News en route
Storms batter Dales High Way Country
Just as the flooding from Storm Ciara begins to subside, more
flooding is likely on its way with Storm Dennis.
Many areas along the route of A Dales High Way have been
affected, with flash flooding in Appleby, Dent and Saltaire.
River levels have now dropped, but many paths remain muddy and
Over 100mm of rain fell in an 18 hour period on Sunday - one
month's worth in a single day. Many trains were cancelled,
including those on the Settle-Carlisle line. Storm Dennis is
expected to bring high winds and about 80mm more rain this
weekend, but with rivers already high and the ground
waterlogged, more flooding seems inevitable.
High waters in Glovershaw Beck, near the start of A Dales
High Way, have swept away revetments and parts of the path that
were only repaired after flooding in 2017. At the moment the
path is still passable with care, but that may change soon.
Walkers along this part of the route are advised to consider
Chris Grogan of the Friends of A Dales High Way said "Though
we believe the trail as a whole is still open, at this time it
is probably best to avoid some of the low level, farmland paths
which have been flooded. They are likely to be very muddy. And,
of course, higher level sections should not be tackled in high
winds and heavy rain. Please check in advance and take care out
The worst affected paths are in the lower, arable areas of
the trail. Walkers should be aware of potential problems -
Grotspots - and the options before setting off on the trail.
14 Feb 2020
£1.2 million for Skipton High Street
Skipton has scooped over £1.2 million of government funding
to boost its Skipton High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ)
The money from Historic England is part of a £95 million pot
to revitalise the nation's high streets.
Craven County Council will oversee the project. Its Policy
committee members were told the overarching theme of the Skipton
HAZ was to "start the process of changing the profile of users
of Skipton town centre towards a greater focus on young people
and families" and make it more walking and cycle friendly.
A breakdown of the grant shows £258,480 spent on a
performance venue at the town hall, £150,000 on Coach Street
public square and improving its accessibility, £35,000 on
ginnels (making safe routes linking the high street to secondary
retail areas and which are currently unlit, litter-strewn and
have uneven surfaces), £85,000 on creating youth markets on the
setts and £600,000 on an Otley Street Arts House.
Pedestrianising some areas and encouraging more accommodation
in the high street was also suggested at the Policy committee
The programme is spread over four years and Heritage England
have made it clear they want the design to cover four threads -
community engagement, physical intervention, conservation and
heritage and a cultural programme.
Skipton is a popular overnight stop for walkers on
A Dales High Way. Skipton High Street was voted "Best in Britain" in 2009 by the
Academy for Urbanism and the town itself was deemed the "best
place to live in the UK" by the Sunday Times in 2014.
1 Feb 2020
Dales Rail Trails 2020
Walkers can enjoy exploring Dales High Way country at their
leisure with the help of a brand new edition of Dales Rail
Trails which is published this month.
The new edition features 32 walks from stations along the
world-famous Leeds-Settle-Carlisle railway - 18 circular walks
of between 6 and 12 miles long, with an additional 14 linear
walks linking stations along the line. Each route has detailed
large-scale mapping at a scale of 1:25,000, with descriptive
notes and full colour photographs. Each route has been
re-surveyed to bring it bang up-to-date.
Chris Grogan, co-author of the guidebook, said "This is our
favourite walking country and we loved every minute of the work
producing this book. We worked with fellow walk leaders from the
Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL) to check the routes,
and we continue to help lead many of the routes as part of
FoSCL's free led-walks programme."
The book also includes details of 2 long distance trails: the
very popular 24-mile Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge Route and
the altogether tougher 48-mile Six Peaks Trail.
Publication of the first edition in 2011 inspired the
creation of the Ride2Stride Walking Festival, which continues to
go from strength to strength. This year's Festival will include
four FoSCL led walks on consecutive days covering the whole Six
Peaks Trail - a tough challenge indeed!
Dales Rail Trails, by Tony & Chris Grogan, costs £9.99 and is
available online from Skyware Press, or from the FoSCL shop at
15 Jan 2020
Farmland to woodland
The upland landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales are likely to
change dramatically in the future, if suggested moves are taken
to tackle the climate crisis.
The former chief scientific advisor to the government, Prof
Sir Ian Boyd, has called for half the UK farmland to be switched
from farmland to woodland, mostly in upland areas which are
unsuitable for growing crops. He said such a change would see
cattle and sheep production fall by up to 90%, with subsidies
used instead for storing carbon.
"It would be much better to store carbon and water, grow
trees and make land available for people to improve their
health" he said.
Tree planting along riverbanks and feeder streams, such as
the River Ribble, is already being employed to help reduce
flooding. Restoration of blanket bogs on moorland such as
Rombalds Moor is also being actively promoted.
In May a report from Rewilding Britain called for 25% of the
nation to be returned to natural habitat.
Surprisingly, Brexit might prove a catalyst for change. The
current EU system pays farmers grants according to the amount of
land they own. The government plans to shift farm subsidies
towards what it calls "public money for public goods" - a
principle supported by Rewilding Britain.
Photo shows tree planting along the Ribble near Stainforth,
courtesy of the Ribble Trust.
1 Jan 2020