Wettest year on record – official!
As if we didn’t already know, it’s now official. England has
year since records began, with the UK as a whole likely to follow
43.1 inches (1,095. 8mm) of rain fell between 1 January and Boxing
Day, the Met Office said.
The wet weather has caused havoc for long distance walkers this
year, including those on A Dales High Way,
who on the whole have enjoyed their walk despite the downpours.
And we may have to get used to more wet summers like this,
according to a study by scientists from Sheffield University.
According to Dr Hanna and an international team of scientists,
melting summer Arctic ice may be weakening the jet stream, leading
it to meander and become slow moving.
If the jet stream - a ribbon of strong winds high up in the
atmosphere - is weaker than normal, then it can be deflected
southeastwards towards the UK, resulting in the wet, cool, unsettled
conditions that we have seen since 2007. The increased arctic
melting is a result of global warming.
Dr Edward Hanna said: “It really puts global warming in the
public eye. It's virtually impossible to predict the weather for any
particular summer but we could have cooler, wetter summers on
average in the UK because of this effect. That's not to say we won't
get hot, dry summers but just that these might not be as frequent as
you might expect from a straightforward global warming effect.”
29 December 2012
Watershed Landscape award
A 3-year project to enhance, promote and preserve the unique
watershed landscape of the South Pennines has won the UK Landscape
Award for 2012 and will go forward to the European awards next year.
The area covered by the project includes Rombalds Moor, crossed
by the first leg of A Dales High Way.
The South Pennine Watershed Landscape Project includes a number
of smaller community-based projects covering archaeology,
conservation and art. Volunteers have helped catalogue the
prehistoric rock art of Rombalds Moor, survey the former coal mines
of Baildon Moor and create a sculptured poetry trail across the
Natural Environment Minister Richard Benyon said “I am delighted
that the South Pennine Watershed Landscape Project has won this
award. It is a project with wide-ranging impact, a powerful
expression of local identity and sense of place and is testament of
the hard-work of the people who have played their part in the
formation of this distinct landscape. It is within an hour of
where seven million people live and is an internationally important
area for birds, a vital store of carbon, a place to visit for
walkers and cyclists that enhances rural tourism and an inspiration
to artists and writers.”
14 Dec 2012
Ash dieback threat to Dales landscape
Walkers in the Yorkshire Dales are understandably concerned
potential impact of chalara ash dieback disease on the
Ash trees are widespread in the Dales and are a feature of
many woodlands. They often form the major canopy tree in
limestone areas. They can also be found in hedgerows and as
A testament to the species' local significance is in the
meaning of several village names such as Askrigg in Wensleydale,
which means the ash tree ridge, and Eshton near Gargrave, which
means the farmstead by the ash tree.
Geoff Garrett, the YDNPA’s Senior Trees and Woodland Officer,
said: "Ash is such an important tree in the broadleaved
woodlands of the limestone uplands of the Yorkshire Dales that
we are treating the potential impact of the disease very
"If the disease were to take hold in the National Park, it
would irreversibly alter the character of our woodlands which in
turn would have a dramatic effect on the landscape, altering it
Latest findings (Nov 22nd 2012) are that 257 areas of ash die
back have been confirmed in the UK – 17 nursery sites, 105
recently planted sites and 135 established woodland.
Although none are in the Dales, infection has occurred near
Leeds, as well as in North Yorkshire and near Appleby - the end of
The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, who plant acres of
young trees every year in the Dales are anxious to point out
that the countryside is not closed. National Tree Week (24th
November to 2nd December 2012) marks the start of the tree
planting season, and between now and April they hope to
facilitate the planting of approximately 112,000 new native
broadleaf trees across almost 20 sites. Species planted will
include Oak, Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Downy Birch, Alder, Rowan,
Bird Cherry and Goat Willow – no Ash trees are currently being
Walkers can help by reporting any diseased trees to the
Forestry Commission on 08459 33 55 77 (open 8am - 6pm every
day) or by email:
Anyone wanting information about ash dieback is asked to
contact the Forestry Commission’s Forest Research Tree Health
Diagnostic and Advisory Service on 01420 23000 or visit the
Forestry Commission website
1 Dec 2012
New Three Peaks path opens
A new section of the iconic 24-mile Three Peaks Challenge route
Yorkshire Dales National Park is now open for business, bringing an
end to a horrendous stretch of bog-yomping.
Work started earlier this year to create an alternative path from
Pen-y-ghent to Ribblehead that would avoid the badly-eroded Horton
Moor and Black Dubb Moss area.
The Park Authority’s Three Peaks Area Ranger Steve Hastie said:
”The feedback we have had so far about the new route is very
“It is far easier to navigate – a lot drier – and it gives people
a fantastic view of Ingleborough, Whernside and Far Moor Bridge. On
top of that, it runs past Hull Pot and Hunt Pot, which are well
worth a short detour to see.”
It also provides an alternative way to Horton-in-Ribblesdale for
Dales High Way walkers who are adding
Pen-y-ghent to their walk.
A €30,000 grant for the project came from the European Outdoor
Conservation Association (EOCA) after a public poll of several
National Park Rangers and Dales Volunteers used 650 tonnes of
materials to link up two existing stone tracks that are both part of
the Pennine Way National Trail to create the alternative route,
which includes three sections of stepped stone flags and a small
footbridge across Sell Gill Beck.
The Authority’s conservation experts hope that, by diverting
walkers away from Black Dubb Moss, it will give the sensitive
peatland habitats and the damaged vegetation time to recover.
See our previous story here.
See the updated
Peaks Challenge Route maps and info here.
14 November 2012
Follow Elgar's steps on the High Way
Friends of A Dales High Way are teaming up with the Yorkshire
Society to put on a guided walk for next year’s
ride2stride – the second Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival. And
they plan to follow in the footsteps of the famous composer Elgar – who had close links with the area.
Edward Elgar was born in Worcestershire in 1857 and is probably
best known for compositions such as the Enigma Variations and Pomp
and Circumstance. What isn’t so well known is his love of the
Elgar met Charles Buck, a doctor from Settle when they were both
young men and regularly visited him in Settle and Giggleswick. As
well as music the two men shared a love of the countryside (and
dogs) and regularly walked together from Settle over Giggleswick
Scar to Feizor then on to Stainforth before climbing up to Catrigg
Force and returning to Settle – a round trip of over 13 miles which
is now known as the Elgar Way.
Local historian and former editor of the Dalesman Bill Mitchell has written about Elgar’s links
with Craven and in his research uncovered a box of letters from
Elgar to Buck and some forgotten scores which he had written at Giggleswick and stored in the case of a grandfather clock at a
Bill writes: “A visit to Giggleswick in 1888 was particularly
productive of music. Several interesting scores were signed and
dated as from Giggleswick (one from ‘Giggleswyke’)”.
Both Bill and Elgar feature in next year’s Settle to Carlisle
Walking Festival – ride2stride - which runs from April 30 - May 6. Bill is giving a talk about the
building of Ribblehead Viaduct and walk leader Chris Hartley is
leading a walk on the first half of The Elgar Way, cutting it short
at Stainforth Force and returning to Settle along the route of
Dales High Way. Our very own Chris Grogan will be assisting. Meet at
Settle station at 9.50 am on Bank Holiday Monday, May 6th, for
this 8-mile moderate walk.
See the ride2stride website here, and the
Yorkshire Dales Society
1 Nov 2012
Business support for Three Peaks footpaths
Footpaths in the Three Peaks area, including sections of
A Dales High
have been given a £450 cash boost from book sales and pub meals.
Tony and Chris Grogan from Saltaire-based publishers Skyware
Press decided that a proportion of the proceeds from the sale of
each copy of Dales Rail Trails would go to the Friends of
the Three Peaks, which is run by the National Park Authority.
Chris has passed on a cheque for £200 generated from sales of the
book over the spring and summer.
“I’m very happy that we are able to donate to the Friends of the
Three Peaks, and that sales of the book have gone so well,” she
said. “It has only been on sale since the spring so we’re hopeful
that we can make further contributions.”
The Lion in Settle decided to help by donating 15p every time a
hungry visitor to the pub ordered a main course dish called
And manager Ian Pilcher has handed over a cheque for £250 –
raised from more than 1,600 meals, for the National Park’s Three
“I think it’s really good to support a local organisation that
preserves the area,” Ian said. “Most of our customers come to
walk in the Three Peaks, and the menu choice proved very popular.
We’ll do the same again over the coming winter.”
Steve Hastie, the Three Peaks Project Manager for the Yorkshire
Dales National Park, said: “The great thing for me is that these
fundraising ideas came from Ian, Chris and Tony. Our Corporate
Friends have really started to get to grips with the challenges
facing the wonderful Three Peaks and they are making very useful,
Photo shows from left: Ian Pilcher, Chris Grogan and Steve
Dales Rail Trails here, the
Lion here and the
Yorkshire Dales National
15 Oct 2012
Settle down for a good story
The 3rd Settle Storytelling Festival gets underway on Thursday
promising an interesting mix of entertainment for visitors and
Sita Brand, whose brainchild the festival was, is delighted that
visitor numbers have grown every year. “Last year over 35% of our
audience came from outside the area and this resulted in more people
staying in B&B’s as well as using the cafes”
A recent survey conducted by the Yorkshire Dales National Park
Authority showed that as well as major concerns about the state of
the economy and rising fuel costs, Dales businesses want more
opportunities to work together on events and promotions that bring
more people to the area. Events like Settle Storytelling Festival
and Ride2stride, the week-long Settle Carlisle Walking Festival that
takes place in the Spring.
Dales High Way walkers staying in
Settle on Friday Oct 12th can join in with “Tales and a Tipple” in
the Lion and Friday Folk with Jeff Wright in Settle Social Club. On
Saturday night The Falcon Manor is the venue for ghost stories
See the Settle
Story festival website here.
1 Oct 2012
Vintage Car Rally for Festival Finale
Vintage cars lined the promenade through Saltaire’s Robert’s
the final weekend of the 2012 Saltaire Festival – and
the rain (mostly) stayed away!
Although organised by the Yorkshire Rover Club the models on
display ranged from the tiniest bubble cars to vast American
classics familiar from old movies.
The classic car rally was only one of dozens of events being
held over the final weekend of this 10 day Festival. A marquee
in Roberts Park, set up by local curry giants, the Aagrah,
provided a pop-up Kashmiri Restaurant as well as a demonstration
kitchen where visitors could watch celebrity chef Stephanie Moon
The Aagrah’s managing director Mohammed Aslam said he was
pleased to be bringing some spice to this year's Tenth Saltaire
Festival. "Food brings people together," he said, "we'd like
everyone to come and have a good time."
There was live music on stages in the village and the park,
in Victoria Hall and Caroline Social Club and a Continental
Market down Exhibition and Victoria Roads.
If you’re thinking about walking A Dales High Way next
September don’t forget this is an annual event and it might be
worth spending a day or two at the 2013 Festival before you
leave the crowds behind and head for the hills.
See the Saltaire
festival site here, and the
Club site here.
16 Sept 2012
Wet summer highlights High Way Grot-Spots
It's official - we've just enjoyed the wettest summer in 100 years. And that
follows the wettest Spring quarter since records began.
It's been a tough year for walkers everywhere.
though, most of the route of A Dales High Way has stood up
Most walkers this year have still managed to enjoy their
long distance walk, despite the battering they've suffered from
But the prolonged rainfall has served to highlight those wet
and muddy spots along the way which cause particular problems.
So we've taken the opportunity to produce our own Dales High
Way Grot-Spots webpage, showing where the problems are, along
with a few survival tips on how best to cope with them.
So check them out before you set off on the trail. And if you
think we've missed one, then let us know.
See the Dales High
Way Grot Spots here.
1 September, 2012
Poetry stones on Ilkley Moor
The Stanza Stones are 6 huge stones, each with a poem carved
into the surface. They are situated at intervals high on the moors
of the Pennine Watershed and can be visited either as a series of
short family walks or in one continuous 47 mile trail from Marsden
The stones were commissioned by Ilkley Literature Festival in
2010 and completed earlier this year. Each stone took many weeks
with carver Pip Hall spending days out on the moors. The poems are
all on the theme of water which poet Simon Armitage says gave
shape and form to the region.
"The water that sculpted the valleys, the water that
powered the hours on the moors in all weathers. industries, the
water that we all take for granted but is our most precious
Walkers on A Dales High Way can visit two of the stones:
The Puddle Stone can be found high on the moor, heading west
from Lanshaw Lad, past the trig point, towards the twin Keighley
The other can be found by
heading down Wells Road towards Ilkley, and following a path
around the Tarn to the wooden bridge over Backstone Beck where the
Beck Stone will be found.
Apparently there is a 7th stone, a secret one in an unnamed
location just waiting to be found. Perhaps that's on the route of
A Dales High Way.
24 August 2012
Dry Stone Walling Grand Prix
Dry stone wallers will be putting their skills to the test at a
unique competition to be held at Dent this month.
One of the most defining characteristics of the Yorkshire Dales
is the mile after mile of dry stone walls that crisscross the
landscape. Built over the centuries they originally served two
purposes, marking field boundaries as well as clearing the land of
The network of walls is one of the most eye catching and
extensive man made structures within the Dales and their long
lasting strength is a testament to the skills of the wallers.
There are over 5000 miles of dry stone walls in the Dales and it's
important that the skills needed to repair and conserve them are
To celebrate wallers and walling Rural Skills Cumbria is
holding a Dry Stone Walling Grand Prix this summer.
Walkers on A Dales High Way can catch the competition at
Dentdale Show on Saturday Aug 25 between 9am and 4pm. There is
also the opportunity to see demonstrations of the art, as well as
join training sessions.
High Way route around Dent village passes the showfield on a path
that it shares with the Dales Way. The Dales Way Association are supporting the Yorkshire Dales
National Park Authority in providing prize money for the
Update: 24/8/2012 - Alas, the Dentdale Show has had to
be cancelled due to the bad weather! However, the dry stone
walling competition is still on, so if you're in the area keep an
eye out for that.
15 Aug 2012
Cumbria waymarking completed
The final section of A Dales High Way, which
passes through Cumbria into the Eden
valley, has now been waymarked.
Countryside officers of Cumbria County Council undertook the
work, putting the distinctive waymarks on posts at junctions
wherever the route leaves a road, or at other spots where there
might be confusion, such as at Bandley Bridge. In between, regular
waymarks show the way.
Waymarking has now been completed through the areas controlled
by Bradford District Council, North Yorkshire County Council and
Cumbria County Council. Preparations are underway to waymark the
final stretch through the sensitive area of the Yorkshire Dales
Countryside officers completed the work despite heavy rainfall,
which has led to flooding along Hoff Beck at the end of the route.
However, walkers are now reporting the route as passable, though
still wet underfoot.
1 August 2012
Queen steps onto A Dales High Way
The Queen took a few tentative steps at the start of A
Dales High Way today, before heading
into Salts Mill for a lunch.
She was visiting Saltaire with Prince Philip and drove down
Victoria Road, waving to the crowds who had gathered to see her.
A Dales High Way starts in the world heritage village of
Saltaire, just outside Victoria Hall.
Does this mean the long distance path now has Royal approval? Alas,
it is unlikely she is aware that the route exists.
Prince Charles though, is known to have a liking for the
The private visit was a break from the Queen's Jubilee tour. She was visiting Pace
Technology, who are based in the mill.
The Queen was wearing a Karl Ludwig dress and coat in beige and
cream tweed with a matching hat by Angela Kelly.
19 July 2012
New link between villages
A new link for walkers has at last been established between
Newbiggin-on-Lune and Ravenstonedale.
After 10 years of campaigning and fundraising by locals, a new
cycle and walk way has been constructed alongside a short stretch
of the busy A685, linking the two communities that were split when
the road was constructed in the 1970s. Since then, locals have had
to travel between the two villages by car, as the main road was
unsuitable for pedestrians or cyclists due to the unrestricted
speed, and also the long corner where the village junctions are
Walkers on A Dales High Way who were staying in Ravenstonedale,
or using the alternative bad weather route to the east of the
Howgills, faced a tricky quarter mile hike along the road verge.
Now the journey is quick, easy and safe.
parish of Ravenstonedale has a small primary school in
Ravenstonedale Village, and a pre school nursery in Newbiggin on
Lune. The pubs are in Ravenstonedale and the village hall is in
Newbiggin on Lune. Needless to say this path will be well utilised
by all ages in both directions. The path also closes a missing
link in a national cycling route from Pendragon Castle to Orton.
The new cycle and walk way was officially opened on March 10th
this year, and is a credit to the people of this small parish.
7 July 2012
Dent Festival fully booked
Accommodation in Dent is fully booked for the festival weekend,
despite the sudden wet weather prospects.
Steve Tilston, Sarah Gillespie and Emily Smith are all
The festival website today reported camping conditions were
"At this point (Thursday 11.30am) we've only had a few
light showers throughout the week and the festival field is set up
and we're nearly ready to go. Both festival and camping fields are
fairly dry and in good condition at the moment.
"The forecast for tomorrow is similar to today, with the
chance of rain dropping as we get into Saturday and Sunday so
The Dentdale Music and Beer Festival has been running since
2002 and has proved a huge success. This year the free festival
has attracted some top performers, including a winner of this
year's prestigous Radio Two Folk Awards - Steve Tilston, who has
teamed up with Yorkshire based roots quintet The Durbervilles.
Also performing is the urban-folk sensation Sarah Gillespie and
Scottish singer and songwriter Emily Smith, who recently featured
on BBC TV's Transatlantic Sessions.
As usual the free entertainment runs from Friday through to
Sunday, with a wide selection of real ales and wonderful food on
well as the usual impromptu session in the local pubs.
Above: Lower fields are flooded.
Below: Reel Jiggy pack them out on Friday night.
Update: What a difference a day makes
Oh dear, wind and rain hammered Dent through Thursday
night and Friday, flooding the lower fields of the dale,
flattening some tents and driving other hardy campers onto higher
ground. But, the music went on regardless.
By Saturday morning things were looking better with the
Festival website reporting: "We're pleased to say that
conditions have improved significantly overnight on the festival
field so everything's going ahead for today."
And the mud slide which appeared last year is back again
- there's just no way to dampen these festival spirits!
See the Festival
website here, and last years posting
21 June 2012
Saltaire joins Google's World Wonders
Saltaire has been chosen as one of 132 historic world sites to
feature in Google's new World Wonders project, alongside
Stonehenge, Pompeii and the ancient Kyoto temples.
It is one of only two places in Yorkshire - along with Selby
Abbey - to be included in the project, which aims to preserve
culture online by offering educational resources, photographs,
videos and of course Google's Street View, which allows you to
wonder around Saltaire as it appeared a few of years ago (the 2008
Saltaire Festival can be seen being set up).
Shipley ward Councillor Martin Love said residents should feel
"very proud" of Saltaire's inclusion in the scheme.
He said: "I think it is a wonderful acknowledgement of
Saltaire and all the work that has been done there in recent years
and the work that was done 150-odd years ago by Sir Titus Salt
building it in the first place.
"I hope it will increase tourism locally as well as people
from further afield. I look forward to seeing what comes with
Saltaire is the starting point for A Dales High Way.
See Google's World Wonders Saltaire site
3 June 2012
High Way marked to Skipton
Waymarking along the first section of A Dales High Way has now
Walkers following the 18-mile route from Saltaire to Skipton
should be reassured to find the circular blue and maroon logos at
the centre of some traditional waymarks along the way.
"This first stage of the waymarking has gone quicker than
we anticipated " said Tony Grogan of the Friends of A Dales
High Way group, who are behind the scheme. "With luck we're
on track to have the whole route waymarked by the start of the
2013 walking season next spring."
The waymarking has been agreed in principle by the four
authorities responsible for countryside access along the route.
"This first section covers land under the stewardship of
both Bradford Metropolitan District Council and North Yorkshire
County Council, both of who have been very supportive," said
Tony. "We also had to get the agreement of British Waterways
for a couple of waymarks along the canal at the start."
The waymarks are designed both to help walkers navigate the
route and to promote the new long-distance trail. But walkers
won't be able to follow the route by waymarks alone.
"People shouldn't expect to find waymarks on every stile
and gate", said Tony, "You'll still need a good
guidebook and map to follow the route."
See previous posting here. Join the
Friends of A Dales High Way here.
22 May 2012
Walkers enjoy a Taste of A Dales High Way
28 walkers and 3 dogs enjoyed a Taste of A Dales High Way on
Sunday, as part of the hugely successful Settle-Carlisle Walking
The 10 mile circular walk from Settle was jointly organised by
the Friends of A Dales High Way and the Yorkshire Dales Society
and led by Chris Grogan. After climbing from Settle, past Jubilee
Caves and along the Pennine Bridleway to Gorbeck, the walkers
joined the route of A Dales High Way at Langscar, climbing up to
Nappa Gate, between Kirkby Fell and Grizedales and down besides
Attermire Scar amd Warrendale Knotts.
Returning to Settle in good time, after suitable refreshments
at the Lion, a group hopped on the train to Ribblehead to enjoy
the music on offer at the Station Inn.
Ride2stride 2012 is the first Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival.
After proving such a great success the demand for future events is
going to be hard to ignore.
See ride2stride here.
9 May 2012
3 Peaks fell runners battle elements
Strong winds made for a particularly tough competition in the
58th annual 3 Peaks fell race.
Thankfully the rain stayed away for the day, a rare respite in
what has proven to be the wettest April on record. And although
the sun shone, it was still bitterly cold.
With the harsh conditions, no-one was expecting any racing
records to be broken. But the first four runners, led for most of
the way by Joe Symonds of the Hunters Bog Trotters, still managed
to finish the 23-mile course in under three hours.
For many others, the tough going took its toll. Of the 745 who
started, over 100 didn't make it to the finish line at Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
This year saw a slight route change on the top of Pen-y-ghent,
with runners heading north along the ridge from the summit for
half a mile, before dropping west to rejoin the original route.
This one-way system was designed to avoid the runners passing each
other on the steep western escarpment.
Runners reported snow on the top of the summit.
The organisation of the event by the Three Peaks Race
Association was, as ever, flawless.
See the Three Peaks
Fell Race website here, and see the full
28 April 2012
Start to Way Marking
Way marking the route of A Dales High Way has begun with the
unveiling of a new sign at the start of the 90-mile long-distance
trail in Saltaire.
The new sign was designed by Bradford Council and erected at
the entrance to the car park on Victoria Road earlier this month.
Julia Pearson, chair of the Friends of A Dales High Way, said:
"We're delighted with the new sign and grateful to Bradford
Council who have been very supportive of the Dales High Way
project from the beginning. We are now ready to start way marking
the first stages of the route."
The Friends have raised the funds for the way marks and
obtained the agreement for a design with all the authorities
responsible for those areas which the trail crosses. Positioning
of the way marks for the first stages has also been agreed with
officers from Bradford District Metropolitan Council and North
Yorkshire County Council.
Over the summer volunteers will put up the way marks between
Saltaire and Skipton.
"We still have to finalise a timetable with the Yorkshire
Dales National Park Authority and Cumbria County Council, but we
expect that the way marking of the entire route should be
completed by the end of next year," said Julia.
See the Friends of A Dales High Way here, and read the
background to the waymarking here.
16 April 2012
New "Inspirational" Dales video
A new Inspirational video short, The Yorkshire Dales - when are
you coming?, has been released by the Yorkshire Tourism Agency -
Welcome to Yorkshire.
There are views from the route of A Dales High Way,
including stunning aerial shots of Malham Cove
It is one of three new videos about the region and is intended
to be used by the regions tourist destinations to help promote the
area. The videos were premiered at this year's Y12 - the biggest
tourism conference in the UK, held last month at York's Barbican
Centre and attended by over 1,400 people.
It is estimated that there are 216 million visits to Yorkshire
each year, worth £7 billion pounds. The Agency also unveiled it's
new business plan. Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to
Yorkshire said: "We have a five year plan to keep Yorkshire
as high profile as ever and with the support of the industry and
our patrons worldwide we will continue to ensure Yorkshire has a
loud and credible voice on the global stage."
three videos here. See Welcome to Yorkshire
6 April 2012
Council to review moor shooting rights
Bradford Council is to review controversial grouse shooting
rights on Ilkley Moor.
The shooting rights were awarded to the Bingley Moor Estate
Partnership in December 2008, but there have been complaints from
walkers about the behaviour of the Partnership's game keepers. The
licence contains a clause which allows either party to end the
agreement after five years, with six months notice.
Edward Bromet of the Bingley Moor Estate Partnership, which
also organises shoots on the adjoining Bingley and Burley Moors,
said shoots took place for just six days last season, but the
partnership carried out management on the moor 365 days a year.
They pay the council £10,000 a year for the shooting rights.
The Friends of Ilkley Moor, set up to help maintain, conserve
and improve access to the moor, say they are unhappy with the way
some dog walkers have been treated by gamekeepers, and have
concerns about the land management work carried out by the
The review, expected to be formally approved today, says
councillors should consider "the economic aspects of the moor
and the shoot", "the operation of the shoot and the
interface between it and the public" and "the views of
key agencies, representative bodies and users of the moor."
An early stage of A Dales High Way crosses the moor, but sticks
to rights of way which should be unaffected by the shoots.
See our previous posting
here, and the Friends of Ilkley Moor
20 March 2012
The Dales returns to ITV
The popular ITV series The Dales is back for a second outing
following its success
Presenter Ade Edmundson realised a childhood ambition by taking
to the footplate of the Fellsman steam train as it headed north on
the Settle-Carlisle railway, crossing Ribblehead Viaduct on the
"I can't tell you how excited I am, if you're going on a
steam train there's really only one place to be and that's on the
footplate," says Ade.
He revisits some of the people he met in the first series,
including farmers Clive and Amanda Owen and their five children as
they face another eventful summer on their remote farm in
Swaledale, and pops in on mother and son farmers Carol and Phil
Mellin who have set up a sheepdog training enterprise on their
farm near Keighley.
For Ade it's a return to the places he loved as a youngster:
"I do like the Dales, I feel an affinity with them because
they seem so familiar to me. I was born in Bradford, which is just
on the border of the Dales, and we used to go into there a lot
when I was a nipper - for days out and picnics and the like. It
was where we used to go on all our school trips and as a teenager
it became the place where me and my mates would go camping, hoping
to get served in the pubs and meet girls..."
See our previous posting here,
and catch up with the series on ITV
5 March 2012
Victoria Cave exhibition to mark 175 years since discovery
A major exhibition of the important archaeological and
geological discoveries made
in Victoria Cave, above Settle, is to be staged in the summer.
The cave was unknown in modern times, until an inquisitive
terrier uncovered the tiny entrance on a fine May afternoon in
1837. Three weeks later, on the day Queen Victoria ascended to the
throne, local plumber Joseph Jackson crawled into the newly
uncovered cave entrance. Inside a wealth of Roman artefacts were
Major excavations followed between 1870 and 1877, uncovering
animal bones ranging from bear, lynx and red deer at higher
levels, and hippopotamus, lion and elephant at lower levels.
Evidence of the very first humans to live in the area has also
been identified by local archaeologist and conservationist Tom
The exhibition is being supported by a new project called Geo
Dales, headed by the Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust. The project
will also create trails using rights of way around Settle,
Greenhow Hill and Upper Nidderdale, focusing on geological and
archaeological points of interest. In addition, local
archaeologists will research ancient settlements around the
Plantlife Reserve at Winskill and restore a historic limekiln.
Urgent practical works and further research at Victoria Cave
will also be supported by the Yorkshire Dales National Park
Authority, Natural England, Winskill Farm visitor centre, caving
club volunteers and universities.
The exhibition will be staged at the Museum of North Craven
Life at The Folly in Settle from July to October, and Tom Lord
will be talking about the latest discoveries from Victoria Cave at
St John's Church Hall, Settle, on Friday May 4th as part of the
ride2stride Walking Festival.
Photo: Tom Lord entertains visitors at his farm at Lower
See Lower Winskill,
the Folly, and the Yorkshire
Dales Millenium Trust.
22 February 2012
The final programme for the new Settle-Carlisle Walking
Festival - ride2stride - has been released, and promises something
to please everyone.
There are over 20 led walks from stations along the famous
Settle to Carlisle Railway, ranging from easy 3-mile guided walks
around Ribblehead Viaduct to a strenuous 17 mile hike from
Hellifield to Settle. The walks are all free and there's no need
to book in advance - just turn up at the start. Each is led by an
experienced walk leader from one of a number of organisations who
are involved in the Festival.
There's music every day at different venues along the line,
with some of the region's best folk musicians performing open
sessions throughout the afternoons and evenings.
Helping to round the festival off on Bank Holiday Monday is
Dales Way author Colin Speakman, talking about Rambling and
Railways - one of a number of talks through the week in Settle.
The festival is being organised jointly by an ad-hoc committee
representing a number of organisations including Friends of the
Settle-Carlisle Line, Friends of DalesRail, Yorkshire Dales
Society, SCENe (Settle-Carlisle Enterprise Network), Skyware
Press, and the Three Peaks Folk Club.
The festival starts on Tuesday 1st May with two walks leaving
Settle Station at 09.50 (on arrival of the 08.49 train from
Leeds). Members of the Three Peaks Folk Club will provide musical
entertainment to launch the festival at Settle Station.
The Friends of A Dales High Way are leading a walk on Sunday, May
6th, following the route from Langscar to Settle. Meet at Settle
station at 10.10 a.m. to follow the Pennine Bridleway up past
Jubilee caves along an easy walk to Langscar, joining the route of
A Dales High Way back via Kirkby Fell and Attermire to Settle - 10
miles. (PLEASE NOTE: These details have changed since
originally published, due to changes in the bus timetable. The
original plan was to catch the Dalesbus to Malham and
walk back passing Malham Cove, Kirkby
Fell and Attermire Scar).
Walk leader Chris Grogan said: "This is one of my
favourite sections of the route and a great chance for walkers to
get a taste of A Dales High Way. We're really pleased to be part
of the ride2stride festival. It's going to be a fantastic
For the full programme see the ride2stride Festival website
7 February 2012
New guide to Dales Rail Trails
Explore the glorious high country of the Yorkshire Dales - by
train! A new walk guide from the authors of
A Dales High Way is
published this month and offers 32 day walks from stations along
the world famous Settle-Carlisle line, the most beautiful railway
Dales Rail Trails covers 18 circular routes from stations along
the line from Settle to Kirkby Stephen, each between 6 and 13
miles long, with a further 14 linear walks from station to
station. There are 22 full colour maps at a scale of 1:25,000,
with concise descriptions of the routes and places along the way.
Taken as a whole they provide a comprehensive coverage of the area
of the western Dales along the railway.
Co-author Chris Grogan said: "You can reach the heart of
this fabulous walking country from Leeds, Bradford or Carlisle by
train in little over an hour. Better still, why not enjoy a
walking holiday by basing yourself at a village on the line and
use the train to explore the stunning western Dales.
"We've been planning this book ever since we finished work
on the two Dales High Way guides. All those people who enjoyed the
long-distance trail and have thought about returning to the area
to explore this beautiful landscape further, will find this book
fits the bill perfectly."
The book also includes a guide to the popular 24-mile Three
Peaks Challenge Route, and for lovers of long distance walking
there are details of the 48-mile Six Peaks Trail, which links
stations from Settle to Kirkby Stephen. There's additional
supporting material online, including outtakes - outlines of walks
that didn't make it into the final book.
The Dales Rail Trails project received financial backing from
the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's Sustainable
Development Fund, and a proportion of the proceeds from the sale
of each copy will be donated to the Friends of the Three Peaks, to
help improve and maintain the footpath network in the Three Peaks
So, as they say, let the train take the strain while you enjoy
See more details of Dales Rail Trails
here. Buy a copy online
from Skyware Press.
22 January 2012
Olympic Torch blow to Mountain Rescue Teams
The arrival of the Olympic Torch in Skipton this summer will be
cause to celebrate for many, but will inadvertently add to the
funding worries of local Mountain Rescue organisations.
The arrival of the Torch on June 24th from Manchester, passing
through Bradford and Skipton before heading to Leeds, has meant
that the annual Broughton Game Show has had to be cancelled. This
in turn means that both the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue
Association (UWFRA) and Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO) will miss
out on more than £20,000. The Broughton Show is a major
fundraiser for both groups.
David Aynesworth, Chairman of the show committee said
"With lots of family events being planned for the town
centre, we felt this would have a massive affect on show
attendance, particularly as this event will draw people from many
Paul Jackson, editor of the Dalesman magazine which sponsors
the Broughton Show, said "It's a great shame that people will
miss out on what is a quirky and enjoyable day but I understand
that being part of the torch ceremony is for most people a once-in
a lifetime experience.
"The volunteers are the big losers, so I hope people who
would normally attend the show will go out of their way during the
next twelve months to support the teams' other fundraising
Since the first show in 1979 around £300,000 has been raised
for the two groups. It has only been cancelled twice in the past -
in 2001 because of Foot & Mouth and in 2009 after flash
Both groups are hoping alternative fund raising efforts will
help plug the gap this year. And both teams reiterate that they
will continue to provide the rescue service, wherever and whenever
it may be needed.
See the Broughton Game Show website
here. Find out about
alternative support for the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue
Association (UWFRA) and the Cave Rescue Organisation
the Olympic Torch route
11 January 2012
High Way Art Project triumph
The year long experiment of having an "Artist in
Residence" on A Dales High Way has ended
in triumph with
almost all the new paintings sold. Of over 30 oil paintings
produced through the year and exhibited in art galleries along the
route, from Shipley to Penrith, only a handful remain.
Saltaire artist David Starley, who came up with the idea of the
year long Dales High Way Art Project at the end of 2010,
he's had a great year: "The painting has been both challenging and creatively stimulating, but
with results that exceeded my expectation."
David works in oils, creating
fabulous, textural paintings - great big canvasses with the paint layered on to
create a sculptural surface which changes constantly as the light moves across
Excited by the possibility of creating an
exhibition themed around the route, David spent the year walking sections of
the trail with his camera and sketchbook, returning home to create his
paintings. Paintings inspired by the varied landscapes he experienced, from the
bleak moorland of Rombald's Moor to the flower-filled meadows of Dentdale, the
dramatic limestone scenery of Malhamdale to the richly wooded riverbanks of
Hoff Beck. Paintings which transform the views into pieces of art.
The Project maybe over, but the paintings remain as a lasting legacy of the power of this landscape to inspire and to
See our previous post
here, and see the results of David's
Dales High Way Art Project here.
1 January 2012