Saturday 30 December 2017

Snowy Nights and Frosty Days

December has been a wintery sort of month.  We have had spells of deep cold with temperatures down to minus 9 degrees. 
We had a white Christmas although only just .....
and now as the year draws to a close more snow and frost.

 The high fells towards Great Shunner are solid white with snow.
 Beck Meetings
Sheep (in lamb) on't road!

White wintery sky and tricky road conditions all the way down dale. 

Sunday 24 December 2017

Christmas at Pry House Farm

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and good health & happiness in 2018

All the very best to all our blog followers, friends and family and to everyone who has stayed at Hillcrest Cottage, in the Shepherd's Hut or been our B&B guests at Pry House Farm.

We hope to see you again when you next visit the
Yorkshire Dales.  Happy New Year!

Friday 1 December 2017

Shepherd Hut at Sunset

Although the Shepherd's Hut is closed up for the winter, take a glimpse,
perfectly positioned, silhouetted against the evening sky. 

Spectacular Sunset

After a very black & white day the sky is suddenly a riot of colour.


 When the snow comes out of the east it is fine and dry and blows into every crack and crevise.
The wind whips it up in a frenzy; a cross between the spray of an angry ocean breaker 
and the swirling sand of the Sahara desert.


Winter has come early at the head of the dale.

 Tiny ice particles sparkle in the weak sunshine......
while icicles grow longer and sharper.
 Who goes there?  Which way? This way ....

Sunday 26 November 2017

Meet Champ

Champ is Chris' new sheepdog - a lovely tri-colour border collie.
Young and keen, he has a few rough edges but is learning fast.

Rudding and Tupping

Its tupping time on the farm.

Each tup gets a portion of tup ration to keep his energy levels up.

 He has lots of ladies to serve.

 A fresh coat of tup rud is applied every day.  All our ewes with yellow bottoms should be in lamb.
The colour of the tup rud is changed every two weeks.  

 And he's straight into action.

Pry House ewes in High Pasture

Yows in High Pasture with Pry House in the background.

On a cold, snowy winter's morning the sheep are ready for some extra fodder

Friday 24 November 2017

Ghost cows seek new home!

Unfortunately the Every Barn Tells A Story ghost cows cannot stay in 
Myers Bottom cowhouse for ever .......

They have left the cowus behind and must look for a new home.

With skillful manoeuvring, the large bovine is brought into the Public Hall.....

..... where she shares the stage with Shep the sheepdog.

The smaller calf has a new home in the Keld Countryside & Heritage Centre 
which has new Every Barn Tells A Story information boards and audio recording.

The ghost puppets are for the use of the whole community.  If anyone has any ideas how they can be used e.g. for fundraising, parades & productions or by the local school please get in touch.

The other cow and calf puppets are going back to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Centre in Bainbridge / Grassington

Thursday 23 November 2017

Every Barn Tells A Story - Ghost Cow Night

Last Friday night to mark the end of the Every Barn Cowus Tells A Story project
and as a 'thank you' to the local community for their involvement, an evening of
celebration was arranged by the YDNPark.

 The whole project has centred on the iconic little stone buildings that Upper Swaledale is famous for (called cowhouses) and as the name suggests is where the cows lived throughout the winter.  The cowhouses are not used for this purpose anymore.  The cows are no longer brought in from the high pastures to winter in these little buildings anymore.  
Except it did happen ....  for one last time ....last Friday night.

Ghost cows were 'called in' by a local choir singing a song that had been especially written for the occasion and sung by local people.

And as the voices rang out two ghostly cows and two ghostly calves were herded into Myers Bottom cowhouse by the apparition of a sheepdog.

The ghost cows were decorated with quotes from local adults about their experiences and memories of when the cowhouses were in daily use as well as words from local children who have been learning about the cowhouses and the part they play in the history of the upper dale.

Read the full Ghost Cow story and find out more about Every Barn Tells A Story at:

Tuesday 7 November 2017

Six EBTAS Cowhouse Walking Booklets & A Children's Cowus Circular Walk leaflet

The Yorkshire Dales National Park's project Every Barn Cow'us Tells A Story
is almost at completion. The project has its own blog
where you can follow the whole story and learn loads & loads about cowhouses.

A boxed set of six walking booklets has been produced, each chosen to highlight and explain the importance of the dozens of little stone buildings (Cowhouses) that are visible from every public footpath in Muker parish.

 They have been distributed to accommodation providers in the area.  Here, a regular guest at Pry House Farm B&B is deciding which walk he will choose to explore.

Alongside the grown-up version is Showing You the Way ....... from Muker to Thwaite,
 a children's circular cowhouse trail which was created with the help of children 
living in Muker Parish.  

 There are two other Showing You the Way ........ children's guided walk leaflets;  Keld to Muker and Keld to Angram (circular walk) both of which can be used in conjuction with the EBTAS booklets although, as children's walks, they are a bit shorter. 
All three Showing You the Way leaflets are available in the Keld Countryside & Heritage Centre 
and hopefully by 2018 in the National Park Centre - Hudson House, Reeth.

Thursday 2 November 2017

Last night looking skyward

Pink sky at night, shepherd's delight.
The old sayings are often very reliable.  Last night's sky is no exception
as today has been a glorious autumn day.

New arrivals on the farm

Two new calves in two days

 Taking a quick peep at a whole new world
A model baby.....curled up and comfortable and fast asleep.
This big strong calf, born this morning, is less than an hour old.
He is getting thoroughly dried off and inspected by mum 
and will be on his feet and suckling in no time at all.

Friday 27 October 2017

Farm buildings; old and new

We very rarely used this tiny hogg house anymore which is on home field by the roadside.
It is two storey and would have housed hoggs top and bottom.  Maybe 35 to 40 altogether.
In the background you can see a new building which has just gone up this summer.
This will hold over 100 sheep, all easily managed and accessible by tractor.

A Magic Autumn Morning

The first fabulous autumn morning of the season.  
Waking up to such a magnificent landscape; dampened spirits vanish like magic.

Ghostly shapes appear as the early mist begins to lift.

Diamond dew drops on a spider's web.

The Shepherd's Hut (now put to bed for winter) catches the sunrise.

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Every Barn Tells A Story Lantern Workshop

As the Yorkshire Dales National Park project Every Barn Cowus Tells a Story
 draws to a close preparations are in full swing for the grand finale 
which will take place at the end of the year.

A two day workshop to make life-size cows, calves and a sheepdog has taken place 
during the October school holidays in Muker Public Hall.

 Willow is bent and woven, curled and taped to create the required shape.

To get used to the materials required the youngest children made pyramid lanterns .....

and decorated them.

Once the willow structure was finished the job of covering it 
with special paper soaked in glue began.

Covering the cow's head and ears.

The workshops were well attended by local residents & children as well as families holidaying in Swaledale.  We had everyone from five to eighty-five taking part or dropping by to see what was going on!

The workshops were run by Fran, a professional lantern maker from Hebden Bridge.