personality was joined by Mike Tomlinson, who leads event organisers Jane Tomlinson’s Walk for All, and representatives from the many charities who will benefit from the walking festival, which features five, 14 and 28-mile courses for all ages and abilities.

Ashley, who is famous for his Yorkshire landscapes, said he was thrilled to be supporting the Dales event, which encourages people to get into the great outdoors.

He said: “I always say about the landscape ‘That many people look but few see’ as in they have no time to stop and see the intricacies.

“The same can be said about worthwhile charities: unless you have been involved or supported by such an organisation you don’t always see the important role that they play in an individual’s life.

“The Yorkshire Dales Walking Festival is a fantastic way to combine both supporting charity whilst enjoying the superb scenery of Malham Cove, Penyghent and Ingleborough which I have painted many times.”

Mike said the Yorkshire Dales Walking Festival would always have a place close to his heart, beginning in and around Settle, his home town.

He added: “Settle will always be a special place for my family. I’m always moved on event day to see so many people filling the market place and then setting off for a great day’s walking.

“We always wanted to do a mass participation walk and this was the first one we launched. I’m still blown away by the support it has had from day one and I think this year will be even bigger and better than before.”

Proceeds from entry fees will go to the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, which in turn shares funds, primarily, between children’s and cancer charities.

It is named after Mike’s wife, Jane, who raised more than £1.75 million for charity after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Walkers can raise funds for any cause of their choice but are particularly encouraged to support the festival’s partner charities, which include: Macmillan Cancer Support, Martin House Children’s Hospice, Diabetes UK, Heart Research UK, Epilepsy Action, Yorkshire Cancer Research, Parkinson’s UK, Arthritis UK and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

To sign up, visit the website