News for volunteers from the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership
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Welcome to our Autumn Volunteer Newsletter
Welcome to the autumn edition of the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership volunteers newsletter and hello to all our new volunteers. In this issue we look back at some of your achievements over the last few months and ahead to some exciting volunteering and training opportunities.

A huge thank you! In the scheme's second year (July 2015 – June 2016) you gave over 350 days to help to conserve and promote Upper Nidderdale. This is making a real difference to Upper Nidderdale’s natural environment, cultural heritage and fantastic landscape.
Recording archaeological featuresOur Farm Heritage
The dedicated team of volunteers, led by the Iron Age (Nidderdale) Community Archaeology Group, have continued surveying land holdings across Upper Nidderdale. They have now field-walked some 650 hectares since the start of the project – the equivalent of five Olympic-sized swimming pools! The team have been able to monitor the condition of already known archaeological features as well as identifying more. In addition to field-walking, members of the team have been researching aspects of the dale, including census records, tithe maps and historic taxes!
The project is ongoing and new team members are always welcome. Please get in touch with Historic Nidderdale Project Officer Louise Brown if you would like to get involved.
Photo: Chris Tomson
Excavation in progressLost Village of Lodge
For two weeks in July a team of volunteers sought to unravel the story of the abandoned village of Lodge as part of a community archaeology excavation. The team was led by Jim Brightman (Solstice Heritage) and Spencer Carter (TimeVista Archaeology). Some 40 volunteers, generally from the local community and including students from University of Bradford, took part in the excavations. You can read a summary of the excavation here: Booze in the Barn.
Work is on-going to analyse the material that was excavated and prepare the excavation report (artefact illustration, photography, drawing up site plans, and more!). If you are interested in helping out, please get in touch with Louise Brown, Historic Nidderdale Project Officer. The dates of the sessions are Thursday 20 October and Tuesday 1 November, 10:30–15:30.
Photo: Jim Brightman
Scot Gate Ash quarry‘Under Our Feet’ – Exploring Upper Nidderdale’s Geology
The second ‘Reconnecting to the Landscape’ project led by nidderdale visual arts is all about the rocks beneath our feet. Stone sculptor Joseph Hayton has been appointed as the artist for the project which includes community and educational workshops, as well as a final piece of artwork by the artist. You can see Joseph’s work by accessing his website here.
Get involved
Photographic Competition ‘Aspects of the Geology of Upper Nidderdale’. Closing date is Wednesday 26 October. Click here for more information.
2016 Events… watch out for more in 2017:
Thursday 27 October, 10:30am–12:30pm: Walk around Scot Gate Ash quarry with Shirley Everett and Joseph Hayton
Thursday 27 and Friday 28, 10:00am–4:00pm: Exhibition of Photographs
Friday 28 October, 7:00–8:30pm: ‘Accessible Geology of Upper Nidderdale’ – an illustrated talk with Shirley Everett
To reserve a place on the walk and/or talk please contact the ‘Under our Feet’ project by email: leaving your name and contact details.
Resurfacing a path in Fishpond WoodPaving the Way – Nidderdale Conservation Volunteers Improve Access
This summer has been a time of footpath work in Upper Nidderdale for the conservation volunteers. The Upper Nidderdale Ranger Peter Lambert identified tasks on new themed footpaths he is upgrading in beautiful settings near the head of the dale above Stean village, at Angram and Scar House reservoirs, and more recently nearer to Pateley Bridge, at Fishpond Wood, Bewerley. The work at Stean stretched along the north side of How Stean Beck and involved cutting back overgrowing vegetation, improving path drainage and installing new gates for easier access. At Angram reservoir the group were largely involved in improving drainage between Angram dam and Lodge village. Meanwhile, at Fishpond Wood the volunteers shifted huge amounts of gravel to improve path surfaces and installed markers for a new downloadable audio trail exploring its landscape history (downloadable from here).
Keep up to date with the Conservation Volunteers on their blog, and contact James Searle, Volunteer Co-ordinator if you are interested in getting involved.
Photo: NCV blog
Identifying species within a hay meadowGlorious Hay Meadows
Last month an enthusiastic group of volunteers met at Duck House Farm, a spectacular place for wildlife where over 300 acres of meadows have been restored. This place is brimming with wildlife from damselflies and butterflies to larger creatures; bird and small mammal feeding stations are numerous.
During the day volunteers learned how to pick store and dry seed over winter so that it remains viable for planting in the following spring and summer. This is not just a simple matter of picking the seed and filling bags, but to remain in good condition it must be stored at a relative humidity of under 15%. Volunteers were then treated to a tour of the meadows by the land manager Neil Watson who explained the work undertaken each season to improve the meadows year on year.
Seed banks in meadows are quickly lost without careful management and this is especially true of those later flowering species such as betony, devil’s bit scabious and melancholy thistle. The seed collected by volunteers will be used to enhance meadows in Upper Nidderdale in future seasons.
Contact Tara Challoner, Farming and Wildlife Officer, for more information.
Photo: NCV blog
Walling at Spring Wood Top with Beauty looking onRepairing Old Walls
At the beginning of May the drystone walling group arrived back in Upper Nidderdale from the lowlands to continue repairs on the wall above Thrope Plantation, Lofthouse. In addition to the special views, they were again treated to occasional deliveries of delicious farm ice cream from David Coates to help keep up morale. Work continued at Thrope through June but the group were also involved in preparing for and running a walling taster day mid-month at Heathfield, which saw ten keen beginners join in helping to restore a wall gap from ground level to full height. At the end of June the group turned their attention to a new location at Spring Wood Top above Wath, where they have been tackling a variety of gap repairs in a wall around a paddock, much to the disapproval of Beauty the resident horse.
Keep up to date with the Wallers on their blog, and contact James Searle, Volunteer Co-ordinator if you are interested in getting involved.
Photo: Nidderdale Walling Group blog
Map of Upper NidderdaleMoorlands: People, Places, Stories
The team have made a good start collecting stories and reminiscences of Upper Nidderdale’s moors like this one from John Graham about the grouse beaters’ dinner: click here.

More clips will be uploaded to our website shortly as well as to the project’s historypin page where you can upload your own memories.
The project is ongoing and new team members are always welcome. We would also love to hear from people who would like to share their stories with us. Please get in touch with Historic Nidderdale Project Officer Louise Brown if you would like to get involved.
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy signing books at St ChadsNiddFest 2016
NiddFest took place over the weekend of 5 to 7 August and again brought a wide range of authors writing about the natural world to a hugely appreciative audience. The addition of a children’s tent by the river in Pateley Bridge gave the younger part of the audience a special venue all of their own. From the sell-out opening night of poetry from Carol Ann Duffy and Imtiaz Dharker at Toft Gate Barn to Christine Walkden’s entertaining talk about her life as a gardener that closed the weekend, the festival was a great success. A small group of volunteers made all of this possible, including curating and promoting the festival, running a series of children’s poetry workshops in local schools before the event, and then setting up and managing the events during the festival itself.
Photo: Mike de Horsey
Training Opportunities
There are still a few places left on 2016's training sessions. These sessions are free to all active volunteers but places are limited and must be pre-booked to guarantee your place. To book please contact the AONB office on 01423 712950 or
Small-scale Charcoal Burning – Tuesday 25 October, 9:30am to 4pm, Fishpond Wood, Bewerley
Gain an insight into charcoal making during this one day workshop using compact kilns.
Conservation/Biodiversity Apps – Tuesday 29 November, 9:30am to 12:30pm, Pateley Bridge Council Chamber
Find out about some of the new and useful apps for wildlife and biodiversity ID and monitoring. Please bring your smart phone or tablet.
Orchard Training (part 2) – Tuesday 15 November, 9:30am to 4pm, Ripon Walled Garden (TBC)
Put theory skills (part 1) into practice, the course offers hands on pruning experience and classroom studies of restoring neglected orchards.
Introduction to QGIS – Tuesday 22 November, 10am to 4pm, Pateley Bridge Council Chamber
Learn how to use free digital mapping software to help understand the cultural and natural heritage of the world around you from landscape to garden scale. Bring your own laptops (software advice provided before the course).

Volunteer Leader Training – Tuesday 6 December, 9.30am to 12.30pm, Pateley Bridge Council Chamber
A workshop session covering leadership essentials to ensuring safe and enjoyable volunteer activities.
Get in touch:
A: Nidderdale AONB, The Old Workhouse, King Street, Pateley Bridge, Harrogate, HG3 5LE
T: 01423 712950
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