THERE is no doubt the thousands upon thousands of feet that pound the Yorkshire Three Peaks route every year are leaving their mark.

At points along the most frequently used ‘challenge’ route to Penyghent, Ingleborough and Whernside, the evidence is there to see - deep groves have been created in the rights of way, and where walkers have gone off the path, perhaps to overtake slower people, or to avoid the mud, the paths have been made wider, encroaching ever more into the landscape that we all love so much.

The ‘peaks’ have been as popular as ever this year, and now added to the eroded sections of footpath is that from Brackenbottom up Penyghent, the lowest and perhaps most popular of the mountains.

The national park rangers service has put up signs urging people to ‘dig deep’ and help save the landscape from further erosion, and indeed, the path is in a bad way, a section has been roped off, and arrows urging people to not stray - on a busy day, there must literally be a queue of people patiently waiting in line, as is the case on the final, narrow climb to the top, where it is not so easy to make a diversion.

For most walkers, it is the ‘peaks’ they want to conquer, but for those of us who know, there are similarly challenging climbs close-by, but without the crowds.