News en route
A Tale of Two Bogs
On November 8 a walker posted a warning message on the Ilkley
Chat Facebook page:
"Walkers and runners please be careful on the valley side of
the stoned section of the Dales Highway, there’s a VERY DEEP
BOG. I saw a runner ended up to his waist. I went to help and
the stone slab tilted and ended too nearly stuck. It's a section
heading away from ilkley just before you can turn left to 12
Apostles (or right to head towards a Keighley gate). I’ll try
get a message to the Council. This is very dangerous. There was
unfortunately no wood or debris to make a warn cairn."
The post went viral very quickly, with 82 shares and over 100
Meanwhile, workers and volunteers from Moors for the Future
were out elsewhere on Ilkley Moor, planting sphagnum moss to
help regenerate the moor's bogs, a major contributor to carbon
capture and the fight against the climate change catastrophe.
The 5 year, £15 million EU funded project - MoorLife 2020 - will
protect the health of 95 square kilometres of active blanket bog
in the South Pennines.
Rangers from Bradford Council's Countryside Service were out
the next day and fixed the flagged path. The bog will take a
little longer to recover.
It's perhaps worth remembering that the flagging of the path
here - using old mill flags from Manchester - was only
undertaken in 2011. Until that time walkers and runners had to
cover the trail as best they could, with just a little wooden
boardwalk to help.
And the flagging wasn't installed in the first place for the
benefit of walkers or runners, but to protect the bogs from the
erosion they caused!
15 Nov 2020
Flash Floods Batter the Western Dales
Sunday night saw flash floods across North Yorkshire and the
western Dales as the storm ex-Hurricane Zeta struck.
As the water levels kept rising Appleby Emergency Response
Group worked through the night keeping in regular contact with
the Environment Agency. The warning to take immediate action
came just after 4am and by 5.30am the River Eden had burst its
banks and was on the pavement.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said they had worked
throughout Sunday night to respond to "multiple" reports of
flooding, using crews from Hawes, Reeth, Leyburn, Colburn,
Bentham, Settle, Skipton, Lofthouse, Grassington and Richmond.
Roads were closed in Dentdale, Sedbergh, Garsdale, Skipton,
Addingham and Ilkley. Trains on the Settle-Carlisle line were
cancelled as the line flooded. Heavy rain overnight had caused
flooding at Melling Tunnel, between Settle and Blea Moor, and
between Hellifield and Carnforth. As a result, both the Skipton
and Carlisle and Skipton and Lancaster lines were closed in both
FELL rescue volunteers went to the aid of Yorkshire Three
Peaks walkers on Sunday as they struggled with bad weather near
to the summit of Ingleborough. The Clapham based Cave Rescue
sent a team out in search of the three walkers at just before
6pm who in the end managed to get back down to the peak
As of today, the flood waters are receding, but the legacy of
damage to roads, paths and bridges remains to be seen. And this
all has to dealt with as new lockdown restrictions begin.
3 Nov 2020
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