News en route
New Friends' Newsletter
The Spring 2018 edition of the Friends of A Dales High Way newsletter is now available.
The newsletter focuses on the 10th anniversary of the
long-distance trail and the events that have been organised to
In particular, a series of led walks along the entire length
of A Dales High Way - Walk the Trail 2018
- is announced with an invitation to join the Friends on this
sectional epic adventure.
The walks will take place from mid-May, every fortnight or so, making use of the
excellent public transport links along the route, particularly
the Settle-Carlisle railway.
Also included is a full roundup of the improvements to the
trail that have been undertaken by rangers for the 4 responsible
authorities along the route, and others. Work by the landowner
to clear a notoriously boggy section above Addingham, in
particular, has made a huge improvement.
This edition's Top 10 features Bridget and David's best tips
for long-distance walkers - the things they wished they'd known
before they set off....
There's also a selection of news highlights from
over the last 12 months, and a review of Colin Speakman's
biography of the father of geology Adam Sedgwick.
All this and it's FREE to download and enjoy.
14 April 2018
More trail improvements around Addingham
Rangers from Bradford Council have carried out additional
improvement works along A Dales High Way
A new fingerpost and waymark on the path below Addingham
Moorside clears up any confusion at a fork in the track, and a
new kissing gate beyond replaces a stile.
The improvements are part of a series of works carried out by
access officers for the four authorities along the way,
following a detailed survey undertaken by the Friends of A
Dales High Way which was submitted in 2016.
But it's the muddy fields above Addingham that have been the
source of most of the complaints we hear, in particular the
short stretch along The Street just above Addingham.
Believed to be the line of the old Roman road between Ilkley and
Elslack (near Skipton), the broad grassy path had become
overgrown, with the narrow remaining track often churned by
A particular wet year in 2012 highlighted this. Walker John
Parkinson noted "Parts of the walk were very wet underfoot
(although it barely rained on us); not just bog but very
unpleasant deep mud particularly around Addingham..."
After enjoying a "fantastic walk" along the trail Trevor Wain
noted: "Worst moment? Perhaps the deep, glutinous, boot sucking,
energy sapping mud of the path from Street Farm to the A65 at
Addingham where too many cows in a confined corridor had
produced a quagmire."
Early last year the landowner began clearing the overgrown
vegetation, and the difference is astonishing. A broad wide
green lane now leads to the crossing of the A65, and though
still muddy in places, it is easy to avoid these spots. This
short stretch is now a delight. Our sincere thanks go to the
2 April 2018
Crummack Dale walk to kick off anniversary events
Chris Grogan will lead a moderately easy 5 mile walk through
Crummack Dale, taking in a lovely secluded section of
A Dales High Way, as the first in a series of
events helping to celebrate the trails' 10th official birthday!
The circular walk starts and finishes in Austwick on
Saturday, March 24th. Meet at 10.30 a.m. at Austwick Village
Hall - all are welcome and the walk is free.
This walk follows fields, tracks and lanes between Austwick
and Wharfe, before heading for the lower slopes of Crummack
Dale, passing the pretty little clapper bridge at Wash Dub to
return to the start. The walk is moderately easy but may be
stony or wet underfoot.
Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome. Meet at Austwick
Village Hall, Main Street, Austwick LA2 8BJ (beside Village
Shop/Post Office). Toilets are available. Please park with
consideration on village roads.
After the walk, Chris will give her popular illustrated talk
A Taste of A Dales High Way in the Village Hall,
starting at 2.15 p.m. The cost is just £3 and includes a cup of
tea and a biscuit.
This event has been organised by the Friends of the Dales
(formally known as the Yorkshire Dales Society), a
membership charity which
campaigns for the protection and enjoyment of the Yorkshire
The long distance route was officially launched in 2008 with
the publication of the first edition of A Dales High Way
Route Guide. Its popularity as a high level trail crossing
the Yorkshire Dales soon grew and it is now estimated around
1,000 walkers tackle the route each year. The trail is now
way-marked and included as an official Long Distance
Recreational Route on OS Explorer and Landranger maps.
More events are being planned by the Friends of A Dales
High Way over the coming months.
16 march 2018
Speakman on Sedgwick
Walkers on A Dales High Way can't
fail to notice the huge granite slab that sits on the cobbled
market place in the centre of Dent, with its simple engraving:
Adam Sedgwick 1785 - 1873. The memorial fountain
commemorates the life and work of Adam Sedgwick - one of the
founders of modern geology and Dent's most famous son.
The fascinating story of Sedgwick's life and work is told in
the definitive biography Adam Sedgwick, Geologist and
Dalesman by Colin Speakman - creator of the Dales Way.
First published in 1982, the book has been reissued in 2018 by
the Yorkshire Geological Society and Gritstone Press.
Sedgwick was the son of the Dent vicar who went on to study
mathematics, classics and theology at Trinity College,
Cambridge. A deeply religious man, he was ordained a deacon in
1817 and the following year was appointed Woodwardian Professor
of Geology, even though as he remarked himself "I knew
absolutely nothing of geology". That soon changed though, with
Sedgwick carrying out important research work all over Britain,
in what became known as the historic age of geology.
Sedgwick decoded the complex geology of the Lake District and
became friends with Wordsworth.
In Wales he studied the oldest known rocks in Britain, formed
in a period over 488 million years ago which he called the
Cambrian. They contained the earliest known fossils, which no
doubt influenced one of his field research students - Charles
Darwin. Darwin's later work "On the Origin of the Species"
would, however, appal Sedgwick's deeply religious convictions.
But for fans of the Yorkshire Dales, it is his 19th century
accounts of his beloved Dentdale that hold particular
fascination. His campaigning book "A Memorial to the Trustees of
Cowgill Chapel" in 1868 even led to an intervention by
Queen Victoria and an act of Parliament to change the chapel's
name as registered by the church authorities.
The book is beautifully written and produced, and this timely
new publication marks 200 years since Sedgwick's historic
appointment as Woodwardian Professor of Geology.
"Adam Sedgwick, Geologist and Dalesman" by Colin
Speakman. ISBN 978-0-9955609-4-0, published jointly by
Cooperative & The Yorkshire Geological Society
You can see Colin give an illustrated talk on Adam
Sedgwick at the
Ride2Stride Walking Festival 2018. Friday, May
4, 14.15. Friends Meeting House, Settle. £3.00 includes light
refreshments, sponsored by
the Friends of the Dales.
1 March 2018