Dairying has been at the heart of the Wensleydale economy since records began and is still thriving today. The legacy of this dairying heritage is all around, from barns and milk churn stands to cheese press stones and dairies. Evidence from prehistoric farmsteads and field boundaries hints at the farming of cattle since at least the Iron Age.
Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy Wensleydale’s beautiful scenery and also sample the products of the famous local dairying industry, from the eponymous cheese through to ice creams, cream teas; curd tarts and locally churned butter.
The Dairy Days project aims to research and share the story of the industry that helped shaped Wensleydale’s landscape and which still plays such an important part in the local economy. The project is funded by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority with a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Follow the Dairy Days blog to find out how we get on and how you can get involved.
For further information, contact the Dairy Days project manager on 01756 751619 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We mentioned the 50th anniversary reissue of Marie Hartley & Joan Ingilby’s book ‘Life & Tradition in the Yorkshire Dales’ in our last blog post. We got the chance to have a look round the accompanying exhibition at the Dales Countryside Museum yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed seeing their handwritten notes and wonderful sketches about dairying in the National Park.
The Wensleydale Creamery have teamed up with Welcome to Yorkshire to feature artisan cheese-making at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. A little stone bothy will feature traditional cheese-making all set in a Yorkshire Dales National Park themed garden. What a great way to tell the story of our local cheese!
One of the most important sources of information about traditional dairying in the Yorkshire Dales is Marie Hartley & Joan Ingilby’s book ‘Life & Tradition in the Yorkshire Dales’. The pair recorded and photographed life in the area during the 1930s when the last farmhouse cheeses were being made and people still milked by hand.