Rishi has welcomed a major milestone in his campaign to make the famous Coast to Coast Walk a National Trail.
National Trail designation will mean resources being devoted to maintain and upgrade the route which brings thousands of walkers to North Yorkshire every year.
Natural England has now started work on preparing a formal proposal to make a walk an official trail.
The Coast to Coast Walk, which runs for 190 miles across the North of England, is widely recognised as one of the most scenic and beautiful walks in the world but has no official status.
It was devised by the legendary fellwalker Alfred Wainwright and published as a book in 1973 but it has never been made a UK National Trail. Fifteen other long distance routes in England and Wales are designated National Trails and receive modest amounts of public funding for path maintenance, signposting and promotion.
Rishi believes designation would help develop further the walk’s appeal and boost the economy of a vast swathe of northern England the route passes through.
He launched a campaign in 2016 with the backing of the Wainwright Society to have the route from St Bees Head in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire made a National Trail.