News from the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership.
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Welcome to the second update from the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership. This edition includes a run-down of events, conservation works at Fishpond Wood and Prosperous Lead Mine, the whole farm planning project, skills training, volunteer opportunities for archaeological surveying and the latest news from our community arts project.

Upcoming Events
Our first full year of events begins in March, with a launch day on 7 March for anyone interested in volunteering for archaeological survey work as part of the Our Farm Heritage project (more details below).

Also in the Spring programme we have a fascinating walk through Upper Nidderdale’s lead mining landscapes, a half day in the company of Nidderdale Birdwatchers travelling up the dale on the lookout for spring migrant birds, plus a talk and walk to learn more about the rare Black Grouse and hopefully catch sight of them in Upper Nidderdale.

A highly-recommended family event during May half term, ‘Foraging and Fudge Making’ will fascinate kids and adults alike, with the added bonus of going home with some very tasty creations.

Full details are on the Nidderdale AONB events webpage.


Flagship Heritage Sites
Fishpond Wood is a great example of an 18th century pleasure garden, or ‘designed landscape’, created for the Yorke family of Bewerley Hall. Although in private ownership, the wood is very much at the heart of the Bewerley community. The winter sun shone bright for a residents open day on 31st January; around 70 people attended with many taking part in guided walks with Dr Peter Brambleby, the owner of Fishpond Wood, and AONB Conservation Volunteers.
The extensive remains of the 18th century lead mine at Prosperous lie on the Nidderdale Way. This tranquil part of the valley was once a hive of industry and just one of a number of mines in the area. Now, the spoil heaps are home to spring sandwort, and the rubble to wood sorrel and lichens. This spring work will be carried out to restore the remains of the smelt mill. Join us on Saturday 21 March for a guided walk through this lead mining landscape.

Photo: Open Event at Fishpond Wood credit William Thomas

Whole Farm Plans
The survival of upland farms is vital to safeguard the distinctive Upper Nidderdale farmed landscape, its heritage and wildlife. With this project we are trying to help increase the profitability and viability of Upper Nidderdale’s farms to ensure a more sustainable future. We will be working with 10 farmers to complete their own bespoke whole farm plans, supported by a farm business consultant and a farm wildlife officer.

The project will provide farmers with holistic farm plans that show how wildlife habitat enhancements, historic environment conservation, farm business improvement and farm diversification can be successfully integrated on their farm holding for the benefit of both the business and the heritage landscape.  As an added bonus, farmers will be awarded Level 2 City and Guilds Certificates in Solving business problems and Introduction to agriculture and conservation.

Photo: Silaging above Gouthwaite Reservoir
Traditional Skills
Eight students from year 11 at Nidderdale High School & Community College are attending sessions every Monday to learn heritage skills. This vocational training complements the ASDAN course they are following at the school. The students have completed units of metal work and stone carving and are finishing a unit of printmaking.  Stone carving seems to be a particular strength of the group and they have received a commission to produce a series of stone inserts that will be placed into the new entrance way that is being built at Bewerley Park Outdoor Centre just outside of Pateley Bridge.
Photo: Zinc etching courtesy of Biddy Noakes

Our Farm Heritage
The history of the Upper Nidderdale landscape runs deep – some of it we understand and much of it we don’t. Our Farm Heritage is carrying out landscape-scale archaeological surveys, backed up by documentary research, to try and understand the development of this fantastic landscape. The project is led by volunteers (Iron Age Nidderdale – a community archaeology group) for volunteers and is a great way to learn about different techniques to investigate the landscape.

If you’d like to find out how to get involved with this project, or simply just find out more, then join us on Saturday 7 March between 10am and 1pm (introductory talk at 11am), Pateley Bridge Council Chamber. There is no need to book, just drop in, and don't worry if you can't make the talk at 11am – we'll be on hand to fill you in.

Photo: Gouthwaite Reservoir
Hay Meadow Arts Project
Nidderdale Visual Arts have recently chosen Gill Kirk, an artist living in Pateley Bridge, to lead the hay meadows community arts project. Gill will be looking at hay meadows from an artistic point of view with the theme “under the microscope” – there will be lots of opportunities to get involved as the project develops.

Photo: Species rich hay meadow
About the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership
The Landscape Partnership is a £1.8 million scheme for Upper Nidderdale, funded mainly through the Heritage Lottery Fund. Launched in summer 2014, it will run through to July 2018 with two main aims:
  • to conserve and enhance Upper Nidderdale’s wildlife habitats and historic environment;
  • to enable people to find out, enjoy and get involved in looking after this fantastic heritage.
Get in touch:
Nidderdale AONB, The Old Workhouse, King Street, Pateley Bridge, Harrogate, HG3 5LE
T: 01423 712950

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