Early Anglo-Saxon site uncovered on Ingleborough
A team of volunteers from the Ingleborough Archaeology Group
have excavated the earliest example of an Anglo-Saxon building in
the Yorkshire Dales.
The site, in Upper Pasture, near Selside, on the eastern flank
of Ingleborough, was excavated over 11 days in spring this year.
The excavation was led by Dr. David Johnson, who said: "We
uncovered a small, rectangular, partly stone-built building with
two rooms and in it we found 16 pieces of charcoal impressed into
the compacted soil floor.
"Two of these were sent for radiocarbon dating and
returned identical dates - between AD660 and 780, which puts the
end of the site's use firmly within the Anglo-Saxon period. That
makes this building the only firmly-dated, post-Roman
archaeological site in Ribblesdale - which is of more than local
The area around Ingleborough is beginning to reveal a detailed
pattern of human occupation throughout the historic and
pre-historic period. In 1975 a Viking-age settlement was excavated
on the mountain's northern flank at Gauber, by a team led by Dr.
Alan King. A number of coins dated that site to the ninth century.
Robert White, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's
Senior Historic Environment Officer, said: "This is an
exciting discovery and one which is a credit to the group for the
professional way they approached and conducted the excavation.
"The results help fill in a picture of how life and
farming communities developed in the Dales and shows just how much
unrecorded archaeology there still is."
See the Ingleborough Archaeological Group's report
out more about Dales archaeological sites
20 December 2011
National Park extension wins approval
Plans to extend the boundaries of both the Yorkshire Dales and
Lake District National Parks have won the approval of Natural
England, the public agency responsible for advising the government
on the environment. The decision follows a second round of public
Natural England's recommendations will now go to the Secretary
of State Caroline Spelman for approval.
The second round consultations looked in particular at the
future designation of the Orton Fells which lie to the north of
the Howgill Fells, and include the fine limestone pavements of
Great Asby Scar. A large number of those who responded supported
the inclusion of the Orton Fells in the Dales National Park,
including most of those who lived in the area. But there was
opposition from both Cumbria County Council and Eden District
Council, as well as a number of local parish councils.
Natural England has decided:
1) the boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park should be
varied to the north, to include parts of the Orton Fells, the
northern Howgill Fells, Wild Boar Fell and Mallerstang; and to the
west, to include Barbon, Middleton, Casterton and Leck Fells, the
River Lune and, part of Firbank Fell and other fells to the west
of the river; and
2) the boundary of the Lake District National Park should be
varied to the east, to include an area from Birkbeck Fells Common
to Whinfell Common; and to the south to include an area from
Helsington Barrows to Sizergh Fell, and part of the Lyth Valley,
including the small new addition of land North of Sizergh Castle.
The route of A Dales High Way crosses both the Howgill Fells
and the Orton Fells in it's final stages on its way to Appleby-in-Westmorland.
There will be further opportunity for public scrutiny, and if
objections continue a public inquiry may result.
See previous posting
here. Natural England's Lakes to Dales
Designation project here.
9 Dec 2011
Sedbergh Folkfest cancelled for 2012
The very popular Sedbergh Folk Festival will not take place in
2012. A message appearing on the festival website simply says
"There will be no Sedbergh Folkfest in 2012 as we have
decided to take a year off and have a rest!".
Sedbergh is considered one of the north's finest folk
festivals. Originally known as Dent Folk Festival, it took on a
more commercial form and moved to Sedbergh in 2009.
But in 2010 its public funding support, valued at around
£10,000, came to an end. With the added factor of very bad
weather, the festival made a loss. In August the Festival
organisers announced an increase in prices for 2012:
"Recent loses, rising costs & improvements mean 2012
tickets will go up. Weekend, Concert, Camping up 12%, introduction
of a charge to attend the Arena events of around £5 per day with
a weekend Arena pass at around £10 for the weekend."
The new announcement has come as a shock, Festival organiser
Alec Lyon has promised to continue to run one-off events at
various venues through next year.
Meanwhile it seems the parallel free community Dentdale Music
& Beer Festival is still on.
See previous post here. See
Sedbergh Folkfest site here and the
Dentdale Music & Beer Festival here.
25 Nov 2011
Dales High Way to feature in Walk conference
Ten years ago the Foot and Mouth outbreak saw most footpaths in
the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbrian Fells closed overnight. The
result was a disaster for the rural economies of those areas, and
a wake up call to the authorities as to how important walkers are.
So it's fitting that a decade later a one-day conference will
turn the spotlight back on country walking, whether for health and
pleasure or as an important factor in the modern rural economy.
A presentation on A Dales High Way, and the impact the long
distance route has on the Dales economy, will feature in the
Celebrated author Colin Speakman will deliver the key note talk
on Walking: a cultural, environmental and human health
perspective. He will be drawing on his long experience of work in
the Yorkshire Dales and the extensive research he undertook for
his recent acclaimed book Walk! A celebration of striding out.
"We have the finest rights of way legislation in the
world. I've walked in Germany, France, Austria, absolutely
magnificent, but when you look at our spider's web of little
trails that you know you can walk and have the right to walk, it's
one of the towering achievements", he said.
There will also be contributions about the Dales Railways, a
new Wainwright long distance trail, walkers and sustainable public
transport, and the benefits of walking in cancer rehabilitation.
The conference takes place at Victoria Hall, Saltaire on
Wednesday, 16 November, starting at 11.30 a.m. and the fee of £15
includes lunch provided by the popular local Terrace Café bar.
There are still places available. If you're interested contact
the Settle-Carlisle Enterprise network on 01969 650187
Get more details and a copy of the Conference programme
See the Terrace café Bar
12 Nov 2011
Ilkley Moor footpaths resurfaced
Work to resurface eroded paths on Ilkley Moor is nearing
completion, with rotting boardwalks being replaced by stone flags.
Work has been carried out on well used paths on the top of the
moor, between Whetstone Gate and the trig point, as well as the
main footpath leading from Lanshaw Lad down to Ilkley Crags, on
the route of A Dales High Way. In total a kilometre length of
footpath has now been resurfaced.
The 300 tons of flags came from a Manchester Mill and were
flown onto site by helicopter. But not enough flags were brought
in to quite finish the work, so more are expected in the near
The restoration work is part of the £1.9 million South
Pennines Watershed Landscape project, which aims to conserve and
study the uplands stretching from Ilkley to the south of
Huddersfield, including Rombalds Moor.
Danny Jackson, countryside and rights of way manager for
Bradford Council, said flagstones would encourage people to stick
to the path: "We know it's a successful technique to restore
the vegetation at the edges of the paths," he said.
"We're restoring an eroded landscape."
See previous post
here. See also The Friends of Ilkley Moor
1 Nov 2011
First outing for Friends of A Dales High Way
The Friends of A Dales High Way met on a glorious Saturday
afternoon to walk the first stretch of the long-distance
trail from Saltaire to Ilkey.
It was the first organised event for the fledgling group, and
they teamed up with the Dales Way Association (DWA) who were
walking the Bradford Dales Way Link. The two walks share a similar
route between Saltaire and Ilkley.
The Friends met up with the DWA on the canal path at Saltaire
and set off, climbing through Trench Woods and onto Shipley Glen
under clear blue skies. At Golcar Farm the two groups split, each
following their own respective routes onto Rombalds Moor, before
meeting up again 2½ miles later at a boundary marker where the
three local moors of Ilkley, Bingley and Burley meet.
After a brief rest, on they went, passing the Twelve Apostles
stone circle before the steep climb down over Ilkey Crags to White
Wells, where the flag was flying and the cold waters of the
Victorian bath house looked most welcoming. Dales Way author Colin
Speakman entertained the group throughout, with anecdotes and
details about the various sights on offer.
Leaving the route of A Dales High Way then, it was down into
Ilkley for a pint or two of Mary Jane before hopping on the train
A grand day out and a great success for the fledgling Friends.
Membership is free, so why not join up now?
More details on the Friends of A Dales High Way
Chris's report of the walk here.
16 Oct 2011
High Way features on Radio Ramblings
A Dales High Way features on the popular Radio 4 programme
Ramblings this week. Dales High Way author Chris Grogan joined
Colin and Fleur Speakman and presenter Clare Balding to walk a
section of the Dales Way.
As they follow the course of the River Wharfe, through the dale
of the same name, Clare hears from Colin and Chris about their
passion for walking in this landscape. Colin explains about the
imagination of the Romantic writers who inspired generations of
people to enjoy the countryside, his love of long distance
walking, his passionate belief in rights for ramblers and his
fight to keep paths open and accessible for all.
The remnants of Hurricane Karina almost put paid to the
recording, but the route was switched from the high level section
between Grassington and Kettlewell for a more sheltered riverside
section from Grassington back to Burnsall.
The Dales Way is one of Britain's most popular and cherished
routes and for over 40 years walkers have followed its route from
Ilkley in Yorkshire to Bowness-on-Windermere, passing through the
heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the foothills of
It also inspired the creation of A Dales High Way, a sister
route to the Dales Way which does what it says on the tin and
follows a higher level route from Saltaire to Appleby-in-Westmorland.
The programme is transmitted at 06.07 on Saturday 1st October,
and again at 15.00 on Thursday 6 October on BBC Radio 4.
Photo shows (from left) Fleur Speakman, Chris Grogan, Clare
Balding, Colin Speakman.
Listen to the programme on BBC
i-player here. See the Dales
Way Association website here.
1 October 2011
The Festival Season's Not Over Yet
Organisers of Saltaire Festival are hoping that the sun will
continue to shine this weekend. Traditionally the festival
finishes with a weekend of outdoor fun and this year is no
exception. The Continental Market starts on Friday and on Saturday
and Sunday there is the huge Festival Gala, with its funfair and
stalls, in Roberts Park.
A highlight of the festival is always the live music on the
Piazza Stage. Starting at noon both days festival goers can enjoy
sounds from performers as diverse as the Phoenix Ceilidh Band and
the 50's rock 'n' rollers Eddie Earthquake and the Tremors. A
beer, some sunshine, what could be better?
Walkers on A Dales High Way may come across other festivals
this month. Skipton International Puppet Festival takes place from
23rd to 25th September - watch out for those giant sheep, and
Sedbergh, England's only Book Town, is organising a programme of
late summer literary events under its The Write Idea
banner, starting on September 21st.
Festival website here; Skipton
Puppet Festival here; and Sedbergh's
Write Idea here.
15 September 2011
One off the wish list for Dales Rescue Team
The Upper Wharfedale Rescue team have taken possession of a
brand new Incident Control Vehicle packed with state of the art
communications. The hi-tech VW Transporter, which includes a 40
foot electronic mast that extends at the push of a button,
replaces an old box trailer which had to be towed to major
Transport Officer Mike Brown is delighted at this huge advance
for the team. "The old trailer was 30 years old and just had
a couple of radios inside and with no heating. It was pretty grim
in winter and as it only had room for one person, discussions with
our controllers, the police and other key personnel had to done
outside against the elements. We had to make the old trailer work
but it was hard going."
It took the team over four years to raise the required funds
plus many months of setting out a very detailed specification both
for the vehicle and then the communications equipment for the
demanding rescue work they perform in the Dales.
One of four Fell Rescue teams that cover the area of A Dales
High Way, last year they took part in 40 emergency call outs. Just
two weeks ago they assisted the Clapham based Cave Rescue
Organisation at an emergency near Selside.
A group of four adults and eight teenagers became trapped in
Long Churn Cave following heavy rainfall and severe flooding.
Initially water levels were too high for the teams to enter the
cave, but eventually the level fell for a short 50 minute period
and search teams were able to locate the party sheltering beyond
the Cheese Press and assist them to the surface, none the worse
for their ordeal.
The Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue team, based in Grassington, is
the third oldest team in the country with more than 80 highly
trained volunteers on call 365 days a year. They are one of only
three teams in the country who perform both surface and
underground rescues - all three are in the Yorkshire Dales.
See our previous post
here. The Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue
Team website here, and the Cave Rescue Organisation
26 Aug 2011
Three Peaks path wins cash boost
for conservation work near Pen-y-ghent by the Three Peaks
Project topped an online poll for crucial Eurocash aid.
The bid was voted top of four similar British campaigns by the
public and will pick up 30,000 Euros (£26,154) for improvements
to an alternative route on the popular Three Peaks Challenge
The Three Peaks Challenge is a 24-mile endurance walk
crossing Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough and the Three
Peaks Project aims to encourage charities, organisations and
individuals to help in the maintenance and conservation of the
network of paths that has to cope with 250,000 visitors each year.
A notoriously boggy section of the route over Horton Moor and
Black Dubb Moss - between Pen-y-ghent and Ribblehead - has become
badly eroded and the topsoil has been washed away, causing
significant damage to internationally-important peat habitat.
An alternative route over Whitber Hill passes over drier ground
and uses mainly existing paths. With some work, it could be
developed as an alternative official route.
Steve Hastie, Three Peaks project manager, said: "This
really is excellent news. It means we can put the missing link in
to the circuit so that walkers will be able to avoid the infamous
Black Dubb Moss and we can put in place appropriate revegetation
work to help the damaged land recover. Once it's all finished, we
will, for the first time, have a sustainable circuit."
A Dales High Way uses some well-maintained
sections of the Three Peaks route as it crosses Ingleborough.
The winning bid was put forward by the Yorkshire Dales
See previous posting here. Find out about
the Three Peaks
Project here, and the Yorkshire
Dales Millenium Trust here.
If you've walked the Three Peaks Challenge Route, please fill
in this simple Three
Peaks Project survey here.
10 August 2011
World Heritage sites linked in 210 mile walk
The two World Heritage sites of New Lanark and Saltaire were
linked this week in a very unusual
way. A small but enthusiastic group of supporters turned out to
greet Roger Clarke, Dave Shaw and David King as they walked into
the Boathouse pub in Saltaire yesterday, completing the 210 mile
walk they had devised.
"It seems very likely that Titus Salt was influenced by
Robert Owen's New Lanark mill and village when he came to build
Saltaire", said historian Dave Shaw, "and we wanted to
celebrate the bonds between these two unique sites".
New Lanark lies about 25 miles southeast of Glasgow. Founded in
1786 by David Dale, who built cotton mills and housing for the
mill workers, it became a successful business and an epitome of
utopian socialism under the stewardship of Robert Owen.
The walkers had an outline plan of the route they would take
but assessed it every evening and made changes if necessary. They
used established long distance paths where possible and in fact
were partly inspired to undertake the trek by A Dales High
Way which covers the 90 miles from Appleby to Saltaire.
"One of the highlights for me was getting back to the
Dales and feeling the limestone under our feet, "said Roger.
"Seeing Ribblehead Viaduct and knowing we were only 45 miles
from home was a great moment."
While Roger and Dave walked, David King provided excellent
support, driving the luggage between overnight stops and on
occasion ferrying the walkers to B&Bs which were a little
off-route. David, along with two others, joined Dave and Roger for
the final seven miles from Ilkley and the triumphant entry into
the Boathouse where celebratory pints of Saltaire Blonde were
Read the full account of the walk on the Saltaire
Village website. See also New
Lanark website here.
27 July 2011
Kings Head in Ravestonedale re-opens for business
These days it's tough going making a pub work, especially in
remote rural areas. So it's good news to see The Kings Head in
Ravenstonedale - a beautiful pub of great character - reopen after
a two-year closure.
The grade-II listed pub has undergone a complete refurbishment
and now has six en-suite bedrooms, with WiFi facilities, plasma
televisions and a choice of shower or bath, providing useful
accommodation for walkers on A Dales High Way.
Owner Chris Metcalfe-Gibson said: "The new and vibrant
management team is determined to restore the reputation of this
traditional Cumbrian pub as a welcoming hostelry in which good
food, real ales and excellent accommodation can be enjoyed."
Ravenstonedale is a lovely Cumbrian village at the northern
foot of the Howgills, directly on the alternative route of A Dales
High Way and one-mile from Newbiggin-on-Lune on the main route.
The village has another pub, the Black Swan Hotel, with an
adjacent small shop.
Most remote rural Inns were established centuries ago to cater
for early pack-horse traders and cattle drovers. They now provide
food and accommodation for modern-day travellers - walkers,
cyclists and tourists. Many long-distance routes would be
difficult without the crucial services they provide.
Sadly, not all pubs have made it through these harsh financial
times. "Village life in Britain is dying out because rural
pubs are closing at a record rate", said a report last year
from the British Beer and Pub Association, which revealed pubs
were closing at a rate of 25 a week. BBPA chief executive Brigid
Simmonds said: "Along with local shops, post offices and
schools, village pubs are pivotal to the life of local communities
across Britain. Pubs act as much more than a social venue. They
are a focal point for sports teams, local groups and meetings. In
addition they provide a range of community services like post
offices and shops."
One such casualty is The New Inn at Hoff, former home to the
Appleby Blues Club. Just 2½ miles from the finish of A Dales High
Way, it closed its doors three years ago and is unlikely to reopen
as a pub.
See the Kings Head Hotel website
here, and the Black Swan Hotel
here. See also Ravenstonedale's village website
11 July 2011
Welcome to Glas-Dent-bury
"Welcome to Glas-Dent-bury" said folk singer Martin
Stimson as he took the stage at Dentdale's third Music & Beer
Festival on Saturday afternoon, in pouring rain.
The crowd gathered under umbrellas on straw bales, or squeezed
under the canopy of the nearby food tent, for the open-air
performance whilst kids enjoyed a mud-slide down the once grassy
But the downpours did little to spoil the event, the popularity
of which is beginning to cause a strain on the resources of this
quiet Dales village - the largest campsite at High Laning was
fully booked weeks in advance.
The festival was created in 2009 to take the place of its
predecessor - the Dent Folk Festival, which had moved 6 miles down
the road and renamed itself The Sedbergh Folkfest. The free
festival's huge success is in no small way due to the fact that it
truly is a community event.
An army of volunteers prepare, cook and serve the amazingly
delicious food at the Dentdale Deli - all sourced locally. Another
army serves the wide range of real ales from the two on-site bars,
and yet another run round stewarding the event.
At the village hall the local football team dish up breakfasts
for bleary-eyed music fans. And throughout the festival the two
village pubs are a haven for the wet, cold and thirsty as they
squeeze in to catch some of the many ad-hoc sessions that start up
in any corner where a handful of musicians have gathered.
Even some of the main acts - Dick Gaughan; Heidi Talbot, Boo
Hewerdine and John McCusker; and Charlie Dore are there because
they've been sponsored by locals.
Funds are raised by sponsorship and by bucket collection, and
as well as funding the next year's festival, the proceeds have
been ploughed back into the community - helping to fund cave
rescue, the primary school and the church bells. Funds also helped
save the local bus service which was due to be cut completely.
Festival committee member Peter Rushton said: "For some local
residents, particularly teenagers, it's the only way of travelling
out of the village."
Some walkers on A Dales High Way and the Dales Way were amongst
the crowd as the sunshine appeared at last for the final day of
the festival. Long may it continue.
See the Dentdale Music &
Beer Festival website here, and
the Sedbergh Folkfest
here. See our previous post
26 June 2011
50,000 visit Appleby Horse Fair 2011
Appleby Horse Fair this year attracted record numbers of
visitors, following the success of TV series such as "The
Lakes" and "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding".
Yet the fair was hailed a huge success despite an estimated
total of 50,000 visitors in a town with a population of just
2,500. Reported crime was down 25% on last year.
Travellers spokesman Billy Welch said: "It's been a great
fair this year. There was great weather on the first few days and
lots of catching up with friends. I feel as though we're back on
track after a difficult year in 2010."
For the first time this year the Multi-Agency Strategic
Co-ordinating Group, which oversees the fair, met daily with
gipsies and travellers and community leaders. Police said this had
helped to quickly resolve problems like 'boy racer' style driving
around Market Field.
Assistant chief constable Jerry Graham said: "There have
been a few isolated incidents of violence during this year's fair
but overall, it has been more peaceful and enjoyable than in other
years - despite the vast increase in visitor numbers."
Most of Appleby's pubs were open for business again this year,
as blazing sunshine welcomed the start of the fair.
Appleby's St Lawrence's Church was a riot of colour and
crystals at the weekend as ten gipsy children were baptised in one
afternoon. TV camera crews packed out the church to capture the
christening of Billy Welch's three year-old granddaughter Rachel,
as well as her boisterous young guests chattering away in the
Appleby is the finishing point for walkers on A Dales
11 June 2011
High Way Arts Trail Success
People were queuing this weekend to get into the Saltaire home
of artist David Starley and see his new exhibition of paintings
inspired by the landscapes of A Dales High Way.
David is one of the artists exhibiting at Saltaire Arts Trail - a
three-day event featuring Open Houses and a fantastic opportunity
to see art in traditional Saltaire village homes.
This year 12 local residents played host to over 50 artists,
allowing the public to visit their homes and view the art. Other
events included An Evening with Colin Speakman and friends - the
celebrated Dales Way author led a discussion in a packed Saltaire
Bookshop about the close affinity between the arts and walking the
Saltaire Arts Trail is a hugely popular annual event bringing
thousands of visitors to the village. After all, what's not to
like - the chance to see beautiful things AND poke around other
people's houses. As one visitor was overheard to say: "I
haven't bought any pictures, but I have seen a FABULOUS
30 May 2011
The mysterious Hound of Addingham High Moor
"Look out for the Hound of Windgate Nick. Won't say more
or it will spoil the surprise - but you will know it when you see
it." This advice posted by a newly returned Dales High Way
walker to fellow walkers has added to a mystery that has been
confounding Ilkley residents since the strange beast first
appeared in January this year.
For perched high on a rocky outcrop above Addingham Moorside,
right on the route of A Dales High Way, is a willow
sculpture of a wolf (or hound - you decide) baying at the moon.
Who made it or how it got there nobody knows - or if they do
they're certainly not telling.
Intrepid reporter Amanda Greaves, of the Ilkley Gazette, has
been doing her best to find out and has appealed to readers for
help. Ilkley resident Colin Speakman, chairman of the Dales Way
Association and deviser of the classic long distance walk that
starts in the town is also perplexed. "The Wolf of Ilkley
Moor … we need Sherlock Holmes" he said.
One idea was that it might be part of the Watershed Landscapes
Project, which has commissioned artists to create work inspired by
the moors. That was soon scuppered when Robin Gray from Pennine
Prospects, the organisation leading the project, said, "I'm
sorry to say I can't help….intriguing!"
Everyone has their own theory including Friends of Ilkley Moor
chairman Owen Wells. He links the beast to the willow sheep which
were displayed in Ilkley's Darwin gardens last summer and says,
"The wickerwork wolf at Windgate Nick appears sleek and well
fed. Meanwhile, the wickerwork sheep in Darwin Gardens have
Whoever made the sculpture has given local residents and
walkers on A Dales High Way a lot of fun and entertainment. The
poor old animal has taken a bit of a battering in the recent high
winds and his back legs are somewhat worse for wear so he may not
last much longer. But for a short while The Hound of Wingate Nick
has taken his place up on the moors alongside the rock art that
has survived for thousands of years. See him while you can and
enjoy this great example of guerrilla art.
Photos: (Top) The Wolf in May, beginning to show
signs of wear. (Below) The Hound as it first appeared in January
(photo: John Hunt)
See the original Ilkley Gazette story
here, the Watership
Landscapes Project here and the Friends
of Ilkley Moor here.
14 May 2011
Dales High Way Art
The natural beauty of A Dales High Way is not just attracting
walkers to the route, it has now inspired an artist to create a
new exhibition of paintings devoted entirely to scenes from the
David Starley is a talented Saltaire landscape artist. His
atmospheric oil paintings capture the changing moods of the
Yorkshire Dales in a way that no other media quite manages. His
work is highly textured with paint layered thickly onto the
canvas. Stand too close and the pictures look nothing more than
random blobs and peaks. Stand back and a changing landscape
emerges as light moves across the picture.
In late 2010 David began to walk A Dales High Way and quickly
realised that many of the themes of his work; prehistoric rock art
on Rombald's Moor, the flower meadows of Dentdale, the golden
stonework of Saltaire itself were all to be seen on the route.
Excited by the varied landscapes along the way, David is now
working on "Dales High Way Art", an exhibition of
paintings inspired by the walk.
"It is a fantastic route and it offers so much to an
artist" said David. "Last month I was painting birch
woods near the start of the walk in Saltaire and now I've just
completed a picture of Ribblehead Viaduct. There is so much more
to see and I'm really looking forward to it."
The exhibition will be launched as part of Saltaire Arts Trail
2011, from May 28th - 30th in David's own Saltaire home in Albert
Road. It then moves on to Grassington, Ilkley, Settle and Penrith
before returning to Saltaire in December.
Saltaire - Arts Trail, 75 Albert Road, Saltaire 28 - 30
Grassington - Fractal Press Gallery 3 June - 8 July
Ilkley - Anstey Galleries 14 July - 20 Aug
Settle - Dales Gallery tbc
Penrith - Upfront Gallery 23 Aug - 2 Oct
Saltaire - Butterfly Rooms 5 Nov - 17 Dec
See more of David's pictures
here. More information about
Saltaire Arts Trail here.
3 May 2011
Alpacas pack back for celebrations
Two Dales High Way walkers were spotted yesterday, setting off
from Saltaire surrounded by alpacas.
As the pair made their way down Victoria Road from the start of
the walk they ran into the closing event of Saltaire's World
Heritage celebrations - an alpaca parade. These three live animals
were joined by a number of model alpacas decorated by local
community groups to commemorate the wool that made the fortune
that built Saltaire.
In 1836, Titus Salt came upon some forgotten bales of alpaca
wool in a warehouse in Liverpool which he bought and used to
create a fine and very fashionable cloth. Its commercial success
helped Titus expand his new business and by 1843, with five mills
in operation he was one of Bradford's leading manufacturers.
Bradford at that time was a grim and dangerous place, with
horrendous working and living conditions and a life expectancy of
just 20 years. Chartists were beginning to organise against the
brutal conditions in the mills and Titus wanted out. He chose a
greenfield site near Shipley which had plenty of land adjoining
the river, the canal and the railway line. It was perfect. He
began to build his mill and the model village which surrounds it.
The rest as they say is history.
Rob Martin, chair of Saltaire Village Society said, "This
is the first time we have celebrated World Heritage Day in
Saltaire, but I suspect it won't be the last. It's 10 years since
Saltaire became a World Heritage site so we should have a party.
We are hoping it will become an annual event and over the years
our herd of decorated alpacas will just grow and grow."
For more information about the history of Saltaire see "A
Dales High Way Companion". To find out what else is going
on in Saltaire see The
Saltaire Village Website here.
19 April 2011
Public backs National Park extension
Proposals to extend the Yorkshire Dales National Park to take
in areas to the north,
along the route of A Dales High Way, have received overwhelming
If the proposals are finally approved, walkers on A Dales High
Way could find themselves mostly inside the Yorkshire Dales
National Park from just north of Skipton to a point just short of
Hoff, three miles from Appleby itself.
In December 2009 Natural England began a public consultation
into plans to extend the boundaries of both the Lake District
& the Yorkshire Dales National Parks, to include areas which
met the requirements for inclusion, but had been left out in the
Areas considered for the Yorkshire Dales included the Northern
Howgill Fells and Mallerstang to the north and Barbondale and the
Middleton Fells to the west. The area further north, including the
Orton Fells, was considered for inclusion in either of the
Over 70% of respondents backed the proposed extensions to the
Yorkshire Dales National Park. 68% backed the inclusion of the
Orton Fells into one of the Parks, with the majority opting for
it's inclusion in the Yorkshire Dales.
The results were considered by the Natural England board on
March 2nd. It approved a further public consultation on revisions
to the boundaries made as a result of analysis of responses to the
previous consultation, including the preferred option for the
A second phase of consultation will take place between March
and June 2011, with the Natural England Board expected to consider
final proposals in September 2011. The Board's decision about any
extension for either National Park would then be submitted to
Defra for confirmation.
Ruth Chambers, Deputy Chief Executive at the Campaign for
National Parks, welcomed the findings:
"It's good news that there is such strong public support
for the extension of these National Parks but then that's hardly
surprising given the stunning landscapes that are being discussed
- areas like the northern Howgills, Mallerstang and Borrowdale in
Westmorland are all of undeniable National Park quality and
represent unfinished business from the 1950s, when the Park
boundaries were first devised. The sooner that the National Park
extensions can be completed the better so that the areas can begin
to enjoy the benefits that National Park designation brings."
See the 'Lakes to Dales - Landscape Designation Project'
website here. View a summary of the consultation results
a plan of the proposed extensions
4 April 2011
The Dales on TV
Following the success of the TV documentary series The
Monday sees the launch of
The Dales. In a new, 12-part series for
ITV1, Adrian Edmondson returns to the county of his birth,
Yorkshire, to bring us the stories behind a summer in the life of
the Yorkshire Dales.
Featuring prominently in the series is 16 year-old Philip
Mellin who has just left school and is taking on the running of
the family farm, alongside his mum Carol, after the death of his
dad last year.
We also meet Dales vet Neil Roberts who works for Dalehead
Veterinary Group in Ribblesdale. The practice covers an area of
over fifteen hundred square miles of the Yorkshire Dales and with
over one hundred thousand animals on their books there's a lot of
routine work to be done.
Presenter Ade Edmondson grew up in Bradford and used to spend
many of his childhood summers in the Yorkshire Dales with his
family. He performed at the Sedbergh Folk Festival in 2009 with
his band The Bad Shepherds.
One of Ade's highlights of the series is the Ribblehead
Viaduct, on the route of A Dales High Way. He said: "The
Ribblehead Viaduct is one of the most stunning pieces of
architecture only matched by its extraordinary location. It looks
like something not from this world - like a special CGI effect for
a movie. While we were there filming the sun kept going in and
out, and the shadow play on the arches was ethereal and magical,
like being in a giant cathedral."
The Dales starts on Monday March 28th on ITV1 and ITV HD at
8.00 p.m. and runs for 12 weeks. If you missed it, catch up on the
ITV Player here. See Ade Edmondson and The Bad Shepherds
here and find out more on the Welcome
to Yorkshire website.
26 March 2011
Three Peaks Conservation work needs your vote
Your vote is needed to help win funds for crucial conservation
work that is urgently
on the Three Peaks Challenge Route near Pen-y-ghent.
The work is aimed at offering an improved section for walkers
tackling the 24-mile route between Pen-y-ghent and Ribblehead.
Steve Hastie, Area Ranger for the National Park Authority, said
"The challenge is tackled by many thousands of people each
year, and much of the route is a sustainable walking surface
catering for these numbers as they pass through the best wildlife
habitat and scenery the Dales has to offer.
"There is one exception - between Pen Y Ghent and
Ribblehead through High Birkwith. For this section most walkers
use the route over Horton Moor and Black Dubb Moss. Heavy use of
these areas is causing significant damage to internationally
important peat habitat. An alternative route lies over Whitber
Hill, though this route is less-well used. It passes over drier
ground and uses mainly existing paths, but needs some development
work. This is an opportunity to help us restore the wildlife
habitat in the area, while creating a better route."
A 30,000 Euro fund is being offered by the European Outdoor
Conservation Association to the scheme that receives the most
votes. The Yorkshire Three Peaks scheme was put forward by the
Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust in December, and is one of four
UK schemes that have been shortlisted.
Trust director David Sharrod said "We believe that the
Three Peaks Project would be a truly deserving winner of this
vital funding boost that would allow us to work closely with the
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to protect this special
route, now and for the future. To secure the funding that will
make this project possible, we will need your vote!"
Photos: Descending Pen-y-ghent (top). Path erosion on
the Three Peaks route above Birkwith (bottom).
Voting is being hosted by Trail Magazine for the next 2 weeks.
To vote online go to www.lfto.com/conservation and cast your vote
NOW! Update, 25 March: Voting is now closed.
10 March 2011
New Pen-y-ghent Alternative for Dales High Way
A new optional alternative route, crossing Pen-y-ghent , has
been devised for walkers who wish to take in all of the
Yorkshire Three Peaks whilst walking A Dales High Way.
The official route only takes in Ingleborough, with an option
to climb Whernside. But a number of walkers tackling the new
long-distance trail have expressed a desire to add Pen-y-ghent.
Indeed, some have altered their route to do so, following the
Pennine Way from Malham, crossing Pen-y-ghent and dropping to
Horton-in-Ribblesdale. But that has meant missing out some
particularly spectacular sections of the walk, such as Attermire
Scar, Settle and the River Ribble, and Crummackdale.
The new proposed Pen-y-ghent Alternative leaves the main route
at Stainforth, to follow the Ribble Way, climbing the long ridge between Ribblesdale and
Silverdale, straight to the summit of Pen-y-ghent, before
following the Pennine Way down into Horton-in-Ribblesdale. From
there the route climbs along Sulber Nick to rejoin the main route
at the Shooting Hut ruin near Sulber.
The new optional route adds 4 miles to Section Three of the
walk, with an additional 300 metres of ascent. It adds about 2
hours walking time, but gives the opportunity of a break at
Tony Grogan, co-author of the Dales High Way guides, said "Quite
a few people have told us they wanted to take in all Three Peaks, and
so we added this option for them. However, taking in Pen-y-ghent
from Stainforth means missing out on some particularly fine
scenery: by Smearset Scar; the lovely hamlet of Feizor with its
very welcome farmhouse café, and of course the quiet, secluded
beauty of Crummackdale.
"But, I think it's generally a good idea for people to
alter long-distance routes to suit themselves, or to fit in with
accommodation needs or weather conditions."
The Three Peaks area also gets very busy during summer
weekends, so is probably best avoided at those times.
See details of the Pen-y-ghent - Three Peaks Alternative
and download a PDF guide
here. Find out more about the Friends of
the Three Peaks here.
1 March 2011
New Dales Way guide makes history
In 1970 Colin Speakman wrote the very first guide book to the
Dales Way - one of Britain's best loved and most popular
long-distance trails. Over 40 years on and his original book is
now in its tenth incarnation.
This brand new publication from Skyware Press however, has a
completely different look. Illustrated with 47 stunning full
colour photos to match Speakman's compelling narrative, the book
also features for the first time detailed full colour strip maps
of the entire route at a scale of 1:25,000.
As well as being a beautifully produced guide book, however,
it's also a unique piece of history. It is almost certainly the
only guide book to a long distance trail that has been in
continuous production for over 40 years, with a living author!
It was Colin Speakman and his colleague Tom Wilcock who first
devised the Dales Way in the mid '60s. The Way runs 78 miles from
Ilkley to Windermere, mostly along riverside paths. Colin and Fleur Speakman
were the first to walk the Dales Way - surveying the entire route
in detail in the summer and autumn of 1968.
In April 1969 Colin accompanied a group of Venture Scouts from
Bradford Grammar School on the first leg of their pioneering trek
to test out the new route. In just three and a half days, enduring
harsh weather conditions, the intrepid schoolboy troupe proved the
trail was indeed viable.
A brief guide was produced by the West Riding Area of the
Ramblers Association and in May 1969 the route was officially
launched as 120 ramblers left Ilkley to walk the initial six miles
of the new Dales Way.
A study in the 1990's showed the Dales Way was one of the five
most popular long-distance trails in the UK, along with the Coast
to Coast (no 1), The Pennine Way, Offa's Dyke path and the
Cotswold Way. An estimated 4,000 people walk the whole Dales Way
each year. As a relatively gentle walk, mostly along riverside
paths, it is the first long-distance trail many people tackle.
It was also the inspiration for A Dales High Way -
an altogether more challenging route which complements the Dales
Way perfectly and is proving to be a popular follow-up walk.
Skyware Press also publish the Dales High Way
DALES WAY - the Complete Guide by Colin Speakman.
ISBN: 978-0-9559987-2-0 (Skyware Ltd) March 2011. A5, perfect
bound, 112 pages. Price: £9.99
Get copies of the new
book from Skyware Press here. Read the first published account
of the Dales
Way walk by the Bradford Grammar School Venture Scouts here.
18 February 2011
Cumbria steps back from drastic footpath cuts
Cumbria County Council is having second thoughts after
announcing a drastic 70% cut to its rights of way budget.
proposed cuts, trimming £800,000 from its annual spend of
£1.2 million on Country Access, came as a response to the
government's austerity measures which are forcing councils to
reduce overall budgets by 30% in the next four years.
But the outcry from the public and other bodies has led
senior councillors to rethink.
Richard Greenwood, director of development for Cumbria Tourism,
told BBC Radio: "It's a real concern. I think we'd be asking
Cumbria County Council to think again about the potential impact,
not just for visitors but for local people as well, because about
20% of the people working in Cumbria are in the tourism industry
and if the footpath network is the life blood of that tourism
industry, we really need to be looking after it. It could have
fairly dramatic ramifications and spill into joblessness and
further economic recession if we're not careful."
Eddie Martin, leader of Cumbria County Council, told BBC's You and Yours on Friday: "We have responded to
consultation and there was the clear voice coming back from the
community - £800,000 cut in the rights of way program is too
much. So we re-looked at it, we re-examined it and we've now
reduced that cut by half a million pounds. So in fact we are only
cutting by just over £300,000."
"Here in Cumbria 20% of our economy is generated through
tourism - that's £2 billion a year. We really can't do anything
that will harm the tourism industry and it could be argued that
cutting the funding to the rights of way and countryside access
would indeed harm the tourism industry. We can't let that
happen" he said.
Cumbria County Council is responsible for all the footpaths
followed by A Dales High Way north of the Howgill Fells.
Yorkshire Dales National Park is also facing a 30% cut in its
budget, along with councils like Bradford and North Yorkshire
which are responsible for upkeep of the southern sections.
Tom Franklin of the Ramblers Association said: "We're
hearing of quite drastic cuts across the country. For instance in
Bolton, Bolton Council is planning to make its entire rights of
way team redundant and cut the budget to zero. Isle of Wight - an
80% cut in their capital repairs budget, Nottinghamshire 50% , and
so the list goes on"
Picture: Floods wash away a footpath at Cuddling Hole,
near Appleby, in 2010.
See the Cumbria County Council
the Rambler's Campaign page
here. Listen to the BBC's
& Yours programme here.
30 January 2011
Appleby Horse Fair on The Lakes
ITV's popular documentary series The Lakes, which began a new
series last week, is to feature Appleby Horse Fair in its
The historic Horse Fair, which transforms the quiet town of
Appleby every June, attracts around 30,000 visitors each year as
gypsies and travellers from across Britain, Ireland and the
Continent head for the Fair to meet up with old friends,
celebrate their culture and trade horses. The Fair is a hugely
important event to gypsies and travellers, described by
representative Billy Welch as "our Mecca". It also
brings in an estimated £1.4 million to the local economy. But
many local residents resent the disruption.
2008 saw a record number turn up for the Fair, and new rules
were introduced last year by the Multi-Agency Strategic
Co-ordinating Group (MASCG) to help manage the event.
Their evaluation report for the 2010 Fair, drawn up with the
feedback they received, noted:
- the licensing arrangements were not satisfactory in that
they lead to some licensed premises not opening for the period
of the Fair.
- the Gypsy and Traveller community felt that the policing
arrangements were not proportionate to the event.
- the local community felt the policing and regulatory changes
reduced the problems previously encountered.
- the transit arrangements (particularly in South Cumbria)
worked well and improved the build up to the event.
The report concluded "Whilst the overall planning and
implementation went well, there is a continuing need to get a
correct balance between all sections of the community and it is
clear that this has not yet been totally achieved."
Kevin Douglas, chair of the MASCG, said "There were a
number of major changes to the operation of the Fair and that was
quite a challenge to a lot of people, not least the Gypsy and
Traveller community and I hope that people feel it made the event
safer, more enjoyable and moved it some way back towards the
vibrant cultural event it used to be."
Walkers on A Dales High Way hoping to catch the
Horse Fair, should be aware that they are unlikely to be able to
find accommodation in Appleby during Fair week. The ITV film, shot at last years Horse Fair, is introduced by
See the previous posting
here, or catch up on ITV's The Lakes
9 January 2011
Off-roaders banned from Dales green lane
Walkers on A Dales High Way can expect a more peaceful and firm
walk along Goredale Road, a section of beautiful green
lane which leaves Langscar Gate near Malham Cove and heads west
TRO overturned at Langscar Gate in
2009 (above) &
the result (below).
Following a two-year legal battle, the Yorkshire Dales National
Park finally succeeded in removing motorcycle and 4-wheel
recreational motorists from the route, now part of the new Pennine
After initially imposing a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) in
2008 - one of eight imposed by the park authority on sensitive
green lanes - an appeal by the Motoring Organisation's group LARA
led to the High Court overturning the decision the following year.
Some off-roaders were quick to take advantage, and the lane was
soon reduced to a quagmire, making access difficult for both
walkers and horse riders.
Geoff Wilson, one of LARA's claimants and a former member of
the park's Local Access Forum, said at the time: "I have a
great fondness for the Yorkshire Dales and in many respects
applaud the examples set by the Authority, but there are examples
of the Authority acting unfairly and without appropriate balance
for all elements of the Park community."
Dr Malcolm Petyt, the park authority's recreation member
champion, said at the time that he was disappointed by the
decisions: "The authority was always aware that any orders
it made to restrict motorised vehicular use of green lanes were
likely to be challenged by recreational motor vehicle users.
However, we were the first national park authority to use these
new powers and the outcome means that we, along with other
national park authorities, now have greater understanding of the
law following this judgement."
In fact the TRO had been overturned on a technicality, which
meant that although the authority had to begin the lengthy legal
and technical process again, they were eventually able to
reinstate the order in August last year. There is unlikely to be
At the same time most of Stockdale Lane, which is also followed
by A Dales High Way, was confirmed as a Bridleway with no
So, enjoy happy and peaceful walking in 2011!
View the current TRO's in the Yorkshire Dales
here. See the
motorists' Land Access & Recreation Association (LARA) website
here, and the Yorkshire Dales Green Lane Alliance
2 January 2011