Monday 27 August 2018

Reeth - A Traditional Dales Country Show

It has been Reeth Show today. It takes place on August Bank Holiday Monday and I can thoroughly recommend this excellent Yorkshire dales show. 
Its not too big and not too small with something for everybody. 
It was a pleasure to be asked to judge the children's handicraft section. 
I enjoyed every minute.

 This is the young exhibitor who won several first prizes and who I awarded the overall trophy (in the sections I judged) for his 3D display 'Tractor Run'.  Well done.

There is plenty to see across the showfield from show classes and displays in the main ring to demonstrations to watch and exhibits and trade stands to wander around .


 A good variety of breeds of sheep to see.

Young handlers class was won by a farmer's son from Teesdale.

Fell racing is a popular event at many dales shows with a shorter course for younger runners and the adults racing to the skyline, high on the fell, before returning back to the showfield.

 Tractors, dogs, drystone walling, cookery demonstrations, cows, climbing wall, bouncy castles, produce & handicrafts tents, lots of good food stands.  
A great day out.

Sunday 26 August 2018

Foraging is Fun

This year there has been an explosion of beautiful, pearly white field mushrooms in the little garth next to the farmhouse.  The hot weather all summer followed by rain has proved ideal growing conditions for mushrooms.  Foraging for food such as mushrooms, blackberries, damsons, wild raspberries is such fun and very rewarding when turned into tasty soup, pies or jam.

    Knowing where our food comes from is an important topic at the moment so for children to actually find and harvest fruit and veg is a lifelong learning experience.

I had lots of ideas in my head to make the task more interesting -  who can fill their basket first?  Who can find the biggest mushroom?  But as it turned out the simple act of finding lots of little white buttons hiding in the grass was encouragement enough.

A family affair and plenty of foraged treasure to take home for tea.  
Thank you for helping with the mushroom harvest.

Keld to Muker - a fabulous walk with children

Children love a map.  They love having a list of things to find.  They love exciting places to explore.  The 'Showing You the Way .... Keld to Muker - a Children's Guide has everything needed to stimulate imagination and spark interest in the great outdoors.  I have copies at Pry House Farm B&B or pick one up in the Keld Countryside & Heritage Centre


Ruben and Fergus (9 years) studying the map at the start of the walk in Keld where the Pennine Way and the Coast to Coast path meets.

Before we set off we called at Rukin's Tearoom in Keld village for supplies and sweets in a stripey bag - essential kit for explorers of all ages.

It wasn't long before we came across the first of two magnificent waterfalls.

Here we are standing in front of  East Gill Falls and a little further along the path searching for the entrance to a disused lead mine called Landy Level.  It has now sunken and looks more like a fox hole or a tiny cave.  If you are on the path earlier in the year, before the bracken has grown, it is easier to find.

At the bottom of Swinner Gill the remains of Beldi lead mining buildings are too exciting not to explore. The stream can be crossed by footbridge or paddled through.  When the weather is really hot the pool below is a fabulous place to swim.  In the second photo Fergus and Ruben and I are looking round an old abandoned farmhouse called Crackpot Hall.  Find an old fireplace, a tin bath, a stairwell and landing window.  What must it have been like to live here with no electricity, no running water, no road?

There are three different illustrated walks leaflets in the children's series.  
This is what Fergus and Ruben had to say about their walk.  'Great walk from Keld to Muker.  We loved following the map and finding all the things especially the tractor skeleton.  We think Auntie Glenda is the best teacher of all things Swaledale!  We can't wait to do the next walk'.

If you are in Swaledale with your children or grandchildren please pick up a walk leaflet and be your children's guide.  Its great fun.

Friday 3 August 2018

Hay time with Dalesman magazine

Its not often I open Yorkshire's most popular magazine to find photographs 
of my husband haymaking.

In August's edition of the Dalesman magazine there is a photographic account of 
the haytime afternoon we held last year.  Local children, who helped me create 
an illustrated walk leaflet for young visitors to the dale, came to find out how hay used to be made before mechanisation and to have a go themselves.

Proffessional photographer, Stephen Garnett
came to record the event for the Yorkshire Dales
National Park Authority.

It is fascinating to look back and recall how different hay time this year has been compared to 2017.

This year we had all our hay made and stored by 2nd July.
Last year we struggled to get two dry days together and
we made very little hay.  At one point I didn't think the children's haymaking event would happen but it did - 
on the last day of the school holidays 
Friday 1st September!