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Friday, 26 August 2016

New forum for hill farmers

Hill farmers in northern England have a new voice and forum to express their views.

The new Northern Hill Farming Panel has been set up to help address some of the challenges faced by those that farm the northern uplands.

The panel will represent members in discussions with government ministers and officials on how they can help foster a more sustainable future for farming in the northern uplands.

National park homes plans get the nod

Three planning applications for new homes for local people in the Yorkshire Dales National Park have been given the green light.

Two of the projects will see the conversion of existing barns and the third will involve a new build.

A barn at Simon’s Seat Farm in Skyreholme will be sensitively converted into a three-bedroom, local occupancy home. The application also includes the removal of redundant agricultural buildings and the construction of a garage. A barn at the Grange in Burtersett will be converted so it can be used either as a short-stay holiday let or as a local occupancy home. Outline planning permission was also given to build a three-bedroom local occupancy bungalow at Millholme Rise in Embsay.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Fossils fuel the dinosaur imagination at three-day festival

Careful with that baby T-Rex.
Getting ready for the festival.
Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
The Yorkshire Fossil Festival is returning to Scarborough for a third year, bringing fun, fascinating forums and forensic foraging to all things palaeontological.

The three-day event opens on Friday 16 September with a schools and education day. All three days are open to the public, with events programmed to appeal to everyone from the smallest members of the family to the serious geologist, many of them free.

The festival takes place in and around Scarborough’s famous Rotunda Museum – the first purpose-built geological museum in the country which provides the perfect backdrop for the programme of workshops, theatre, specialist talks, storytelling and fossil hunting.

Highlights include a visit from best-selling children’s author Ian Whybrow, writer of Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs; curators from The Natural History Museum exploring dinosaur discoveries; Dinosaur Park – fresh from The Edinburgh Festival; Emerald Ant’s exciting giant Iguanodon Restaurant Show and the return of everyone’s favourite free-range baby T-Rex.

The Yorkshire Fossil Festival is organised by Scarborough Museums Trust, and sponsored by The Palaeontological Association.

Organiser Samantha Brown said: “The Fossil Festival has attracted thousands of visitors over the past two years, and this year’s is going to be even bigger and better. We’re looking forward to a great weekend of events where science meets the imagination.”

Further information: www.yorkshirefossilfestival.co.uk

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Town promoters shortlisted

A group of businesses that has worked hard to spotlight the charms of one of the county's most beautiful market towns has been shortlisted for a community award

Popular town ... Helmsley's business group has worked hard to ensure
 it thrives for residents and visitors
Helmsley in Business is in the running for best community group in North Yorkshire County Council's annual awards.

The category recognises the work that many local groups do for their communities and the wider Yorkshire region.

National park planning chiefs give go ahead for campsite

The Yorkshire Dales national park is to get a new campsite after planners agreed a scheme to boost the number of tent pitches

The park's planning committee approved a 22-pitch site at Heber Farm in Buckden. The site will include two camping pods, toilet and shower facilities and parking for 15 cars. Conditions include a stipulation that the site can only be used between Easter and October each year.

Nick Cotton, member champion for recreation management, said: “Part of our vision is for the national park to be a friendly, open and welcoming place with outstanding opportunities to enjoy its special qualities.

“The new Yorkshire Dales local plan aims to support developments like this that help to increase tourism and offer more incentives for visitors to stay and spend their money locally.

“The number of tent pitches in the national park has reduced over the last few years while demand has increased. The approval of this planning application will go a small way to redressing the balance so there will be more places for people to stay for longer periods while they enjoy this beautiful landscape.”

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Staithes gets ready to throw open its doors and show off heritage

Prints will be on sale during
 the two-day festival.
Preparations are well under way for the historic fishing village of Staithes to throw open the doors of its quaint and quirky cottages to welcome visitors to its fifth festival of arts and heritage over the weekend 10 and 11 September.

More than a hundred artists will exhibit their paintings, prints, sculpture, jewellery, glass and crafts for sale in pop-up galleries all around the village.

A classic comedy return to the SJT

Alan Ayckbourn’s classic comedy Henceforward returns to the Stephen Joseph Theatre this autumn in a brand new production directed by the author.

Jessie Hart and Jacqueline King in rehearsals.
Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
In an isolated, derelict suburban tower block, avant garde composer Jerome struggles vainly to complete his life’s masterwork about love. With the help of a deranged android childminder, he hatches a plan to retrieve his source of artistic inspiration, his beloved daughter Geain, from his hostile and estranged ex-wife.
  
Henceforward… premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1987, then at London’s Vaudeville Theatre a year later in a production which won the Evening Standard Best Comedy Award.

This year’s Scarborough revival follows a hugely successful production last year at a theatre in Germany. The production at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg opened in February 2015 and was so popular, regularly playing to full houses in the 1200-seat theatre, that the run was extended and the show ended up playing for over a year.

The production runs from Thursday 8 September to Saturday 8 October 2016

Further information: www.sjt.uk.com

Monday, 22 August 2016

Walking specialist has branched out in the Dales with tree-planting scheme

Businesses are making their mark in the Yorkshire Dales by helping to create new native woodlands.

Tree planting in Malhamdale.
Celebrating ten years of adding its weight to conservation is Harrogate outdoor adventure specialist TeamWalking which has ensured it leaves more than its footprints on the landscape. Over the years, it has dedicated a new native tree for every new client..

Deli's delight at national recognition

The Hunters of Helmsley deli has earned national recognition for its commitment to sourcing and promoting regional delicacies.

Judges highly commended the store in the best independent retailer category of the Great British Food magazine awards.

The awards were established three years ago to recognise the work of the artisans behind the nation’s favourite food and drink.

Landowners' group calls for new policy for thriving woodland

The regional director of an influential landowner organisation says Brexit must be used to create a better policy for creating and managing woodland.

New data showing a sharp decline in the planting of new productive British woodland highlights why the UK must grasp the opportunity, according to Dorothy Fairburn of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).

The association which represents thousands of farmers, landowners and other rural businesses throughout the North has responded to a report on changes in canopy cover between 2006 and 2015 published by the Forestry Commission. The report says the government’s strategy for increasing woodland cover in England is failing.

Get exploring and help conservation, park urges families

Having fun ... club members
and volunteers get exploring.
Families with children aged 4 – 14 are being offered a way to learn about the habitats of the North York Moors national park.

The park's Explorer Club starts at the beginning of next month, meeting one Saturday or Sunday a month for six months.

The park holds an information day from 2pm – 4pm this Sunday (28 August) at its Danby centre. Members will be on hand to talk about their experiences and what they gain from volunteering and being part of the group. There will also be the opportunity to take part in fun activities such as stile building and creating natural works of art so attendees can experience what being part of the project will entail.