“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”
As the National Park Authority’s Member Champion for
Cultural Heritage, part of my role is to follow that area of work – so that I
can understand the issues and challenges it presents and influence the National
Park’s policies and approach accordingly.
Archaeology, building conservation and historic landscape features all
fall within the cultural heritage remit.
Continue reading “Following the work of our building conservation officers”
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”
Volunteering at the Peregrine viewpoint at Malham Cove is a great way to learn about these amazing birds and to give members of the public a chance to see them. We know from comments like “wow” and “amazing” that people really appreciate what we do.
Continue reading “Why I volunteer…”
I’ve been a Dales Volunteer since 2001 and can honestly say that I have enjoyed every minute of my volunteering career.
Continue reading “Volunteering in action”
Children at Sedbergh Primary School were delighted to welcome fifty young eels into the classroom late last month.
Continue reading “EELUSIVE! Sedbergh pupils look after endangered fish”
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”
When we moved to our current flat in Grassington a couple of years ago, I brought along one of the bird nesting boxes from our former home. It’s a contraption made of ‘woodcrete’ – a mix of wood chippings and concrete – very heavy, but also very durable.
Continue reading “A tale of two boxes”
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?”
This spring, I was tasked with some soil sampling to support a farmer’s agri-environment scheme. As support officer for the Farm Conservation team, this is a straightforward but enjoyable task that allows me to practise the skills I need to progress in my job – talking to farmers, map reading, species and habitat identification, and taking photos in the sunshine! Continue reading “Mud pies for grown ups!”
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”
From 21 to 25 May this year, a group of 30 young people from protected areas and rural communities all across Europe, including myself from the Yorkshire Dales, met together in the Cairngorms National Park. The aim was to give our thoughts and ideas, and to discuss the problems we face as young people living, working and learning in rural areas.
Continue reading “The young people of rural areas want to be heard”
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?”
My dreams of having a smallholding recently came true when my family took on a few acres of pasture near our home in the Yorkshire Dales. Long-term plans include hens, bee-keeping, an allotment, a couple of donkeys and maybe some pigs – but the thing I wanted to do straight away was plant some native trees and establish an orchard. Continue reading “Trees for the future”
Perhaps more than ever before, there are many challenges facing our National Park as we look ahead over the next five years:
- Support for our farmers after Brexit
- Inspiring young people to discover, explore and enhance their environment
- The illegal persecution of birds of prey
- Rail haulage of crushed rock from the quarries
- The provision of fast broadband to our communities
- New housing and the retention of access to crucial services like primary schools and GPs
Plans for all of these and many, many more are included in the new draft National Park Management Plan 2019-2024. Now is your opportunity to have your say on what’s included and what’s not. Continue reading “Have your say: What needs doing in the National Park?”
Never has it been easier to identify the biggest, most important issue for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. No, it is not the impact of empty second homes on community life. It is the future of upland farming post-Brexit. Decisions made in the next few years on a new, England-only agricultural policy could shape the landscape of the Dales – and its communities – for the next fifty years.
Continue reading “We want our birds of prey back”