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Friday, 9 September 2016

Sutton Hall open day branches out with some oak tree detective work

Historic manor house, Sutton Hall Resort, near Thirsk, throws open the gates to its gardens on Saturday (10 September) for its second open day.

And this time, managers and staff at the self-catering resort want to try to identify the person who donated the Nelson’s Oak tree in the grounds.

Will someone twig? An appeal for information about this oak tree
has been made at Sutton Hall Resort.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Stunning route for trampers, mobility scooters and wheelchair users

A new circular walk suitable for trampers, mobility scooters and wheelchair users has opened in the North York Moors National Park. Much of the 5.3 mile route takes in stunning views from the Cleveland Way National Trail.

Easier access ... the viewing platform at Sutton Bank.
Starting at the iconic Sutton Bank National Park Centre, renowned for ‘the finest view in England’, visitors can enjoy the outstanding views across the Vale of Mowbray to the distant Yorkshire Dales. It also takes in some of the Cliff Bike Trail so sightseers can appreciate winding and meandering through the woods and across the fields.

Friday, 2 September 2016

The answer is blowing in the wind for attracting market visitors

Gurmeth Singh, one of four market
superintendents, in Thirsk
with one of the new flags.
New flutter flags are raising the profile of council-run markets in the Hambleton district.

The flags which are put out on market days at Northallerton on Wednesdays and Saturdays and Thirsk on Mondays and Saturdays are easily seen by both pedestrians and motorists and it is hoped that they will encourage passing trade to stop and shop.

All traders whether they are regular traders or casual traders are being encouraged to pitch up and book a place.

And it's hoped shoppers will venture out and support their local economy.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Conservation grants give national park's landscape a competitive hedge

The North York Moors national park is offering land manager grants of up to £2,000 for hedgerow planting and drystone walling.

The Traditional Boundary Scheme, now in its fourth year, has grant-aided nearly 10,000 square metres of drystone walls and planted over 8km of hedges in the area.

The national park authority says traditional boundaries form an important part of the landscape and it wants to help landowners improve, protect and restore these features, including coppicing and gapping up.

As well as serving as stock-proof boundaries, drystone walls and hedges provide shelter for stock, reduce soil erosion and increase habitat connectivity.

The authority's conservation projects assistant Roy McGhie said: “It has been fantastic to see the difference the traditional boundary scheme grant can make to the landscape of the national park.

"As well as being important historical features, field boundaries are of considerable wildlife value and also add to the aesthetic appeal of the park. This grant is an important contribution to the way the authority recognises the significance of traditional boundaries to farming, wildlife, and the park in general.”

The initiative grant-aids traditional field boundaries in the park providing they do not already receive funding from other sources. Priority is given to those boundaries which are most visible from a public right of way or of particular historical or environmental interest.

Further information:

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Library embroidery workshops have all the fun sewn up

Textile artist Janet Browne.
Two North Yorkshire libraries are running free machine embroidery workshops as part of an artists in residence project.

Textile artist Janet Browne will be at the Bilton and Woodfield Community Library and Stokesley Library to help participants create artwork to be exhibited. 

Organisers say it's a great opportunity for anyone keen to develop their existing sewing machine skills and learn to create something bright and eye-catching.

The Bilton and Woodfield Community Library has eight workshops taking place on some Fridays in September and October. Further information: email

The Stokesley workshops will take place on some Thursdays in September. Further information: email

 Arts Council England is funding the events.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

In the long run, it's a great event

More than a hundred people including three dogs turned up to celebrate Northallerton Parkrun’s first birthday and received a commemorative pin badge.

Happy birthday to our run. Some of the participants
 mark the first anniversary.
Health and wellbeing development officer Dave Earl said: "The parkrun is also an integral part of the Hambleton Running Hub programme that includes run leader training courses, community running groups and support for new running ventures,”

“Over 50 people have volunteered their services to enable the parkrun to be the success it has become. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the event and provide support in many different roles.  So if you do not want to run but would like to be involved please come along as we are always on the lookout for more helpers."

The event starts at 9am on Saturdays on the fields around Northallerton leisure centre. Further information:

Monday, 8 August 2016

Hit the road ... new bypass set to cut congestion for popular market town

The picturesque market town of Bedale will see traffic cut by half when a new bypass is officially opened by roads minister Andrew Jones on Thursday (11 August).

Work got under way in February, last year, and has finished two months ahead of schedule.The bypass will reduce traffic flow through Aiskew, Bedale and Leeming Bar by half.

At the moment, about 14,000 vehicles a day use the existing road, causing congestion.

Highways chiefs say the bypass will also reduce environmental and road safety problems, improve access to the A1(M) for local communities and improve access to Leeming Bar industrial estate.

The three-mile stretch runs from Northallerton Road, on the eastern outskirts of Leeming Bar, to a new junction on the A684 near Bedale golf club. It crosses the A1(M) at its midpoint, where it connects with the junction created as part of the Highways Agency’s A1 Dishforth to Barton upgrade.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Nature reserve draws in the volunteers after council cash boost

Nosterfield Nature Reserve, near Bedale, is developing a strong volunteer base, thanks to a council grant.
Volunteers planting reeds in shallow water at the Nosterfield nature reserve.
Hambleton's only designated reserve draws up to 15,000 visitors each year who enjoy the wildlife and take exercise in the attractive landscape adjoining the Thornborough Henges. It's also recognised as North Yorkshire’s premier wet grassland for birds and has received a number of major national awards.

The £2,500 district council grant has enabled Northallerton and District Voluntary Service Association to help the Lower Ure Conservation Trust to strengthen its volunteers programme on the reserve through a series of open days and workshops.

The reserve can now draw on 35 volunteers who carry out a range of tasks including recording the birds, flowers and insects, clearing unwanted vegetation and creating new habitats such as reedbeds and hedgerows.

Director and trustee Simon Warwick said: “We expect the improved volunteer-base to result in increased visitor numbers and many more people being aware of Hambletons only local nature reserve, its wildlife, surrounding landscape and local communities,”

Monday, 25 July 2016

Week-long event celebrates our treasured 'breathing spaces'

Adventure is the theme of this year’s UK-wide National Parks Week, which starts today (25 July) – and there'll be plenty of that given that we have two of Britain's 'breathing spaces' in North Yorkshire.

On the menu ... food tasting at the North York Moors national park.
Photo by Brian Nicholson.
The teams at the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales national parks are getting in on the act and have been busy drawing up a long list of activities including drystone wall demonstrations, geocaching, getting close up to nature, heritage trails, kite making and flying, treasure hunts and musical events to name but a few.
National Parks UK director Kathryn Cook said: "Our 15 wonderfully diverse national parks offer a great range of events and activities – there really is something for everyone to enjoy. So whether you’re a thrill seeker or you are looking for something a little less energetic, we encourage you to get out and be a part of the incredible landscapes that make this country so unique."

Saturday, 23 July 2016

National park has designs on good building in North York Moors

An awards scheme that recognises developments that enhance the character of the North York Moors national park is once again open for entries.

The 2016 Design Awards, sponsored by artisan glassmakers Gillies Jones, showcase the great design work in the area. The winner of each category will receive a commemorative glass bowl from Gillies Jones. The event, held every two years, celebrates the positive contribution that good design can have on local communities.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Residents' views will shape plan

Give us your views! That's the message to residents of the North York Moors National Park.

The park authority is seeking views on topics such as planning, services and communications in its latest residents’ Survey.

The survey is available in electronic and hard copy. The says the views will help shape a business plan to guide how the park authority spends its money and the work it does over the next four years.

Authority chief executive Andy Wilson said: “It’s really important for us to understand the views and feelings of our residents. They help to shape the work we do. I’d like to encourage everyone who receives the survey to take a few minutes to provide us with their views, to ensure we are making the right decisions in the future.”

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Cheers! Bull Inn is county's top pub

I'll drink to that ... Gil Richardson
receives the best pub award.
West Tanfield's Bull Inn has been named Yorkshire’s favourite pub at the Great Yorkshire Show after a record number of votes.

Record-breaking Yorkshire rowers Janette Benaddi and Helen Butters were joined by cricket legend Geoffrey Boycott in announcing the win.

A total 18,000 people voted in total for this year’s competition which saw Durham Ox, Crayke come second and Fairfax Arms, Gilling East third.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Shop saved, spruced up and ready to serve its two villages

Two villages in the south of Hambleton now have a community shop to share.

Open for business: society chair Denise Howard in the new-look shop.
Huby’s shop and post office which also served Sutton on Forest was on the verge of closing when its owner of 26 years retired last year.

The two villages formed a steering group and set up a not-for-profit community benefit society to take on the lease and business.

With 420 shareholders buying shares and bonds, the society raised more than £50,000.

The shop, run by volunteers along with paid post office staff, has been named Barkers of Huby, in recognition of its owners David and Lesley Barker.

A £4,500 Making a Difference grant from the district council has enabled improvements to access, fixtures and fittings, lighting and security.

Denise Howard, the society's chair, said: “Keeping the shop and post office open makes a huge difference to the daily lives of the residents who rely on it for not only the post office services and the everyday essential goods and newspapers as well as local meat and produce, but it also provides a social hub where people can meet each other and keep up to date with community news.”

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Cycle link discussed

A cycle link between Stokesley and Great Ayton is the theme of a discussion this month.

The Stokesley and Villages Community Partnership’s annual meeting on 13 July at 7.30pm will hear from Mary Seaton, the region's Sustrans cycle network development officer who is working with locals to turn the concept into reality.

Mary will explain how similar community-led schemes have been completed successfully elsewhere in the country.

The meeting is being held at the Stokesley and District Community Care Association at Town Close and is open to all residents from across the area.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Sutton Bank team masters the fine art of celebrating the tour

Welcome to Yorkshire's chief executive Sir Gary Verity has presented the trophy to the winners of the Tour de Yorkshire land art competition.
The art of success ... Sir Gary Verity hands over the trophy
 at a presentation at Sutton Bank.
The giant piece of art featuring a horse, a ram and a wild boar riding a penny farthing on Sutton Bank was crowned the winner of the competition after beating 11 other finalists in a public vote, in which more than 2,000 votes were cast.

The North York Moors national park authority and Hambleton district council commissioned the 70-metre high, 40-metre wide painting, entitled The Finest View which shows the animals looking out over what James Herriot called “the finest view in England.”

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Planning chiefs consider green holiday village proposals

Plans for a green holiday village between Great Ayton and Stokesely which developers say will help transform the local tourism economy go before Hambleton district council planners today (Thursday 23 June).
Artist's impression of the cycle centre hub.

If approved, Angrove Country Park will feature 179 chalets in an environmentally sustainable development. The scheme includes plans for fishing ponds and a central hub with a café and cycle hire.

The development will create around 160 new jobs on the site and in the local economy, with the increase in visitor numbers expected to deliver around £5.6m of spending to Great Ayton and a cumulative economic impact of £24.4m per year.

Situated on the Coast to Coast cycle route, the development will help ensure that the Endeavour Way cycle route between Great Ayton and Stokesley, becomes a reality.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Quaint church hall goes on the market

A picturesque but little-used Victorian church hall in one of North Yorkshire’s prettiest villages is up for sale with planning consent to convert it into a three-bedroom house.

Looking for a buyer ... the church hall in picturesque Felixkirk.
The parish church is seeking offers over £200,000 for the Grade Two-listed hall in the village of Felixkirk, near Thirsk, at the foot of the Hambleton hills. The building, which served as the village’s school from around 1835 until 1934, is a focal point of the community but its suitability as a venue for local events has dwindled in recent years.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Quick on the draw – record office history project wins national award

North Yorkshire's record office has won a Big Draw national award after encouraging people to use maps from its archives to create their own stories.

Record assistant and organiser of Every Map Tells a Story
 Emily Ward with the national award.
The Northallerton team secured the community, participatory and libraries award in the national Big Draw Festival on its first time of entering.

The documents at the record office date from the 12th to the 21st century and are mainly used for family history research, but there are many possibilities for creative uses, so for its Big Draw event the team used its archives to appeal to an audience of children and young adults. Its traditional audience is people interested in local and family history, who tend to be older.

The Every Map Tells a Story event was held on 3 October last year, when people were invited to visit the record office to tell their story through a map.

Using various drawing materials and tracing paper on top of a modern Ordnance Survey map of Northallerton, participants mapped their journeys, stories and memories, drawing buildings, transport and points of interest and illustrating how they use the town. There was also a choice of Ordnance Survey maps from 1913 and 1943 to draw on, which allowed people to see changes in the town.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

North Yorks pubs get their point across as competition finalists

North Yorkshire drinking holes dominate the running for this year's Yorkshire Favourite Pub contest.

A shortlist of 12 has been drawn up and go head to head to be crowned winner at the Great Yorkshire Show on Tuesday July 12.

North Yorkshire's standard bearers are the Blue Lion, East Witton; Bull Inn, West Tanfield; Duke of York Inn, Gate Helmsley; Durham Ox, Crayke; Fairfax Arms, Gilling East; Queen O'T'Owd Thatch, South Milford and Woolly Sheep Inn, Skipton

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Sutton Bank masters the art of winning tour celebrations with its finest view

Winning art ... the Finest View.
What have a horse, a ram and a wild boar riding a penny farthing in common?

The answer is they form a giant piece of art that's just taken the top prize in the Tour de Yorkshire land art competition.

The 70-metre high, 40-metre wide painting on the grassy airfield at the Yorkshire Gliding Club at Sutton Bank beat entries from 11 other finalists to win the trophy.

The Finest View, commissioned by the North York Moors National Park Authority and Hambleton District Council, shows the animals looking out over what James Herriot called “the finest view in England.”