Clair Shields – Small Scale Enhancements Scheme Co-ordinator
The North York Moors, Coast and Hills LEADER Programme is funding five Small Scale Enhancement Schemes across the LEADER area. These SSE Schemes co-ordinate and deliver small scale community projects which have been highlighted by members of the community. Priorities are the conservation & upgrading of rural heritage and village renewal & development i.e. projects that enhance the local village environment, strengthen and generate community cohesion or encourage community activities and village events.
Below, I’m highlighting a few of the most recent projects from the North York Moors SSE –
Pockley Church – The open afternoon at St John the Baptist Church at the beginning of April was a great success as approximately 30+ members of the public turned out to see the unique Victorian heating system being brought back into use. Both local residents and people from as far afield as Stockton on Tees turned up to the event. The warmth of the Church welcomed us in from the cold and a lovely cuppa and biscuit rounded off an enjoyable afternoon. A success all round!
Arts for Sustainability – This project involves the provision of a series of workshops for the public and schools focusing on butterfly biodiversity and conservation, and promoting the use of foraged plants. The workshops are being held at Dalby Forest Courtyard. Also the Danby Moors Centre will be hosting an art exhibition of art created from natural materials by Fine Art degree students (Saturday 18 May to Monday 17 June). All events are free.
Heritage Cycle Route – The Ryedale Folk Museum will be working with local community groups, history groups and cycling groups to develop Heritage Cycle routes. The plan is to create three family friendly routes of different lengths for local families to enjoy and at the same time help people connect to their local history.
Spaunton Pinfold – Work has recently been completed on the restoration of the listed pinfold in Spaunton Village. The pinfold was in poor condition mainly due to adjoining trees and their roots affecting the stability of the walls, and so this village feature was included on our ‘At Risk’ register. Despite initial concerns that the whole structure needed taken down and rebuilding a more sympathetic approach was agreed concentrating on selective areas of re-building. A pinfold (also known as a Pound) is a common historical (and cultural) feature in moorland villages – it’s an enclosure where stray animals were held until released on payment of a fine to the Pinder.
Oswaldkirk Telephone Kiosk – The wonky and dilapidated appearance of the kiosk put doubt into the community as to whether they should ‘adopt’ the kiosk from BT in the first place. However now the renovation of the Oswaldkirk telephone box is well underway, albeit slightly delayed by the weather! The aim is to restore the kiosk to its original appearance, or as near it can be, in order to provide a real enhancement to the character of the village. An excellent start has been made by the local community on the replacement of the discoloured plastic windows and flaky paint and rust – all the work is being done by them. All that is outstanding is the delivery of the internal equipment by a well-known supplier in Carlton Miniott.
Fylingthorpe Luncheon Club – The Fylingthorpe Methodist Chapel along with members of the local community asked for help to enable them to set up a Luncheon Club for up to 25 elderly residents of the village. The Club provides a freshly cooked meal as well as a friendly meeting place with all the benefits that increased social contact can bring. The Scheme purchased a new cooker for the Club.
Below are a few of the recent Ryedale SSE projects. These projects are outside the National Park but together with the North York Moors SSE and other area SSE partner projects, we’re generating community benefits across the whole of the wider LEADER area.
Exclamation Gates at Castle Howard – These Grade II listed gate piers have been repaired and restored with the support of the Ryedale SSE Scheme. As visitors and guests at Castle Howard were driven along, the view through the gates provided their first panoramic view of the rich and varied landscape created by Vanbrugh and Hawksmoor under the patronage of the Earl of Carlisle – at which point they were expected to exclaim in wonder.
St Margaret’s Church, Huttons Ambo – The Ryedale SSE Scheme was able to provide the funds to repair and rehang the cast iron gate and rebuild the subsiding gate pier in order to retain the attractive entrance to the village church.
St Michael’s Church, Crambe –Two projects have been supported in the church grounds: the first was the repair of a number of tomb chests, and the second was the repair and re-erection of 27 headstones in the churchyard that over the years had been damaged, broken and pushed over by the horses that grazed there.