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Friday, 29 July 2016

Pub serves up a double success

A North Yorkshire destination pub is celebrating with “doubles all round” after scooping two accolades in quick succession.

Double driving force ... Graham Usher and Martin Firth.
After being named as one of the county's best pubs, The Drovers Arms, in Skipwith, near Selby, has been honoured with the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

Graham Usher and Martin Firth bought the pub in 2014, and since then have turned it into a must-visit destination for both foodies, real ale fanatics and the avid gin drinker.

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

Monday, 23 May 2016

Fancy a medieval gatehouse?

The gatehouse at Bolton Percy.
A medieval gatehouse has gone on the market.

The Grade Two-listed timber-framed Bolton Percy Gatehouse, near Tadcaster, was built in the 15th century and is one of three historic British properties being sold after owner, the Vivat Trust, went into liquidation, last year.

Property consultancy Eddisons is marketing the properties, which have all been refurbished internally to create modern living accommodation. They include the UK’s tallest folly, the 53m, Grade One listed Hadlow Tower near Tonbridge in Kent; as well as a 14th century manor house near Hereford.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

This favourite pub competition could be a bitter contest

The opportunity to vote for the best pub in Yorkshire has been extended until 1 June.

Official tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire runs the annual contest which attracts thousands of votes.

A top ten will be announced on Twitter on 2 June when the public has the opportunity to say choose their favourite which will be announced on 12 July at the Great Yorkshire Show

Last year saw The Fleece Inn at Barkisland crowned the winner, with The Bull Inn at West Tanfield coming in second place and the The Royal Oak at Ripon coming in as Yorkshire’s third favourite pub.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity said: “Yorkshire is not only famous for its stunning landscapes and rich heritage, the county is also renowned for its wealth of welcoming pubs which are just as important in attracting visitors. From traditional inns to city centre pubs, make sure you cast your vote for your favourite!”

The competition was first launched in 2011 to help promote Yorkshire’s variety of pubs and the top 30 nominees will once again feature in Welcome to Yorkshire’s Ale Trail leaflet.

 Votes can be cast at

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Plan ahead, cycling spectacle organisers urge residents and visitors

As the county gears up for the second Tour de Yorkshire, folks are being urged to plan head.

With the countdown under way and race timings confirmed, the county council is working with transport partners, schools, businesses and district councils on road closures for the cycling spectacle.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Competition goes to the wall

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has launched a contest to reward the craftsmen responsible for maintaining Yorkshire’s iconic dry stone walls.

The organisation, which represents thousands of landowners, farmers and rural businesses in the region, has launched its 2016 Dry Stone Wall Competition.

Friday, 25 March 2016

County's bus services are just the ticket for passenger satisfaction

North Yorkshire’s bus operators are celebrating coming out top in a national survey on passenger satisfaction.

The survey, by industry watchdog Transport Focus, gave the county's operators a score of 94 per cent – the highest of all the authorities involved.

For comfort and cleanliness of buses, for length of journey time, safety of driving and personal security, North Yorkshire’s operators also scored more than 90 per cent.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Tour de Yorkshire organisers unveil key timings for cycling spectacle

Organisers have revealed the full race timings and ceremonial starts for the Tour de Yorkshire
Millions of spectators are expected to line the route of the three day men’s race and one day women’s race held from Friday 29 April to Sunday 1 May.

North Yorkshire is the scene for part of Stage One and Stage Three of the cycling spectacle. It gets under way at 11.50am in Beverley, East Yorkshire, on Friday 29 April before crossing into North Yorkshire with key points including Tadcaster at 1.50pm, Knaresborough at 2.22pm, Greenhow Hill at 3.02pm.  From there, riders will visit Grassington at 3.20pm and cross the finish line at Settle for the first time at 4.06pm, before completing a circuit through Giggleswick and the stage finale at Settle at 4.26pm.

Saturday’s Stage Two sees riders heading from Otley to Doncaster while, for Sunday's Stage Three, the action begins in and around Middlesbrough before racing to the finish line in Scarborough via Thirsk at 12.51pm, Sutton Bank at 1.06pm, Blakey Ridge at 1.54pm, Grosmont at 2.46pm, a sprint at Whitby at 3.06pm, Robin Hood’s Bay at 3.23pm, Harwood Dale at 3.44pm and Oliver’s Mount at 4.16pm. The riders will cross the line at 4.25pm.

A number of events and festivals are being held by communities across the county to celebrate the race including Stokesley, Monk Fryston and Hillam, near Selby, Sutton Bank and Danby.

A full schedule and race timings can be viewed online at The three columns represent slow, medium and fast times.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Make a beeline for Stillingfleet during National Insect Week

Yorkshire’s leading wildlife experts will put gardens in the spotlight at an event near York for National Insect Week when it runs from 20-26 June.

Pond-dipping, bee identification walks, moth-trapping, bird-ringing, owl pellet dissection and scout and guide badge activities have been lined up at Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens on its fifth wildlife day.

Organiser Vanessa Cook, who has been welcoming wildlife into her RHS partner garden for over 35 years, wants to enthuse people about what’s in their gardens and how to share even the smallest of spaces with animals, birds and insects.

She said: “It’s very easy to make our gardens more wildlife friendly and by acting together we can help stop the decline of some of our important and iconic creatures. This is a fun day out where you can learn a lot and make a difference.”

Among the organisations attending the event are British Trust for Ornithology, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, East Yorkshire Bat Group, North Yorkshire Rotters, Yorkshire Amphibian and Reptile Group, Yorkshire Mammal Group, East Yorkshire Bat Group.

Further information:

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Get planting, landowners urged

The regional head of the Country Land and Business Association is urging its farming and landowning members to take part in a new tree planting scheme.

Woodland for Water is a new grant scheme being launched by the Forestry Commission and Environment Agency. It offers landowners in target areas across Yorkshire and the North East grant funding to plant additional new woodland.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

War conscription stories revealed

Items from the North Riding Appeal Tribunal Papers archive

The stories of men from the North Riding who appealed against World War One conscription can now be told thanks to the lottery-funded opening of a rare archive by North Yorkshire County Record Office.

And members of the public are being invited to volunteer to work on the project to help to uncover these hidden tales and learn what happened to the men behind them.

An £8,500 Heritage Lottery Fund grant has enabled the Grounds for Appeal: the North Riding Appeal Tribunal Papers 1916-1918 project to get under way.

The project will explore and open up access to the North Riding military tribunals' appeals records from the period.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

It's a tad faster on the buses

Council chiefs have come up with the funding for a new hourly bus service between Tadcaster and York in a bid to keep the town on the move while the flood-damaged road bridge over the Wharfe is rebuilt.

North Yorkshire county council has provided up to £20,000 to run the service for an initial 12 weeks after which it will be operated commercially.

Yorkshire Coastliner won the bid with its new Tadfaster route which will take just 20 minutes into York, the quickest bus ever to run into the city. Tadfaster provides an hourly service between 7am and 6pm Monday to Saturday.

It will run alongside the existing Coastliner service which operates as normal and continues to connect the town with Leeds, York and the east coast.

“This is good news for the people of our town”, said county councillor Chris Metcalfe, local member for Tadcaster.

“We continue to look for ways to support residents and Tadcaster’s economy while the painstaking and complex operation of reconstructing the main bridge continues over the coming months.

“We welcome this initiative as a good example of how the county council is working closely with bus operators, providing pump-priming to improve commercial services throughout the county.”

Monday, 15 February 2016

They're minding the gap: flood-hit town's east and west reunited

Mother, Babs Wilson and daughter, Chrissie Wilson cross
 the temporary footbridge across the Wharfe.
The folks of Tadcaster are celebrating after the east and west sides of the North Yorkshire town were reconnected thanks to a temporary footbridge across the River Wharfe.

The main Tadcaster bridge was closed after its partial collapse during the Christmas floods.

Knowing that repairs would take a year, the county, district and town councils along with local MP Nigel Adams began exploring interim measures. A solution came with the support of the town’s football club, Tadcaster Albion, which provided access to the proposed footbridge via its car park.

Monday, 8 February 2016

County libraries announce the most popular titles

Among those with
most top 100 titles:
Peter Robinson.
The most popular books for North Yorkshire libraries users have been unveiled. Lee Child's Personal secured the number one slot with Yorkshire-born Peter Robinson second with Abattoir Blues. 

Robinson was among a small group of authors with the most titles in the Top 100.

The total number of books borrowed from North Yorkshire libraries in 2014/15 was more than 2,443,500.

Friday, 4 December 2015

County holds the key to hot lime revival

North Yorkshire practitioners are believed to be the inspiration behind the revival of hot mixed lime mortars across the UK and Ireland for historic build repairs across the UK and Ireland these past two years.

Think local, Xmas shoppers urged

Country landowner and business association, the CLA, is calling on shoppers to support local rural businesses this Christmas.

The call comes ahead of Small Business Saturday, a grassroots campaign to encourage consumers to 'buy local', which takes place tomorrow (Saturday in December).

Regional director Dorothy Fairburn said: “Small independent shops are the lifeblood of rural communities yet they often struggle to compete with online sellers and large out-of-town retailers.

“A good festive season can help ensure that local businesses survive and maintain vital jobs and services through quieter times of the year.”

Miss Fairburn added: “We are delighted to support Small Business Saturday and I urge shoppers to avoid traffic queues, expensive parking and packed pavements this weekend.

“Instead, they should explore what's on offer in farm shops, village stores, farmers' markets or in our market towns where traditional, independent shops are still plentiful.”

Further information about Small Business:

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Tasty produce awards on the menu

Get ready Yorkshire producers! That's the message as glossy food magazine delicious spotlights Britain's top producers when it launches its 2016 awards in January. Winners will appear in the magazine’s pages in the October issue.

Top chefs and food writers will judge the eight categories in regional heats across the UK, looking for leaders in fishing, farming and animal rearing, as well as artisans making the best products from the raw materials. Regional finalists will go to the national judging heat in London.

Editor Karen Barnes said: “We know Yorkshire has a huge number of producers who should be praised and rewarded for the work they do and exposed to a much wider audience – we hope through our awards, social media activity and winners’ publicity we can help them continue their valuable work and grow their businesses.”

Readers can nominate their favourite producers, and producers can enter the awards, from
14 January 2016. For updates and to enter or nominate, visit:

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Community buses hit county roads

A fleet of sixteen new minibuses is to hit the roads of North Yorkshire in a major extension of a programme of county council supported community transport schemes.

Catch the bus ... one of the existing fleet of community buses,
operated by the Upper Wensleydale Community Partnership
The Department for Transport has pledged funding for the vehicles for community groups across North Yorkshire, at a cost of some £800,000.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Could the awards be starting to come in Drovers in Skipwith?

Award-winning publicans ... Drovers Arms co-owners Martin Firth (second left) and Graham usher (second right) receive their award from Punch Taverns regional operations manager, Steve Burns and Punch Taverns new business manager, Sarah Dinning.  

The owners of the Drovers Arms in Skipwith, near Selby are saying "cheers" after winning an industry “Oscar”.

Graham Usher and Martin Firth picked up the Punch Taverns best new business award for the North, for the way they have turned around the fortunes of the mid-19th century inn.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Local produce is best, says pub

Traditional North Yorkshire country pub The Drovers has vowed to use local produce whenever possible.

The pub team has appointed Sykes House Farm as its main meat supplier.