ORGANISERS of celebrations to mark next year's 40th anniversary of the Pennine Way are encouraging walkers to reminisce about the famous trail.
The route from Edale, in the Peak District, to Kirk Yetholm, in the Scottish Borders, became the first long distance footpath in Britain when it was inaugurated in April 1965.
It has since become the best-known trail in the UK.
Final plans for the anniversary have yet to be finalised but the officer responsible for the 268-mile trail is already looking to compile walkers' memories.
"People seem to know what the fastest time is and things like that but it would be nice to hear from people who think they might be the youngest, or oldest to have completed it or have funny memories," said Steve Westwood, the Countryside Agency's national trails officer for the Pennine Way.
"We hear all sorts of stories all the time and it would be great to compile them to mark the occasion."
The Pennine Way was launched on April 24, 1965, when thousands of people gathered on Malham Moor in the Yorkshire Dales.
Mr Westwood said a similar event next year is one possible way to mark the milestone. He said a number of special walks are also in the planning stage.
The Countryside Agency is also producing a DVD of the whole route shot from the air.
About 3,500 people a year pass through the "people counters" the agency uses to monitor the route's usage, with about 150,000 walkers doing parts of it.
The standard time to complete the trail is 16 days, although the record by a fell runner stands at two and a half days.
Mr Westwood said: "I have heard it said that the Pennine Way was completed by up to 10,000 people a year at one time and then it dipped in popularity as parts of it started to get eroded and walkers found other things like trekking in Nepal.
"But there's been a lot of repair work completed and it seems to have picked up in popularity once again.
"It's in a really good state at the moment."
Mr Westwood said he has done the walk four times since he was 17, and his favourite sections are those between Malham and Horton-in-Ribblesdale, in the Yorkshire Dales, and further north, between Middleton-in-Teesdale and Dufton.
Anyone who wants to contact Mr Westwood with their memories of the walk should email him on firstname.lastname@example.org