News for volunteers from the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership
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Welcome to our Summer Volunteer Newsletter

Welcome to the summer edition of the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership volunteers newsletter and hello to all our new volunteers. June 30th marked the end of Year 2 of the project… and the half-way point!


In this issue we look back at just some of your achievements over the last few months and ahead to some exciting volunteering and training opportunities.

Marvellous Meadows – Botany Training

To help develop and increase botanical knowledge amongst our volunteers, we have been running a course in identifying meadow flowers and grasses. Ten volunteers have signed up and led by professional botanist Judith Allinson we have been having lots of fun getting out and about, making specimen collections and getting to grips with tiny, fiddly grass flowers. This means we can get more meadows surveyed, find out which are priorities for restoration and enhancement, and importantly establish which meadows we can use to harvest seed for other fields that need it.


If you would like to become involved in hand collecting seed as part of this project, contact Tara Challoner, Farming and Wildlife Officer, on 01423 712950 or for more information.

Sharing Stories - Listening to the Past
Following the launch of the Moorlands: People, Places, Stories Project back in April, a team of volunteers have met with oral history consultant Dr Rob Light to learn about conducting and recording interviews. We can’t wait to hear the stories they gather and look forward to sharing these with you in the next newsletter.
Please get in touch with Historic Nidderdale Project Officer Louise Brown on 01423 712950 or if you would like to get involved in the project, either as a volunteer collecting this history or as someone who would like to share their story.
Wonderful Waders – Volunteers Surveys
Following on from our wader identification course held this spring, a number of volunteers have signed up to undertake wader surveys in Upper Nidderdale. The results are not yet collated but volunteers have been to some very interesting habitats and discovered loads of interesting wildlife from black grouse, to snipe nests and woodcock and lapwing chicks. This work is important as it allows us to make a case for agri-environment funding to help protect these areas and helps us best direct where management for waders will have the greatest impact.

If you are interested in carrying out a wader survey for us next spring, contact Tara Challoner, Farming and Wildlife Officer, on 01423 712950 or for more information.
Transformations at Toft Gate Lime Kiln
The Nidderdale Conservation Volunteers have been working up at Toft Gate Lime Kiln to help more people visit this fascinating scheduled monument.
Work started back in March to reveal the path around the site. This was so overgrown that it had pretty much disappeared. The team were out in all weathers, but soon the path had been cleared. They continued at Toft Gate by installing fencing to provide a safe walk route to and from the café to the car park.
If you are interested in getting involved with our Conservation Volunteers, contact James Searle, Volunteer Co-ordinator on 01423 712950 or
NiddFest 2016
NiddFest, Nidderdale’s very own nature-writing literary festival, is back again this summer, running from the 5–7 August. Volunteers are a huge part of running the festival – almost everyone involved in the festival is a volunteer and we would love more people to get involved to help out with stewarding on the weekend of the event.
This year’s festival brings together another wonderful group of authors including author and illustrator Helen Stephens, leading ‘nature-inspired’ gardener Noel Kingsbury and environmentalist and campaigner Tony Jupiter. Stewarding at NiddFest means helping the audience find their seats, making sure the authors are where they need to be – and then getting to hear the talks as they happen!
If you would like to help out at NiddFest, please contact the festival’s Volunteer Coordinator, Gail Price at for more details.
Lost Village of Lodge
Back in June volunteers joined Jim Brightman of Solstice Heritage at Lodge village above Scar House reservoir to record the standing remains ahead of the excavations taking place 12–23 July. The excavations are a fantastic opportunity to investigate one of the buildings and its associated garden to see if we can gather more clues to the life of the settlement, and hopefully find some evidence of its Medieval past.
For more information about the excavations see our website, or contact Louise Brown, Historic Nidderdale Project Officer, on 01423 712950 or

Excavation Open Day – Saturday 16th July, 11am to 3pm. (Please park at Scar House reservoir car park and enjoy the walk to the excavations).

Heritage Forum: The Lost Village of Lodge – Saturday 8th October,10am to 4:30pm, Lofthouse Memorial Hall.
Training Opportunities
The Spring/Summer training programme contained a wide variety of opportunities to learn new skills and brush up on old ones. We hope you found the ones you attended enjoyable and informative.
The Autumn/Winter training programme will be out soon and includes lime mortaring, scything, blacksmithing and QGIS.
Photo: Digital model of a headstone by Osian Edwards (training provided by Richard Stroud, May 2016)
Get in touch:
A: Nidderdale AONB, The Old Workhouse, King Street, Pateley Bridge, Harrogate, HG3 5LE
T: 01423 712950
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