News en route
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
Accommodation begins to re-open
Much of the accommodation along A Dales High Way is open for
business once more, as restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic
But the pattern is patchy in some areas. The Friends of A
Dales High Way have been checking to see what the current
Some pubs remain closed for the foreseeable future, such as
both Dent pubs - the Sun Inn and the George & Dragon. Others
that remain closed at this time include the Craven Heifer at
Stainforth and the Golden Lion Hotel at
Horton-in-Ribblesdale. The Tufton Arms Hotel at Appleby is
planning to re-open soon.
Most of the pubs and hotels that are open, along with cafes
and restaurants, are offering Eat Out to Help Out discounts,
so this month is a good time to visit
Youth Hostels, including those in Malham and Ingleton, are
accepting whole house bookings only at the current time,
along with some B&B providers such as Bracken Hall House in
Baildon and bunkbarns like Broadrake near Chapel-le-Dale. Sadly
the very popular Brownber Hall at Newbiggin-on-Lune has moved to
whole-house booking on a permanent basis.
Accommodation that is open may have restricted capacity.
Most campsites have re-opened, but those still closed include
Moorgarth at Ingleton.
The Accommodation listing on this website includes all the
B&Bs, hotels, pubs and campsites we know about along the route,
but you should check with each directly as to their current
availability as this is changing all the time.
If you know of any further changes, please let us know.
UPDATE: Aug 20, The George &
Dragon in Dent has now re-opened.
3 August 2020
Works to repair steep footpath from Ingleborough
The descent from the foot of the summit peak of Ingleborough,
down to Humphrey Bottom, on the northern flank of the mountain,
is a very steep, rocky climb down an engineered path.
The path, known as High Lot, is used by tens of thousands of
people a year walking between Chapel le Dale and the top of the
mountain – often as part of a Yorkshire Three Peaks route - as
well as walkers on A Dales High Way.
High footfall, heavy rainfall, drainage issues and a steep
incline has caused the existing stone pitched path, installed in
the late 1980s, to slip.
The path will be closed for several months from next week
(27th of July 2020) to allow repairs to be undertaken.
An alternative route will be in place. This follows the ridge
edge of Simon Fell NE for 3/4 of a mile (just over 1 kilometre),
before descending steeply alongside the wall.
During the past month, staff from contractors Terra Firma
Environmental Ltd have picked and bagged 160 tonnes of large
gritstone blocks from a nearby scree slope. Later this
week the stone will be lifted by helicopter and dropped next to
the path in readiness for works to begin.
A total of 172 metres of stone pitching will be removed, with
the gritstone blocks then dug deep into the ground to make a
durable new 1.5 metre wide pitched path. Associated
drainage and landscaping work will also be undertaken.
Nick Cotton, Member Champion for Recreation Management at the
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “High Lot
is one of the most well used public paths in one of the finest
National Nature Reserves in the country.
“It is important for people to observe the temporary closure
of the path. The High Lot section of path to be repaired
is very narrow and there isn’t room for the contractors to work
safely with walkers passing by. I would ask that people
walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks look up the alternative route
to the summit that we are recommending, and give themselves a
bit more time to complete it, as it is a steep way and not easy
Alternatively, walkers heading for Ribblehead can continue
along the ridge edge of Simon fell and Park fell before
descending on an easier incline to Ribblehead, as outlined in
the Dales High Way Route Guide.
21 July 2020