YOUNG entrepreneurs proved they are a step ahead of the game with an innovative new business idea to get more people out walking.

The Ripon Grammar School students were awarded ‘Best sales team’ at the Asda Young Enterprise Trade Fair when they demonstrated their novel new walking app for the first time.

They won over the public and a panel of judges with their impressive Point of Interest app, which includes fun facts and information about wildlife, history, landmarks and community events linked to local walks.

One of the students involved in designing the app, Araminta Praud, 17, from Kirkby Hill, explained: “We want to help support the local community and make people aware of all the things there are to do in our area.

"But it’s also about making walking fun for younger people, to get them off their computers and out into the outdoors.”

Charlotte Crum, 16, from Ripon, stressed that connecting with nature was now more important than ever: “The world is getting more digital every day,” she said.

Joe Noble, 17, from Kirkby Malzeard added: “We live in such a beautiful part of the country, we want to show people what is out there for them to enjoy.”

The students, who started developing the app in September, are currently carrying out research into their proposed walks and are hoping to link up with community groups and walking clubs to help them take it further.

Emmi Scaife, 17, from Ripon, explained how they are also hoping to connect with local health agencies: “It is so important for our health, both physical and mental, to get outdoors and walk more.”

Although the team has been concentrating on the local Ripon area to begin with, they plan to roll the app out over a wider area.

They have also been selling walking-related products, such as hand warmers, hats, socks, gloves and portable chargers, both to raise funds and increase awareness of their product.

Judges, including the Mayor of Harrogate Coun Bernard Bateman, MBE, Mayoress Linda Bateman and industry experts from Asda, commented on how well the team engaged with members of the public at the launch.

A nature scene backdrop they created, with face cut-outs for children to have their photographs taken, was just one of the things which helped to draw the crowds to their stand.