Previous Events

Walk: Ride2Stride

The Ribble Way by Ken Humphris

1 May 2024

We hosted a 7 mile walk as part of the popular ride2stride Settle-Carlisle walking and music festival programme, from Long Preston railway station to Settle station. Partially following the Ribble Way, walkers enjoyed viewing Wigglesworth Hall and Long Preston Deeps along with lots of spring flowers and wading birds.

Online Talk: Connecting Young People to the Yorkshire Dales

Ruth Garrett

20 March 2024

In this online talk one of our Creative Campaigners, Ruth Garrett shared her own campaigning journey from volunteering as a teenager with Friends of the Dales, to her experience as an ambassador for the national charity Campaign for National Parks (CNP), and how these experiences led to the launch of the Creative Campaigners Network in the Dales.

Event: Friends 4 Friends

A staff and volunteer event by Ann Shadrake

6 March 2024

This was a social event for members with one caveat – they must bring a ‘non member’ friend with them! As we look to the future it is vital we recruit more members and so what better way to do this than encourage like-minded friends to come along and join us for a membership social comprising welcome refreshments, a short presentation, light complimentary lunch and a leisurely three mile circular walk. NB. there was no obligation to join – just a chance to get to know us!

Online Talk: Breeding Waders of the Yorkshire Dales

A curlew in the Yorkshire Dales by Ann Shadrake

21 February 2024

In this online talk, Ian Court, Wildlife Conservation Officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, outlined the status of the key upland breeding wader species and how important areas such as the Yorkshire Dales National Park are for them. He also summarised the current threats and habitat requirements that waders need and the conservation work being undertaken to protect them.

Online Talk: Access the Dales

Debbie North walking the Coast to Coast

17 January 2024

Since becoming a wheelchair user in 2011, Debbie North has campaigned tirelessly to break down barriers and promote countryside accessibility for all. Founding the charity, Access the Dales, whose motto is ‘making the inaccessible accessible’, it now offers nine ‘free to borrow’ all terrain wheelchairs available from designated sites across the Dales. This talk offered a unique opportunity to learn about the successes and improvements Debbie’s campaigning has achieved, along with the challenges still to surmount.

Online Talk: Funding for Sustainable Business & Community Projects in the Dales

Clapdale Wool Project c. Glencroft

6 December 2023

Businesses, community groups and individuals had the chance to find out more about how the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s Sustainable Development Fund can support projects that aim to promote a more sustainable way of living in, working in or visiting the National Park. Andrea Burden, Sustainable Development Officer for the Park introduced the scheme, the funding available and how to apply. Edward Sexton of Clapham based Glencroft also spoke about how the fund helped kick-start his company’s now successful ‘farm to yarn’ project – Clapdale Wool – buying fleeces from farms within a 5-mile radius and transforming them into Yorkshire-made hand-knit yarn.

Online Talk: Within the Cracks – the Hidden World of Limestone Pavements

8 November 2023

Following on from her feature in the summer 2023 issue of Yorkshire Dales Review, Carly Stevens, Professor of Plant Ecology and Soil Biogeochemistry at the University of Lancaster, drew on six years of research to illuminate these complex and often biodiverse rich ecosystems which typify much of the Yorkshire Dales. She also talked about the impact of climate breakdown, farming practice and other threats affecting these precious habitats.

Online Talk: In Your Words – Words from the Dales

11 October 2023

Dr Fiona Douglas, project lead for The Dialect and Heritage Project based at the University of Leeds revealed some of the key insights and discoveries uncovered through its recent work with the Yorkshire Dales Countryside Museum and Ryedale Folklife Museum. Fiona shared snippets of rare audio interviews gathered by researchers in the 1950s alongside newer oral histories, to illustrate how the Yorkshire language and dialect has changed and developed over the last 75 years.

Guided Walk: Clapham Heritage Trail

village shop
Photo by Paul Harris c. Dales Media Library

Saturday 7 October 2023

Trustee Ken Humphris led a two mile walk around picturesque Clapham, planned in the early 19th century and now a Conservation Area. The walk offered an opportunity to learn about the village’s long history, from its 10th century medieval farmsteads to the present day. Clapham comprises a fascinating collection of vernacular buildings, beck and waterfall, along with connections to the well-known Victorian plant hunter, Reginald Farrer.

Friends of the Dales 40th Annual General Meeting

Speaker and audience
Photo credit: Stephen Garnett

Saturday 23 September 2023

Our AGM 2023 (restricted to members only) was held at the Village Hall, Long Preston, BD23 4NU. The reports and Annual Accounts from this AGM can be found on our Annual Report and Accounts page.

Farm Walk: Cattle, Carbon, Conservation, Climate and Conversation

Photo credit: Ann Shadrake

Wednesday 23 August 2023

Former Friends of the Dales trustee, Yorkshire Dales farmer, Anthony Bradley led a four mile guided walk around key parts of his 90 acre farm near Long Preston, to talk about some of the science behind grazing cattle in a traditional, rotational way − a methodology that makes economic sense as well as being carbon neutral.

Event: Creative Campaigners

Saturday 29 July 2023

Run in partnership with Neil Heseltine of Hilltop Farm – a traditional livestock farm embracing biodiversity and sustainability, as featured in Saving our Wild Isles (WWF, RSPB, NT, Silverback Films) this day for young environmental campaigners aged 20-30 offered insight into how you can influence environmental messages by promoting campaigns in creative ways – e.g. through writing, photography, graphic design, illustration, video, activism or social media.

Event: Making Space for Nature

Photo credit: Victoria Benn

Saturday 1 July 2023

This was an inspiring and educational opportunity for individuals, villages and community groups to find out how to make more space for nature. In collaboration with Addingham Environment Group (AEG), the event showcased AEG’s journey from inception to now, along with information about its aims for the future and successes and challenges along the way. The two guided walks through the village offered an opportunity to see the nature positive actions taken to create, improve and restore habitats, support clean water and increase biodiversity. These included a review of hedge planting, wildflower and pollinator plantations, pond building, riparian planting, hide building, bog garden creation and Riverfly sampling.

The introductory presentation for the day is available to view below – copyright Addingham Environment Group.

Walk: Peregrine Watch at Malham

A peregrine falcon
c. Jasmin777 at Pixabay

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Ian Court, Wildlife Conservation Officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, led a guided walk focussed on one of the Yorkshire Dales most majestic birds of prey. Peregrine Falcons were at a low point in the 1960s due to human persecution and the impact of pesticides in the food chain. Improved legislation and protection has helped the birds recover, but a number of threats remain. Peregrines and a number of other upland bird species were observed in their natural habitat in and around Malham Cove. 

Walk: Wild Ingleborough

Pasture full of wild flowers
Ashes Pasture by Victoria Benn

Saturday 10 June, 2023

We are once again joined forces with our friends at Wild Ingleborough for a guided walk through three of the region’s finest nature reserves, including Ashes Shaw, its newest reserve. Ellie Parker, Community Engagement Officer for the Partnership offered expert insight into the native flora and fauna of the biodiverse grassland at Ashes Pasture and the archaeological features of Ashes Shaw.

Walk: Exploring Frostrow Fell

View from Frostrow Fell by Victoria Benn

Thursday 25 May, 2023

Friends of the Dales trustee, Ian McPherson led a high level, five mile, moderate walk around Frostrow Fell. With stunning views of the Howgills and Lake District, the walk also offered the opportunity to see several breeds of moorland birds including curlew, stonechat and wheatear.

Volunteer Event: Eyes on the Bog

Our peatland monitors in 2022

Saturday 13 May, 2023

Eyes on the Bog is a peatlands monitoring project run in collaboration with Yorkshire Peat Partnership. On this training event participants learnt simple monitoring activities with which to monitor their own allocated area of peatland, in order to assess the effectiveness of ongoing peatland restoration.

Walk: River Restoration in Action

Arkle Beck, Swaledale courtesy of YDRT

Thursday 27 April 2023

Catherine Mason from the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust led a seven mile guided walk in Arkengarthdale, where the Trust are involved in a partnership project to implement natural flood management, assisting an area of the Dales that was badly affected by the floods of 2019.

Social Stroll: Gargrave to Skipton

The Leeds Liverpool canal near Gargrave by Ann Shadrake

Wednesday 22 March 2023

The first of our Social Strolls, created for those who want to walk over less arduous terrain with time to chat and socialise as they go. This 4.5 mile walk also promoted the benefit of using buses to get into the Yorkshire Dales. Meeting at Skipton Bus Station, walkers took the bus to Gargrave, returning to Skipton via the Leeds Liverpool canal tow path.

Online Talk: Raptor Persecution

Howard Jones documenting a set pole trap in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

22 February 2023

As Investigations Officer for the RSPB, Howard Jones works with the police to investigate crimes against threatened wild bird species; from undercover surveillance to catch offenders right through to the courtroom. In this digital talk Howard brought to life the cases and day to day work of fighting wildlife crime, with a focus on North Yorkshire – the worst place in the UK for bird of prey persecution.

Online Talk: Plastic Free Woodlands

An example of non-plastic tree guards working well in the Yorkshire Dales, photo courtesy of Mark Corner

1 February 2023

Fifty million trees must be planted each year to counteract Britain’s contribution to climate change. Trees often need protecting from grazing animals or harsh weather conditions to become established, however without radical changes to the way we plant trees, 1.5 billion plastic tubes may end up littering the environment and damaging ecosystems by 2050. In this digital talk Mike Appleton, Plastic Free Woodlands Project Officer for Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust talked about its ongoing project to break our reliance on plastic and find sustainable alternatives in woodland creation. Vice President of Friends of the Dales, Mark Corner also shared his experiences of ‘planting without plastic’.

Online Talk: Wild Ingleborough

The Ingleborough landscape, courtesy of Wild Ingleborough, copyright Joseph Gray (WWF UK)

18 January 2023

Launched in 2021, Wild Ingleborough is a multi-partner, landscape-scale conservation project aiming to create a wilder future for the Ingleborough area of the Yorkshire Dales. In this online talk Ellie Parker, Community Engagement Officer for the project, showcased the team’s ongoing work to combat the impacts of the climate crisis by; protecting fragile upland habitats, increasing the area’s biodiversity and establishing more habitats for key endangered species. In the long term Wild Ingleborough aims to become an exemplary model for nature restoration in the English uplands.

Online Talk: Capturing the Past

Stile near Alum Pot by Hilary Fenten

7 December 2022

John Cuthbert, project leader of Capturing the Past, spoke about the origins of the project, giving an overview of the archives it now contains as well as insight into some stories, photographs and documents with a ‘winter theme’.

Online Talk: Rural Bus Services in the 21st Century

The DalesBus 881 Malham Tarn shuttle climbing out of Langcliffe

16 November 2022

Kevin Armstrong, Friends of the Dales Trustee and a Director of Dales and Bowland Community Interest Company (DalesBus) − the social enterprise set-up and supported by our charity, and Professor Chris Nash, Chair of Dales and Bowland talked the challenges and opportunities facing it and other rural bus services at a time of funding cuts, fuel price rises and a need for improvements in ‘greener’ travel.

Walk: Barns, meadows and lead mining in Swaledale

The Pennine Way above Muker by Ian Harrison

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Starting and finishing in Muker, this walk took in some of the region’s best preserved field barns along with geological features, lead mining industry remains and examples of successful farm diversification.

Walk: Wild Ingleborough

A field filled with globeflowers in the Wild Ingleborough site, copyright Andrew Parkinson (WWF UK)

Wednesday 2 November 2022

Ellie Parker, Community Engagement Officer for the Wild Ingleborough project led a walk around Ingleborough up to Park Fell, bringing to life the different features of the landscape that have been shaped by humans and offering insight into different wildlife habitats, why they’re there and which species they benefit.

Conference: From Peat to Paddling

The River Wharfe at Ghaistrills Strid, Grassington

Saturday 24 September 2022, Grassington

Want to debate or discover what can and should be done to improve the health of our rivers from peat to paddling? Then join us and our panel of experts…

This year’s Conference explored the journey of the River Wharfe from Oughtershaw Beck to Ilkley or ‘from peat to paddling’. Our six speakers, included our President, the biologist and nature writer Dr Amy-Jane Beer, Tim Thom of the Yorkshire Peat Partnership and Professor Rick Battarbee from University College London and answered the question ‘what constitutes a healthy river’ from their unique, expert perspective.

More information can be found on our news page.

Walk: Settle and Stainforth circular

Looking over the Ribble valley from above Langcliffe towards Ingleborough by Mark Corner

Saturday 6 August 2022

This was a scenic seven mile walk through a section of the Ribble valley’s limestone landscape taking in an impressive waterfall, hay meadows and a site of special scientific interest, led by Trustee, Scarlett Armstrong. The walk, which started in Settle, followed footpaths and bridle ways.

Online Talk: The Flow – Rivers and River Life

Wild swimming at Janet’s Foss by Amy-Jane Beer

13 July 2022

This is an opportunity for members and supporters to interact with Friends of the Dales new honorary and voluntary President, Dr Amy-Jane Beer. Drawing from her newly published book, The Flow, Amy-Jane will read a couple of extracts about Dales rivers, before talking more broadly about aquatic life and the challenges facing river systems.

Volunteer Event: Eyes on the Bog

Chair of the Trustees, Bruce McLeod planting sphagnum moss, courtesy of Jenny Sharman at Yorkshire Peat Partnership

Thursday 23 June 2022

As part of our Peatlands campaign #MoorPeat we supported Yorkshire Peat Partnership‘s Eyes on the Bog project to recruit and train volunteers in some simple monitoring activities with which to monitor their own area of peatland, assessing the effectiveness of restoration techniques. We may be looking for volunteers again in the future, so if this is of interest please use the contact form to let us know.

Online Talk: Building Conservation and Lime Wash

Lime washing by Jonathan Ratter

15 June 2022

Lime was once an essential building material and Chartered surveyor and building conservation expert, Jonathan Ratter explained why it is still the best choice for protecting the stonework of traditional buildings and how it should be applied.

Walk: Nurturing Nature

Ashes Pasture, courtesy of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Tuesday 14 June 2022

Members and supporters joined us for a short walk from Ribblehead railway station to two of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s most nature rich reserves. Graham Standring, the Trust’s Living Landscapes Officer offered expert insight into the native flora and fauna of the biodiverse grassland at Ashes Pasture and also the more complex site at nearby Salt Lake Quarry, both of which are home to several fragile habitats and scarce plants.

Event: Peat and Poetry

The Beck Stone (one of six Stanza Stones) on Ilkley Moor

Saturday 21 May 2022

Members and supporters joined us for a special peat and poetry walk starting and finishing in Ilkley, which offered the chance to see the damage caused by peatland erosion; learn about its significance for wildlife, carbon and water storage; see the remediation work and hear more about our peatlands campaign. The walk included recitals of two of Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage’s famous Stanza Stones and a visit the Poetry Postbox, where participants recited their own peatland poems before posting them in the box.

Online Talk: Give Peat a Chance 2022

Yorkshire Peat Partnership and Friends of the Dales volunteers on Fleet Moss

18 May 2022

Following her popular talk last year, Jenny Sharman from Yorkshire Peat Partnership returned to tell the story of the restoration of three moors that are close to her heart. What caused them to degrade and decline? What were the likely consequences of this to the wildlife, the carbon store, local flood risk and water quality? What has been done to rewet, replant and restore them? Through these examples, the enormous undertaking to restore all of Yorkshire’s upland peatlands by March 2035 was brought to life.

Online Talk: Birds of the Yorkshire Dales

Curlew by Whitfield Benson, YDNPA

20 April 2022

In this digital talk Ian Court, Wildlife Conservation Officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, showcased the bird species – both native and migratory − that make the Yorkshire Dales their home. Ian also highlighted the various threats to a range of species along with positive conservation measures the national park has put in place.

Walk: Exploring Crummackdale

Crummackdale by Ken Humphris

Saturday 19 March 2022

Commencing in Austwick, Trustee, Ken Humphris took a group on a guided walk around Crummackdale taking in its geology, natural beauty and some of its social and cultural history.

Online Talk: Biodiverse Living Verges

Cowslip verges
Cowslip verges by Mark Corner

16 March 2022

The Yorkshire Dales has hundreds of miles of roadside verges. In spring and summer they form an integral part of the verdant Dales landscape. These verges have a rich diversity of different plants growing in them that support lots of different insects, which in turn support all manner of other wildlife. Dr Anne Readshaw, leader of Friends of the Dales campaign to protect and enhance roadside verges for biodiversity, gave an update on our campaign, explaining how local authorities and local communities can help to make road verges an important, safe and healthy sanctuary for plant and insect species.

Online Talk: Crayfish in the Yorkshire Dales

White clawed cray fish
White Clawed Crayfish by PBA Ecology

16 February 2022

This talk, presented by Paul Bradley, Director of PBA Applied Ecology and Dr Dan Chadwick offered an insight into the challenges of conserving our native crayfish in the Yorkshire Dales. Based in Settle, PBA are uniquely involved in delivering management of crayfish across the Dales, drawing on experiences from academia and industry.

Online Talk: Climate Breakdown – what does it mean for the Yorkshire Dales?

River in flood
River in flood by Victoria Benn

19 January 2022

In the face of inevitable change due to the breakdown of our climatic system, what do we want the Dales to be like by 2050? In this talk, Richard Boothman an environmental Associate Lecturer with The Open University and founder of Ideostone Ltd, an online environmental learning provider, explored the impact of climate breakdown and its associated environmental changes on the Yorkshire Dales.

Online Talk: Christmas behind the Barbed Wire, 1918

Christmas card
Copy of a Christmas card created in the camp supplied by Anne Buckley

8 December 2021

This talk presented by Anne Buckley, a lecturer in German and Translation Studies at the University of Leeds, provided a fascinating insight into the lives of the German POWs who resided in Skipton during the First World War. It also shed some light on how the POWs managed to celebrate Christmas within the camp. Anne’s talk drew from a diary the POWs secretly wrote during their time in Skipton which was subsequently smuggled back to Germany and published under the title Kriegsgefangen in Skipton.

Online Talk: Leave Only Hoofprints – Farming for a Sustainable Future

Crag, fields and fishing lakes
Photo credit: Chris North

17 November 2021

In this talk Jamie Roberts, the third generation custodian of Kilnsey Park Estate uncovered how he and his family have diversified the farm “to create an ambitious and sustainable eco model, which aims to protect the land whilst being a viable commercial entity fit for the 21st century and beyond.”

Friends of the Dales 40th Anniversary Walk

Man and a woman
Photo of Colin and Fleur Speakman

Wednesday 10 November 2021

This full day’s winter walking, started and ended in Grassington, visiting several memorable locations from the early days of the Yorkshire Dales Society, now known as Friends of the Dales. Hosted by Colin Speakman, founder member and a Vice President of our charity, and creator of the Dales Way, it was an enjoyable and information rich ramble, incorporating – amongst many other things – insight into the former Grassington Hospital and Linton Camp School.

Online Talk: Exploring Crummackdale

Photo credit: Ken Humphris, Friends of the Dales.

20 October 2021

Through personal photos our Trustee, Ken Humphris shared some of the history of the area from geological time through to the recent past, and why walking in this lovely valley is so rewarding.

Plastic Tree Guard Collection Event

Man pulling tree tube
Photo credit: Ann Shadrake, Friends of the Dales.

Thursday 7 October 2021

In line with our Plastic Free Dales campaign we are keen to work with local landowners and partners to help rid the Dales of redundant tree guards, which if left uncollected once a tree is thriving, breakdown into micro plastics polluting the land and ultimately the waterways. Organised collections like this one enable the guards to be either reused or recycled. Tree guard collection days are rewarding events to take part in, however please be aware they are also reasonably strenuous.

Online Talk: The impact of the 2019 floods on the historic environment of the Northern Dales

Stile over a dry stone wall
Photo credit: Ann Shadrake, Friends of the Dales

14 July 2021

Miles Johnson, Head of Historic Environment at The North Yorks Moors National Park, spoke about the impact of the 2019 floods on the historic and archaeological environment of Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, with particular reference to its impact on the area’s lead mining heritage.

Online Talk: Managing the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Nature Reserves 

View over woods
Photo credit: Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

16 June 2021

In this illustrated talk, Graham Standring, the YWT’s Living Landscapes Officer, showcased the charity’s work in managing its nature reserves across the Dales.

Online Talk: Strengthening the North’s Green Heart

Stile over a dry stone wall
Photo credit: Ann Shadrake, Friends of the Dales

19 May 2021

In this illustrated talk, our former Vice Chair and Trustee, Wilf Fenten, presented a visionary but practical way to greater sustainability for protected areas across the north of England.

Online Talk – Give Peat a Chance

Photo credit: Pennine Peatlife

21 April 2021

In ‘Give Peat a Chance’, Jenny Sharman of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Yorkshire Peat Partnership gave a fascinating talk about peatlands in the Yorkshire Dales, why they need our help, and what the Partnership is doing to restore them.

Online Talk: Living and Roaming in the Orton Fells

Group of people walking
Photo credit: Ann Shadrake, Friends of the Dales

17 March 2021

Trustee, Kyle Blue gave an engaging talk about ‘Living and Roaming in the Orton Fells’.