A cautionary tale from a green lane

Landrover stuck in shake hole by Gorbeck Road

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.  

He had ventured illegally on to Gorbeck Road, one of 12 ‘green lanes’ in the Yorkshire Dales National Park along which recreational motor vehicles are banned.

But that didn’t stop him posting a message on Facebook appealing for assistance .

The Facebook post which led to policeman and ranger turning up

A member of the public saw the post and, knowing that the vehicle had got stuck in an environmentally sensitive area, called the local area ranger, who in turn informed the police. 

Ranger Rob Ashford and PC Harry Carpenter were soon out on site.  The first task was to get the Land Rover out of the hole.  The tenant farmer (the land being owned by the National Trust) offered to help, for a small fee. 

The Land Rover driver, however, hadn’t enough cash on him, so PC Carpenter went the extra mile and drove him to Settle so he could access an ATM. 

Once the farmer was paid, the vehicle was pulled out of its hole and the man was back on the road. 

Rob Ashford said:  “Management of green lanes has been a success story in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  We have good relationships with recreational motor vehicle user groups and most users know some green lanes have had to be closed to recreational vehicles.  Irresponsible and illegal use of these sensitive routes can be a source of great concern for residents and visitors because of the potential damage to the environment, as well as noise and conflict with other users.”

PC Harry Carpenter added:  “The circumstances were quite unusual in this case.  A lot of green lanes can be used legally, but we do have the odd rogue vehicle user who chooses to ignore restrictions on sensitive routes.  In this case the route runs through a Site of Special Scientific Interest and it was adjacent to the route where the vehicle got stuck .  We encourage people to come forward and report cases such as this, and we will endeavour to prosecute.”

It’s expected that the Bradford man will be summonsed to appear at Skipton Magistrates’ Court to face charges of breaching a Traffic Regulation Order.

How are ‘priority habitats’ assessed in the Yorkshire Dales National Park?

Ecologist Robyn Guppy of Haycock & Jay Associates in Hodgehill Wood near Sedbergh, inputting survey data into a tablet

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?”

So quick? The unstoppable spread of ash dieback disease

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”

How lovely to see you!

Sheep and their lambs in the Yorkshire Dales

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!”

Hear the ‘Voices From The Land’

Cows in a Dales pasture

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’”