News en route
Dales High Way in top 25 Big Trails of British Isles
A Dales High Way heads up the list in
a stunning new book highlighting the best 25 long-distance
trails in the British Isles.
Big Trails - Great Britain and Ireland is published
this week by Sheffield based Vertebrate Publishing, who have
been producing award-winning outdoor adventure and
mountaineering guides since 2004.
The big glossy book "is an inspirational guide to the most
iconic, spectacular and popular long-distance trails in England,
Scotland, Northern Ireland,, Ireland and the Isle of Man." It is
crammed with gorgeous pictures, informative overviews and
detailed outlines of each of the 25 featured routes.
It features 4 big trails on the island of Ireland, including
the "Best Off the Beaten Track Trail" - the Beara Way; 3 in
Scotland, including "Britain's Friendliest Trail" - the West
Highland Way; 3 in Wales, including the "Wildest Adventure" -
the Cambrian Way; and the Isles of Man's Raad ny Foillan -
"Perfect for All the Family".
Of the remaining 14 trails, 5 cross Yorkshire: The Pennine
Way; Wainwright's Coast to Coast; The Cleveland Way; the Dales
Way and A Dales High Way.
A Dales High Way is described as one of the "undiscovered
gems" amongst the trails. "...the verdant lushness of the Eden
valley, the timelessness of dry stone walls lining high
pastures, the sparkling waterfalls, and the wide blue
bird-strewn skies will make you fall in love with this high
route over the Dales. In spring you crush wild garlic in
bluebell-rich woods, and in summer the moors glow purple with
heather. On a fine day this may be the brightest and most
beautiful countryside you'll encounter in England."
The book is designed to inspire big adventures rather than be
carried as a guide and provides everything needed to plan and
Big Trails - Great Britain and Ireland, edited by
Kathy Rogers and Stephen Ross, (Vertebrate Publishing, ISBN
19 Oct 2020
Amazing new tool for mountain rescue
An amazing new way of reaching injured walkers on the fells
was tested out in Langdale, Cumbria last week.
A jet suit which could fly a paramedic to an isolated
casualty in minutes has been described as “awesome” by an air
ambulance service which covers parts of Yorkshire and Cumbria.
The system has been demonstrated in a test flight in the Lake
District after a year of discussions between the Great North Air
Ambulance Service (GNAAS) and the firm which has developed the
technology, Gravity Industries.
Richard Browning , Gravity Industries founder and chief test
pilot, flew from the valley bottom in Langdale, Cumbria, to a
simulated casualty site on The Band, near Bowfell.
GNAAS said the casualty site would have taken around 25
minutes to reach by foot but Mr Browning arrived in his 1050
brake horsepower jet suit in 90 seconds, and that the suit could
Andy Mawson, director of operations and paramedic at GNAAS,
said the Lake District could be a possible location for a “Jet
Suit paramedic” following a study of the charity’s call-out
He said: “It showed dozens of patients every month within the
complex but relatively small geographical footprint of the
Lakes. We could see the need. What we didn’t know for sure is
how this would work in practice. Well, we’ve seen it now and it
is, quite honestly, awesome.”
GNAAS and Gravity Industries said they wanted to thank
Langdale Mountain Rescue Team, the National Trust, Stool End
Farm and Cumbria Police for helping make the test possible.
1 October 2020
Hen Harrier breeding success
It has been the best year for hen harrier breeding in England
since Natural England’s hen harrier recovery project was
established in 2002, with 60 chicks fledged from 19 nests across
Northumberland, the Yorkshire Dales, Cumbria and Lancashire in early
Natural England has attached satellite tags to 23 of these
The success has been down to several factors including
high numbers of voles which are a key food source, good weather,
and strong partnership working.
Hen harriers were once found across upland and lowland
Britain, however after 1830 it became an exceptionally rare
breeding bird in England due to raptor persecution, which was
then made illegal in 1954. The hen harrier is now one of
England’s rarest birds of prey.
Tony Juniper, Chairman of Natural England, said: “Despite the
great progress there is though no cause for complacency. Too
many birds still go missing in unexplained circumstances and I
urge anyone who is still engaged in the persecution of these
magnificent creatures to cease at once. Hen harriers remain
critically endangered in England and there is a long way to go
before the population returns to what it should be.”
Amanda Anderson, Director of the Moorland Association, said:
“Twelve of the nests reported today are on land managed for
grouse shooting and this reflects a genuine commitment from moor
owners and managers to work with others and help rebuild the
This year’s success means that 141 hen harrier chicks have
fledged over the past three years alone.
12 Sept 2020
Last chance for Staycation Express
There's still a fortnight to enjoy a first class luxury rail
journey along the Settle-Carlisle line.
Whilst restrictions on rail travel were beginning to ease, a new
tourist luxury daily charter service began to run on the Settle
to Carlisle line.
With three daily return journeys between Skipton and Appleby,
stopping at Settle only, the service began on July 20th and will
finish on September 12th.
The train is made up of First-Class carriages offering
spacious, well-padded seats and large windows from which
passengers can view the stunning scenery. Tickets cost £39 per
The charter train service consists of four Mark 3 First-Class
coaches (FOs) and one Mark 2 compartment brake vehicle (BFK),
the latter not open for public use. The train is hauled by
two class 47 locomotives, one at either end. The train
will be operated by Locomotive Services Ltd (TOC) and promoted
through Rail Charter Services Ltd and The Settle Carlisle
Railway Development Company Ltd.
All services have stringent social distancing measures in
place to ensure the best safety for both customers and staff on
board. With online pre-booking, individual seating areas
divided by Perspex screens, and a socially divided one-way
boarding and alighting system - passengers are made to feel at
ease from the beginning of their journey.
It's also a great way to enjoy the return journey for those
walkers completing A Dales High Way in
the next 2 weeks!
1 Sept 2020
Glovershaw Beck path re-opens
The path alongside Glovershaw Beck, near the start of
High Way, has been repaired using an ingenious technique and is
open once again.
There was a real problem facing Bradford Council's
countryside team when the path was washed away for the second
time in three years following Storm Ciara in February. The steep
beckside wall was scoured away by floodwater, leaving a
precarious thin ledge for walkers. The council had no option but
to close the path until a solution could be found.
With the steep banking clearly susceptible to further
erosion, and the landowner reluctant to allow continued
encroachment into their field, a really novel solution was
Contractors from midlands-based Geogrow Ltd. were called to
help instal a deep "green" revetment - a "Vegetated Wall
System" called Rootlok - to support the path.
Rootlok is described as "a soft engineered system that is a
competitive alternative to concrete, gabion and other hard
revetment systems that do little to benefit the natural
Permable geotextile bags filled with gravel form the lower
layers, with bags containing a seeded mixture of soils, compost
and sands forming the upper layers. The bags are bound together
and back filled to form a stable revetment that will grass-over
Further stone support has been added to the upstream side.
Bradford Countryside officer Richard Perham said "We have
never used it before, but I think we will again."
The Bradford countryside team have also worked along the
whole section - the path strimmed and cleared, branches trimmed,
a fence and gate restored, the wire fence repaired. It's an
7 August 2020