The Dales with a Tolkien twist

Hand drawn map of the Yorkshire Dales

A local artist has taken inspiration from Tolkien to produce a “Middle Earth” style map of the Yorkshire Dales.

Dan Bell, of Crook, has been taking maps of places, including the Peak District and the Lake District, and recreating them in the style of J.R.R. Tolkien’s hand-drawn maps published in The Lord of the Rings series. He’s on a mission to draw one for each of our national parks, and he’s already done ours.

Hand drawn map of the Dales - Tolkien style
Look closely. Can you find Helm’s Deep? © Dan Turner

The maps focus on the memorable drawings of mountain ranges, lakes and forests done by Tolkien, making them perfect for replicating national parks.

It has long been thought that Tolkien had images of the Dales in mind when writing his famous trilogy. In particular it is believed that our very own Gordale Scar was the inspiration for Helms Deep, a tall and narrow gorge. It’s not difficult to see why.

If you’d like to own your very own handcrafted bit of Tolkien inspired mapping you can find out more on Dan’s website – Middle Earths Maps – or find him on Twitter – @DanBell__  

 

 

Down on the Farm

Charcoal burning in the woods

Each year, special ‘Authority Days’ give staff the chance to get involved in practical tasks that help care for the National Park, and to gain a better understanding of other departments’ work at the same time.

This year, the range of important conservation and education jobs included flag laying, path repairs, creating native woodland and a wildlife pond, archaeology test pitting, scrub management and vegetation clearance.

Last Tuesday, I took part in my first Authority Day, so I would love to tell you about what we got up to…

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National Parks Week 2017: here’s what you can do in the Dales!

Guided Walk - Threshfield

It’s that time of year again, when we celebrate everything wonderful and unique about our UK family of 15 National Parks.

The theme this year is ‘Bringing People Together’ and we’ve got lots going on here in the Dales. Come and see for yourself why the public voted us National Park of the Year (BBC Countryfile Magazine)!

We’ve got six super guided walks to choose from, all led by our knowledgeable and enthusiastic Dales Volunteers:

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In the dark of the Dales

As our memories of the dog days of summer fade like the afternoon light of autumn, it’s easy to see why at this time of year many of us turn to the habits of the animal world and find a cosy spot to hibernate in.

But there are some people who refuse to let the reduced sunlight reduce their enjoyment of the National Park.

Looking up through Gordale Scar at the stars
Looking up through Gordale Scar at the stars

One of the simplest and loveliest things to do is just look up. The night sky is truly a wonder, and with so few street lights in the Dales there’s little light pollution to ruin the sparkle of a sky laden with stars and planets. The annual Orionid meteor shower in late October can be stunning on a clear night.

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Keep your half term hordes happy

So, the weather’s a bit ‘plain’, as they say up here, and we’ve reached that tricky mid-way point of half term when ideas are starting to run thin (as are tempers).

What to do? – Maybe we can help.

Our access & recreation team have put together some great ideas on how to keep the kids happy.

Open farms are always a winner. You can feed the animals at Hesketh Farm Park near Bolton Abbey – which has plenty of activities for letting off steam inside and outside, including the giant sandpit and straw maze – and Kilnsey Park Estate has a children’s fishing pond and friendly alpacas to meet.

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