2023 marks a monumental milestone for our small yet might charity; founded in 1973, we are celebrating our golden anniversary!

To celebrate the past 50 years and to ensure ‘50 moor’, we aim to fundraise £50,000! To kickstart this campaign, our Director, Erica, has walked the Stanza Stones Trail.

Walking the trail over three consecutive weekends, Erica began the first leg on Saturday 25 March, concluding the 47 mile walk over the Easter weekend.

If you would like to look back on and support Erica’s journey, please consider making a donation!

Why are we fundraising?

We are the longest-running literature festival in the north. For 50 years we have brought literary giants to the Yorkshire Dales, provided emerging writers and poets with the platform to share their work, and offered children and young people the chance to develop their skills and confidence.

ILF is at the heart of the town’s cultural offering. The work we deliver each year benefits so many parts of our community. But we have to be honest and say that it has been a tough few years. Rising costs, falling revenue streams and standstill public funding means we have much less money to deliver these programmes than we did ten years ago.

To ensure we continue delivering our programmes of work and survive the next 50 years, we need your help.

The money raised on this walk will go towards helping the local communities we benefit. If you are able to, please support us by making a donation. Whether it’s 50p or £50 per mile, we are so grateful.

What is the Stanza Stones Trail?

The Stanza Stones Trail was commissioned by ILF in 2012 as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage wrote a set of poems inspired by the language and landscape of the Pennine Watershed, which were then carved into stones across the upland. These six poems form a 50-mile Poetry Trail between Marsden and Ilkley.

If you would like to experience the trail yourself, each stone can be visited separately via short family walks or as part of a larger route.

You can download the guide for free here.