“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”
Following the recent devastating flash flooding in and around Swaledale, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) Rangers and volunteers and our Farm Conservation Team are keen to help.
Continue reading “National Park Authority keen to help farmers following flooding”
“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”
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”
On an extremely wet and wild day in Wensleydale I was invited to join a group of farmers to talk about rush management. As every keen and eager apprentice should, I snapped up the opportunity to don every conceivable form of waterproof clothing and learn all I could. Continue reading “Let’s talk rushes!”
Farming in the Dales is entering a 10 year period of massive change because of Brexit and the Government’s new policy on farm payments, set out last week in the Agriculture Bill.
Continue reading “Agriculture Bill could be good fit for Dales farmers”
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!”
I first thought work experience was a waste of time, an excuse to get the kids out of school for a week. But how wrong I was.
Doing work experience at Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has been one of the most eye-opening and exciting opportunities I have ever had. From Human Resources to Reception, from the Rangers to the Communications teams (which I worked with), everyone is so welcoming and friendly.
Continue reading “My Memorable Working Week”
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?”
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?”
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!”