THE Dearne Valley Walking Group will be celebrating their 15th birthday with a festival to support Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The group will be holding the week-long walking festival – which will be comprised of eight walks covering the Dearne Valley area – on Sunday April 7.

Each walk will be led by an experienced member of the group, and are intended to celebrate the natural beauty and rich heritage of the area.

“We chose the Yorkshire Air Ambulance because it’s a service we could potentially use,” vice-chair of the group Steve Pennock said.

“Hopefully we’ll never have to, but it’s a cause that’s close to us.”

The official opening of the festival will be conducted by Mayor Mick Stowe at 9.45am, prior to the first walk at 10am which starts at the Old Moor Tavern at Broomhill.

On April 14, after a week of extensive exercise, the group will celebrate with a well-earned carvery at the Crown Inn in Barnburgh.

“Everything’s coming together now so we can start to get excited,” Steve added.

“People can do just one or two walks if they want, it’s designed so you can take it at your own pace.

“The core walking group is fit enough that they could probably do all eight if they want, but we’re not expecting that.”