Dairy Days guided walk training

Face-to-face interpretation is a fantastic way to share stories. Our wonderful Dales Volunteers regularly take people out on guided walks so that they can enjoy our lovely scenery and also learn something about it on the way.

Walking group with a Dales Volunteer
Walking group with a Dales Volunteer

For the Dairy Days project we hope to add new dairy-themed walks to our main guided walks programme, based on the walk routes we are currently researching. We’ve organised the first of several training days for our volunteers, introducing them to the Dairy Days project and the stories we have been collecting. The day will take place next week in West Burton, which is the starting point for a new Dairy Days trail up Walden and we have 14 volunteers booked to join us.

This week, we’ve been busy gathering together the various stories we have for Walden and West Burton, including Sally Stone’s childhood memories of Town Head and Nell Bank farms, and extracts from Elizabeth Jane Thwaite’s cheese & butter sales book for Routengill farm

Nell Bank Farm, Walden. Joanne & Roundy the calves with a young Sally Dobbing. Courtesy of Sally Stone
Nell Bank Farm, Walden late 1950s. Joanne & Roundy the calves with a young Sally Dobbing. Courtesy of Sally Stone

There is also some really interesting archaeology for us to look for including possible stackstands and medieval ridge and furrow. There’s field name evidence from the nineteenth century Tithe maps such as ‘Riddings’ which indicates woodland clearance; ‘Broats’ from the Old Norse word brot meaning a fragment, a small piece of land and ‘Rookwith’ meaning Rook Wood. We’re still puzzling over ‘Swartans’ though!

West Burton Trail research in progress
Walden/West Burton Trail research in progress

We’re sure it will be an enjoyable as well as an informative day. Sally Stone is going to join us to tell us all about dairy farming in Walden when she was a child and our Community Archaeologist Doug Mitcham will take us out and hopefully locate those stackstands. We’ll also see if we can find the cheese press stone outside the old Black Bull Inn and the two churnstands we know are along or near the route.

Cheese press outside the old Black Bull Inn in West Burton
Cheese press outside the old Black Bull Inn in West Burton (right-hand side of door)

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