News en route
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
Ingleborough Summit Shelter Repairs
The cruciform shelter on the summit of Ingleborough is to be
rebuilt next year, with the bronze toposcope plaque at the
centre being replaced.
The shelter can prove vital to walkers in the cold, wet and
windy conditions that are often prevalent on the top of the
iconic mountain - a favourite for Dales High Way walkers.
The overall structure of the summit shelter is in need of
repairs and the plaque is almost illegible, due a combination of
visitor damage and weathering on Yorkshire’s second highest
Funding has been secured from the Yorkshire Dales Millennium
Trust to repair the summit shelter and replace the bronze
toposcope plaque with a new replica plaque, built within the
structure of the shelter.
The original shelter was constructed by by Ingleton Fell
Rescue (now CRO - the Cave rescue Organisation) to commemorate
the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
A specialist drystone walling contractor, Lambeth Stonework,
has been tasked with dismantling the structure and rebuilding
the summit shelter as close to the original as possible. A
replica of the bronze toposcope plaque is to be produced and
built within the structure. Materials will be helicopter
airlifted in March 2020 with the repairs expected to be complete
by Easter 2020, ahead of the busy Three Peaks Season.
The original plaque is expected to be displayed outside the
CRO's depot in Clapham.
Photo shows the original toposcope plaque being installed in
1952 (Yorkshire Film Archive).
17 Dec 2019
Off-roaders stopped on bridleway
The drivers of four off-road vehicles were stopped last week
as they drove along a public bridleway from Weets Top, along the
route of A Dales High Way.
The vehicles were spotted by eagle-eyed National Park ranger
Rob Ashford as they illegally made use of tracks reserved for
walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Rob alerted the police at
Settle, who intercepted the four vehicles as they made their way
down towards Gordale, above Malham.
PC Harry Carpenter, of Settle Police, said: "Both the
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and ourselves welcome
responsible use of the rights of way within the national park
but we will not tolerate inconsiderate and inappropriate use and
will take positive action against offenders especially when
damage is caused, as in this instance, to maintained paths."
All four drivers have been reported for motoring offences.
Off-road vehicles are permitted on tracks marked as Byways
Open to All Traffic (BOATs), but the use of "mechanically
propelled vehicles" (such as 4x4s) on footpaths, bridleways and
restricted byways is banned under the CROW Act 2000.
Well done Rob!
3 Dec 2019