“Any otter poo?” asked Craven farmer Philip Metcalfe, as
he fixed a fence by the side of the road earlier this month.
“No, but there was a white clawed crayfish and a bullhead,” replied Environment Agency officer Iain McDonell, who had wound down his car window to talk.
Continue reading “How the Environment Agency is working in the YD National Park, pt. 1”
If you are already in a hole, don’t make it deeper. But a man from Bradford forgot this adage when he got his Land Rover stuck in a shake hole on moorland between Settle and Malham in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Continue reading “A cautionary tale from a green lane”
Arkengarthdale and Swaledale are very much open for business after the floods a week ago today.
Great walking, cycling and hospitality experiences await, but it is worth taking a moment to work out ways round the 23 temporary path closures that the floods have caused.
Continue reading “Open for business! But check for path closures”
“How do I find a way to make 37 acres pay a living?”
That was the question Alison O’Neill said she asked herself when she became tenant of Shacklabank Farm near Sedbergh.
Twenty years on, her remarkable story is being told in a special exhibition at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes.
Continue reading “Woman makes success of hill farm”
The Askrigg Bottoms hay meadow (above) – one of the most special places in the Yorkshire Dales National Park – is about to be cut.
Continue reading “Finding a future for Dales wildflower meadows”
Officially Sedbergh is in Cumbria although most locals are sticking to it being in Yorkshire. Either way, the old West Riding town is definitely not in Lancashire.
Continue reading “Lancashire Cricket play home match in… Yorkshire!”
Rangers are knee deep in mud installing flags across a short but boggy part of the Coast to Coast footpath on Ravenseat Farm, home of the famous shepherdess, Amanda Owen.
Continue reading “Making tracks on the ‘C2C’”
This is Elizabeth Lamb. She has done something marvellous for one of the newest and most idyllic parts of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Continue reading “Generous gift opens up Smardale”
At the moment it looks like a lot of wood, wire and green plastic, but in just a few years’ time this new hedgerow will become a ‘highway’ for the highly endangered – and super cute – hazel dormouse.
Continue reading “Dormouse ‘highways’ created in Wensleydale”
A defining moment for the Yorkshire Dales National Park came on 11 April 1989, nearly three months after then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher received a letter from Dales businesses.
Continue reading “30 years since Settle-Carlisle reprieve”
“It’s the Amazon on our doorstep,” says Jenny Sharman as we walk onto an area of peat moorland near Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales. “And it’s as if we’ve chopped it down.”
Continue reading “Restoring the Amazon of the Yorkshire Dales”
They point the way for millions of people every year, but how are the fingerposts and signs in the Yorkshire Dales National Park made?
The answer is to be found in a well-lit corner of a workshop in Grassington. Continue reading “Behind the signs – the man and the machine”
From where I’m sitting at a desk in Bainbridge, gazing out of the window (hard life), the Yorkshire Dales National Park is looking mighty fine. But is it as lovely as it looks? Just what is the state of nature in the Park? Do we even know?
It was these questions which prompted me to take a look at a piece of work our wildlife conservation team has been conducting since the start of the decade.
Continue reading “How are ‘priority habitats’ assessed in the Yorkshire Dales National Park?”
It started with a chance conversation with a workmate who commutes to our offices in Bainbridge from Sedbergh. Had I seen the young ash trees dying on the Garsdale road verges? I confessed I hadn’t.
A week or so later I was driving that way and my eyes were opened. It was true. All along the Garsdale road there were young ash trees in a bad state. It was mid-summer, but their branches were bare. Continue reading “So quick? The unstoppable spread of ash dieback disease”
It’s not every day you see something “very special and rare”. Yet that’s what I could boast last night, having visited two of the finest wildflower hay meadows in the Yorkshire Dales.
Continue reading “Wensleydale farm payment pilot: how does it work?”
These lambs seen last night in Hawes seem a good hook into this article which was first published in the Yorkshire Post on Sat 17 March 2018:
Right now it’s all cuteness and joy in the hills, but when lambing really gets going in a few weeks’ time few farmers will be able to get by without at least a momentary grumble. When the tiredness kicks in, and the work seems endless, the perennial question will come: ‘Why do I do this?’ Continue reading “How lovely to see you!”
In my opinion the very essence of the Dales is a field of cows chewing on the August fog. Cows are such peaceful, steady creatures. My fondness for them started in childhood, with my granddad and uncle keeping a herd of thirty on the farm in Upper Wensleydale.
Few mornings would be so cut through with seriousness as those when the farmyard would be sealed off so that the great bull could come out to serve the cows. Few sounds would be so pleasing as the pulsating of the overhead pipes in the shippon at milking time. Few tastes would be so good as the fresh milk. Continue reading “Hear the ‘Voices From The Land’”