This year's Summer Newsletter from the Friends of A Dales
High Way is now available to download and read.
The summer weather may have been changeable, with one of the
wettest Julys on record, in the hottest July globally! But it
has provided the chance to spot the "the rainbow" of wild
flowers on show along the route, and the newsletter opens with a
guide to some of the best.
The newsletter includes a tribute to our good friend and
supporter David Halsall, who sadly died earlier this
There is news of the improvements to the path that have taken
place through the last year, including the replacement of
Bandley Bridge, near Appleby.
Destiny 200 is a super-ultra marathon race set for next
year that, as the name suggests, covers 200 miles of the
toughest and most scenic landscape on offer in Yorkshire and
It follows the Dales Way from Bowness-on-Windermere to
Ilkley, then the Dales Way link route through to Bradford. Then
back to Saltaire to pick up the Dales High Way to
Appleby. The run finishes with a final turn around High Cup
Nick! All that in 82 hours! Any runners out there up for the
challenge? The clock is ticking....
There's also a visual quiz showing highlights of A Dales High
Way - can you identify them all?
Please feel free to share it with friends and colleagues.
20 Aug 2023
Settle Flowerpots take centre stage
Walkers on A Dales High Way should
make some time to explore Settle's famous Flowerpot Festival
which is now underway - celebrating its tenth outing!
Running from July 15th through to September 3rd, the free
Festival appeals to all ages.
This year more than 150 flowerpot displays adorn the streets
of the town and it is estimated that several thousand flowerpots
have been used to create the diverse and entertaining exhibits,
ranging from a tiny bee to a very large Plantpotosaurus.
Originally conceived in 2013 by the Vibrant Settle Community
Partnership, spearheaded by residents Steve Amphlett and Tony
Hardwick, the Festival depends largely on local volunteers for
Steve said: “We had no idea it would take off the way it has
done. We’re delighted that here we are celebrating 10 years of
the festival and everyone is still just as enthusiastic and
creative. As organizers we do little other than encourage people
to get involved and get creative. There is no theme for the
festival other than ‘make people smile', so people can create
whatever takes their fancy."
Video shows BBC Look North's report.
2 Aug 2023
New Path Works by Willy Hall's Spout
New way-mark signage has been erected and the footpath
resurfaced on Ilkley Moor, just beyond White Wells and Willy
Hall's Spout, on the route of A Dales High Way.
The previous marker post had disappeared, but was replaced by
rangers from Bradford's Countryside Service after being
contacted by the Friend's of A Dales High Way.
The once muddy path between Willy Hall's Spout and Well's
Road, on the ridge above Ilkley Town, has now been resurfaced
As a registered Urban Common, there has long been a right of
access across all of Ilkley Moor on foot and on horseback, but
the council encourages walkers to stick to the extensive network
of paths and tracks there are easy to follow.
Chair of the Friends, Julia Pearson, said: "We have built a
good working relationship with the local staff of Bradford's
Countryside Service over the years, and we're very grateful for
the excellent work they've done here."
20 July 2023
Malham Hill Farmer Heads National Park Authority
Neil Heseltine, a 4th generation hill farmer, was elected to
serve a fourth consecutive year as Chair at last week's annual
general meeting of the Yorkshire Dales National Park
Neil and his family run Hill Top Farm, breeding pedigree
Belted Galloway cattle and Swaledale sheep in 1100 acres of
limestone scenery above Malham village. They also offer a
Bunkbarn and Holiday Cottage for visitors to the area, including
Dales High Way walkers.
Neil said: “What’s really important over the next year
is the start of work to develop the next five-year Yorkshire
Dales National Park Management Plan. It will be about the
hearing from local communities and working with all our partners
to achieve our shared ambitions".
Neil also recently became Chair of the advocacy body
National Parks England, which works to promote the needs of
the country's 10 National Parks.
Derek Twine, the former chief executive of the Scouts
Association, from Burley-in-Wharfedale, has become Deputy Chair
for the first time.
Their task is to lead the National Park Authority for the
year ahead as it runs a range of programmes such as wildlife
conservation and rights of way maintenance, while fulfilling its
statutory duty as the local planning authority.
2 July 2023
Ingleborough Path Re-laid
The final push to finish the Ingleborough Access Project
was completed in early summer with the re-laying of
existing stone flags at Humphrey Bottom, on the route of
A Dales High Way.
The Access project was a 4 year project to improve the public
right of way network on the Yorkshire Dale’s second-highest
Rob Ashford, Area Ranger for Malhamdale & Ribblesdale, said:
"This was due to be completed in 2022, but due to a congested
year, where we finished the Sulber Nick project and started
Brackenbottom pitching on Pen-y-Ghent, the Humphrey Bottom
flagging project was delayed. We did look at starting in
March but the ground was far too wet; blanket bogs are not a
forgiving feature for plant and machinery at this time of year,
as you can appreciate.
" Humphrey Bottom is the peat bog section on the route from
Chapel-le-Dale towards the summit of Ingleborough. The
route is engineered with reclaimed stone flags. The flagging
project’s aim was to replace some of the broken and damaged
flags with imported reclaimed flags and to reset some of the
"If you’ve ever walked up this route in the winter you’ll
know that the flags get very icy due to surface water draining
onto the flags, which results in walkers straying off the stone
flags and eroding the delicate landscape to the side of the
path. The Ranger team are also digging a turf lined ditch
to the side of the flags to assist with surface water drainage,
which in turn will hopefully keep people on the flags."
16 June 2023
Bandley Bridge Re-opens
Bandley Bridge, on the final approach to Appleby at the end
of A Dales High Way, has now re-opened after a 3 month closure.
An alternative route, avoiding the bridge site by taking to
the road, was posted on this site, though many walkers seem to
have not noticed or ignored it.
On the 13th April walker David Beckwith found the bridge
gone, with just 3 new steel girders crossing Hoff Beck. He said
".. the bridge across the Hoff Beck, last mile to Appleby, is
being replaced. Bandley Bridge (no access), I did not see any
signs (I may have missed them)." He managed to get across
At the weekend Matt and Helen Ward finished their Dales High
Way walk, and posted a picture of the new Bandley Bridge on the
Dales High Way' Facebook group page. Helen said: "Matt Ward and
I completed the DHW today. Gorgeous weather and a lovely walk
into Appleby. Sorry to see it end. So many highlights...such
varied landscapes and views. Flowers esp orchids a delight.
Can't recommend it enough."
On Tuesday Michael Talbot, Countryside Access Officer for
Westmorland and Furness Council, told us: "Good news. Bandley
Bridge has been finished and open to use. Closure notices might
still be up on site but I'll be taking them down and lifting the
formal closure this afternoon."
Our thanks go to the countryside officers of the new
Westmorland and Furness Council.
Photo: The new Bandley Bridge, courtesy of Matt & Helen
24 May 2023
Yesterday we said goodbye to David Halsall who died recently
after a short illness.
David was a true Friend of A Dales High Way. In 2008 before
the publication of the first guidebook he and his wife Bridget
test-walked the route, checking both maps and directions for
accuracy and clarity.
David was a founder member of the Friends group and active on
the committee, inspecting waymarks, erecting fingerposts and
taking every opportunity to get out on the path.
David was a happy man who enjoyed walking, film-making and
physics. He was a keen and talented film maker and his YouTube
channel contains films of his and Bridget’s many long distance
Their Dales High Way film certainly tells it like it is –
rain, boggy bits, tough days and tearooms. Always tearooms
because David never said no to a sweet treat.
David was diagnosed in February with an aggressive brain
tumour. He died peacefully at home on 24th April. He is buried
at Tarn Moor natural woodland burial site outside Skipton and
just metres away from the route of A Dales High Way. His funeral
was attended by family, friends, colleagues and fellow walkers
who gave generously to Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue in his name.
He will be sorely missed.
Photo: shows David (facing with shovel) preparing a waymark
post in Trench Woods, November 2021.
11 may 2023
ride2stride is back for 2023!
Ride2stride - the Settle-Carlisle Walking Festival - is back
in 2023 after a three year break due to the pandemic.
The ever popular festival has a full programme of walks,
talks and music over the week from 25th April to 1st May.
Amongst the highlights is the 48 mile long distance trail -
The Six Peaks Trail - which runs from Settle to Kirkby Stephen
and is put on over 4 consecutive days. As well as the well known
Yorkshire Three Peaks of Penyghent, Ingleborough and Whernside,
the other peaks climbed include Great Knoutberry, Swarth Fell and Wild
The free Festival has proved incredibly popular, bringing
people from across the country and abroad, to enjoy the
wonderful landscape and culture of the Yorkshire Dales and the
16 April 2023
Westmorland Rises from the Ashes
On April 1st 1974, at the stroke of a pen, the ancient county
of Westmorland disappeared, along with the adjoining county of
Cumberland. They were replaced by Cumbria.
The old county town of Appleby, in a defiant move, renamed
Now, almost 50 years later, Westmorland is back.
As of 1 April 2023, Cumbria County Council was abolished. As
were the councils of Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle
City, Copeland, Eden District, and South Lakeland District.
Cumberland Council has since taken over the area previously
covered by the Allerdale, Carlisle City, and Copeland
Meanwhile, Westmorland and Furness Council is in charge of
the area formerly covered by Barrow-in-Furness, Eden District,
and South Lakeland District authorities.
The boundaries are not exactly the same - around a quarter of
historic Cumberland around the town of Penrith is in the new
Westmorland and Furness council.
Cumbria will remain as a "ceremonial" county and the name
will remain in the names of various organisations such as the
Lord Eric Pickles, who championed traditional counties during
his time as communities secretary, said: “This is great news.
People live in Cumberland and Westmorland - they don’t live in
Cumbria. Cumbria was a creation of the madness of the 1970s when
politicians and bureaucrats decided people live in different
6 April 2023
Trench Meadows Hedge Fund
Work has just finished on upgrading the entrance to Trench
Woods, near the start of A Dales High Way,
with new hedge laying.
As well as cutting back overgrowth along the bridleway which
passes through Trench Meadows to the woods, an ambitious project
of new hedging and fencing have been undertaken. This completes
upgrade work to the paths and signage in this important area, a
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which took place in
2021. The work was through the Bradford Council Countryside
scheme, using contractors and volunteers.
Julia Pearson, Chair of the Friends of A Dales High Way,
said: "Holly dominates the hedge and has played a significant
role in shading the path as well as the adjacent grassland.
Trench Meadows is designated as a SSSI as it is mainly lowland
meadow, a nationally rare habitat, and the reduction in hedge
height will benefit the grassland species.
"Hedge laying is a traditional technique used to produce a
stock proof barrier, whilst also creating a great habitat for
nesting birds and a corridor for small mammals. The hedge here
is a mixture of holly and hawthorn, so will produce a crop of
berries for winter bird food.
" The process involves cutting 'pleachers' almost through the
width of the trunk, but crucially retaining enough growth to
form a hinge which enables the tree to be folded down at an
angle. The trees are staked to give stability, and over
the following years new vertical growth will emerge from the
base and along the trunk. The process can be repeated every 10
years or so, depending how the hedge is trimmed in the interim.
New hawthorn and hazel saplings have been planted to augment the
16 Mar 2023
Abandoned 4x4 on Dales High Way
An abandoned 4x4 was found by a member of the Yorkshire Dales
National Park Authority on a bridleway near Weets Top, above
Malham, last week - on the route of A Dales High Way.
A police officer posted on social media that they had taken a
short stroll of around two miles over the moor near Gordale Scar
to find the abandoned vehicle shown in the picture.
They added: "What you can't see in this picture is the vast
amount of deeply rutted tyre tracks that it had left in the soft
ground either side of the main path. Absolutely no need for it
"The bridleway forms part of the Dales Highway and is used
extensively by walkers, cyclists and horses. It is not there for
adventure-seeking 4x4 enthusiasts to use and abuse. There are
clearly posted signs at the entrance to the lane and on both of
the gates that the driver would have stopped to open. Even
without the signs, no reasonable person could mistake this
bridleway for a permissible green lane.
"Enquiries will now continue to trace the owner/driver, who
will then be reported for a few different offences, as well as
being issued a warning under S.59 of the Police Reform Act.
"I take incidents like this seriously. Yes, we have crimes to
investigate and deal with. But we also need to make time to look
after our national park and protect it from mindless vandalism
"Similar incidents can be reported via 101, or the North
Yorkshire Police website."
6 Mar 2023
Temporary Route Change at Bandley Bridge
From March this year, the closure of Bandley Bridge, on
the approach to Appleby, will mean a temporary route change for
walkers finishing A Dales High Way.
As there is no nearby alternative to crossing Hoff Beck with
the closure of Bandley Bridge, walkers must take to the road at
Hoff, through Burrells, to finish the final stage of the walk.
Alexander Denton, Countryside Access Officer for Cumbria
County Council said : "Please
take this as notice that the works to replace Bandley Bridge
over Hoff Beck on bridleway no.303001, will be commencing at the
start of March 2023, the bridge will be closed for approximately
10 weeks once the works are underway. "
The road from Hoff to Burrells is fairly quiet. Here the road
turns left onto the busier B6260, heading for Appleby. There are
a couple of vergeless spots, so great care is needed. Join the
main route at Colby Lane beneath the castle walls for the
entrance into Appleby.
These works were initially proposed for February last year,
but then delayed.
UPDATE: 23 May 2023 - new Bandley Bridge
now open for use.
15 Feb 2023
Grant Scheme for Hill Farmers Extended
A 3-year grant scheme to help hill farmers in the Yorkshire
Dales National Park has been extended for an extra year.
The project ‘Farming in Protected Landscapes’ run by DEFRA -
the government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs, is now set to end in March 2025, following the success
of its initial 2 years.
One of the outstanding projects to receive a grant is being
run by the Orton Fells Farm Cluster Group in the Westmorland
Dales, which covers part of the western Howgill Fells and the
area around Tebay and Orton. The group has used a grant to
develop a local nature recovery plan and run a host of
engagement activities such as school visits to farms.
Jane Lane, the Chair of the Group, said: "Getting a better
understanding of our agricultural management practices has
enabled us to focus on combining the best of modern and
traditional farming practices to ensure we produce healthy food
alongside creating a rich biodiverse network across our farmed
The scheme is administered by the Yorkshire Dales National
Park Authority, which so far has granted a total of £1.4 million
through 104 agreements.
1 Feb 2023
Wild Camping in Dartmoor outlawed
The last oasis for wild camping in England has been closed,
following a ruling by the High Court.
Until last week, it was possible to pitch a tent in the
Dartmoor national park in Devon without obtaining the permission
of a landowner, under the terms of the 1985 Dartmoor
But Alexander Darwall - a hedge fund manager and owner of a
vast Dartmouth estate challenged this right in the High Court -
and the court ruled in his favour.
Right to Roam campaigners have slammed the ruling as a
“tragedy” and promised to “go to war” to challenge it.
Meanwhile, Dartmoor National Park has reached a "permissive
agreement" with a number of Dartmoor landowners to allow wild
camping to continue in specified areas. The Park Authority will
pay the landowners a nominal fee annually.
Generally, it is illegal to wild camp in England and Wales
without the express permission of the landowner, though any
penalties would only arise where someone refused to move when so
requested by the landowner. Many landowners are happy to host
wild campers, but only if they are respectful of the area they
Most wild campers who follow their code go unnoticed,
pitching a small backpacking tent at dusk, lighting no fires,
and clearing away at dawn, taking everything with them. The rule
is: Leave no Trace.
Wild camping on trails like a Dales High Way is growing in
popularity, often mixed with nights at official campsites which
provide good facilities. A glance at the blog-posts on this
website will provide a number of examples.
19 Jan 2023
2022 - UK Warmest Year on Record
2022 will be the warmest year on record for the UK, according
to Met Office figures.
All four seasons have fallen in the top ten in a series which
began in 1884 and the 10 warmest years have all occurred since
As well as setting a new 139-year annual mean temperature
record, 2022 will also be remembered for the record-breaking
temperature of 40.3C at Coningsby in July.
The final provisional figure for 2022 will be available at
the conclusion of the year and will then be subject to further
quality control and a verification process.
2022 will also be the warmest year on record in the 364-year
Central England temperature series from 1659, the world’s
longest instrumental record of temperature.
Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office’s National Climate
Information Centre, said: “2022 is going to be the warmest year
on record for the UK. While many will remember the summer’s
extreme heat, what has been noteworthy this year has been the
relatively consistent heat through the year, with every month
except December being warmer than average.
“The warm year is in line with the genuine impacts we expect
as a result of human-induced climate change. Although it doesn’t
mean every year will be the warmest on record, climate change
continues to increase the chances of increasingly warm years
over the coming decades.”
1 Jan 2023