MORE than 1,000 people explored the city's mediaeval defences today during the first day of this year's York Walls Festival.

Several organisations including the River Foss Society, Red Tower Community Interest Company, and musicians and dancers have come together to celebrate the Bar Walls in the event organised by Friends of York Walls.

One man is determined to keep walking round the Bar Walls circuit despite the high windsw even after the Walls themselves close for the night .

Brian Mullins is walking for 24 hours in aid of York Mind and completed eight laps before he had to come off the Walls and follow a ground-level route through the night.

During his sixth lap, he was among many enjoying the barbecue organised by York Nurturing Community at Red Tower off Foss Islands Road where the Lord Mayor Cllr Janet Looker was guest of honour.

York Explore, which was already hosting art and reading activities for the festival, came to the rescue when the bad weather scuppered plans for the Friends to have their information hub in Museum Gardens and helped them move into the dry of the central library lobby.

The Friends hope to be in the Gardens tomorrow.

Many children aged five to 15 made the most of the activity leaflets and Wall stamp passport book designed for them.

Joint organiser Martin Hetherington said: "It makes me so proud to see so many people enjoying engaging with the Walls, and I am delighted to see so many young people."

The festival, the second of its kind, continues tomorrow with several activities including music and dancing - as well as walking the Walls either informally or as part of the organised walks.