Money to make things happen

Rachel Pickering – Conservation Officer

We’ve been banging on about community grants over the last few weeks. But we’re not finished yet. 

Despite the challenging economic climate the National Park Authority is still really keen to continue to offer grants to the local community for special projects. The Authority’s own Community Grant fund is open for business again in 2014 and is available for a wide range of projects which benefit the local environment, cultural heritage and community facilities.

This is the second year of this particular fund. The fund picks up from the LEADER Boy photoSmall Scale Enhancements Scheme. We are looking for small scale projects within the North York Moors like the one in Hutton Buscel which involved improving their churchyard habitat for wildlife as well as educating young children from the school next door about their local bugs and beasties. The school used the adjacent churchyard as their outdoor classroom and the children loved getting hands on to make bug hotels and the like.

Last year the Community Grant funded 23 projects in all which totalled £58,000 of grant funding. We funded some really good projects including energy efficiency improvements for village halls to make them more sustainable, archiving of historic resources to make them more accessible, and the renovation of two war memorials to help conserve these esteemed features. One of our favourite projects was at Hutton Park near Guisborough where volunteers set themselves up as a new community group and began a tree replanting programme. The aim is to preserve the historic character of the parkland landscape at Hutton Lowcross, where many of the large old parkland trees have been lost over the years. Individual local provenance trees were planted and protected from cattle and wildlife (like deer) with tree guards and fencing.

Just a little bit of funding support can help community groups achieve great things that make a difference.

So if you are in the North York Moors and you have a project in mind that might fit the bill then please have a look at our Community Grant flier 2014 or on our website for more information and to access the simple application form.

Applications need to be in by 30 June 2014

 

 

 

People, Places and Projects

Amy Thomas – North York Moors, Coast and Hills LEADER Programme Manager

After five years of work we’ve made it to the end of the 2008-2013 North York Moors, Coast and Hills LEADER Programme.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with our fantastic LEADER Programme (shame on you) it’s been a tale of projects and people, places and the other dreaded ‘p’ – paperwork! Basically, the Programme provided funding for innovative and sustainable rural development projects under three themes: Basic Services, Village Renewal & Tourism, Conservation & Heritage.

With memories of the last Programme already beginning to fade, I thought this would be the ideal opportunity to share some of the highlights and at the same time to keep the idea of LEADER alive as we move rather quickly towards our next Programme.

Back in 2008 with five years stretching ahead of us, we started out on our LEADER adventure full of enthusiasm and high hopes. It has to be said that the end result was everything we’d hoped it would be and more. It’s been a journey which has not only had the pleasure and privilege in making a small contribution to so many projects and communities, but has provided me (and my colleagues I’m sure!) with enormous job satisfaction.

Over the years a huge number of people have been involved in the LEADER Programme delivering projects in their village or as a member of our Local Action Group and/or Executive Group.

The Executive Group have played a vital role making decisions on many aspects of the Programme. Many of the Executive were local volunteers who gave their time and skills freely, and acquitted themselves exceptionally well to the task at hand.

Esk Pearl Mussel VisitAlong with the hard work of assessing and approving project applications, the Executive got stuck in to days negotiating the muddy banks of the River Esk to see some of the work done by the Esk Pearl Mussel & Salmon Recovery Project, trying their hand at a spot of dowsing with the Mulgrave Community Research Project, and inspecting the orchards and production unit of Husthwaite’s now famous apple juice and cider. These visits brought individual projects to life and gave us all the chance to really see the positive contributions being made to local life through LEADER funding.

The projects we have been able to support have provided us with many great stories to share. Our first training project, the Yorkshire Moors Agricultural Apprenticeship Scheme (YMAAS) took on their first group of seven apprentices in 2009. Following the successful completion of their apprenticeships, all seven young people moved on to further education or employment. YMAAS has continued and are now beginning to work with their third set of apprentices, and are frequently held up nationally as a model of good practice.YMAAS

More than 20 communities were supported by the LEADER funded Community Access Project and Martyn Williams (the Project Officer) to create or improve footpaths around their villages. These new circular or linear routes are providing safe new routes to school for children, creating local visitor amenities and have meant the upgrading of a number of footpaths to multi-user routes at some of the National Park’s most popular locations.  

Following the identification of a new circular route around Coxwold, residents rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in, helping with everything from installing gates to improving surfacing.Community Access Project in Coxwold

Many of the smallest projects assisted (usually through the LEADER funded Small Scale Enhancement Schemes) have been located in some of the most beautiful parts of our area and have given us an insight into some fascinating hidden gems. To name just a few, the conservation work at Castle Howard’s Exclamation Gates, at Howsham Mill and at Handale Abbey, along with the new interpretation panels at Egton Mortuary Chapel and Warren Moor Mine, Kildale are all well worth a visit.Egton Mortuary Chapel

The people who made each project happen are often the lynch pin within communities and so were crucial to the Programme. Without them we would never have been able to have achieved all we have. The people behind the projects never failed to amaze me with their dedication and commitment. I’ve seen them do everything from making tea and scones for fundraising to digging up concrete village hall floors. The same people have also been the ones filling in the forms and I’m sure the paperwork has been tedious but it is unfortunately always an essential part of funding. However despite the difficulties and the highs and lows that some projects go through, I’d like to think that the pride of opening the doors of their newly refurbished village hall, selling their first bottle of apple juice or seeing their village come together to celebrate centuries of traditions reminded them of why they got involved, and in doing so how they became a part of the local LEADER story. Gilling East VH Opening

So…the five years have flown by in the blink of an eye and some tremendous projects have emerged, but instead of mourning the end of our LEADER Programme, I’d much rather see this as an opportunity to embark on our next exciting chapter. We’re going to take all we’ve learnt and use this to build our next Programme. Although it is likely to be fundamentally different in terms of the projects we’ll be able to support, it will still hold at its core the traditional LEADER principles of co-operation, networking and innovation achieved through bottom up local development.

We shall relish the challenge of developing our new Programme and the more people who get involved, the better the end result will undoubtedly be! If this all sounds like something you’d like to know more about or would like to know how you can get involved, please get in touch 

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We will apply to Defra in September to have a new LEADER Programme for our area and will hear by the end of the year if we have been successful.

129 Projects in 129 Pictures

Clair Shields – Planning Officer (Building Conservation) and Monument Management Scheme Volunteer Coordinator – previously LEADER Small Scale Enhancements Co-ordinator

Using LEADER money, the North York Moors Small Scale Enhancements Scheme (January 2010 – December 2013) was a relatively small funding stream to help communities carry out enhancement work and conserve assests in their local village and parish. Projects had to fit with one or more of these three LEADER themes:

  • Conservation & Heritage
  • Village Renewal & Development
  • Access to Basic Services

The concept behind the Small Scale Enhancements (SSE) Scheme was that all projects should be generated by the local community, because local people are best placed to determine what’s of value in their area. The National Park Authority bankrolled the projects until the money could be claimed back from the LEADER fund which meant that local communities didn’t have to miss out if they couldn’t find their own temporary funding.

A few key facts

  • 129 projects supported over 4 years
  • 74% of projects fell within the cultural heritage theme
  • 14% of projects fell within the village enhancement theme
  • 12% of projects fell within the access to basic services theme
  • £323,586 of funding provided to 90 communities
  • Additional £30,000 of funding generated through match funding
  • Average cost per project amounted to £2,734

Below are 129 (very small) pictures – each one illustrating one of the 129 small scale projects. Hopefully the pictures give you some impression of the array of enhancements realised through the North York Moors SSE.

HB900 and Vicar's Walk, Hutton Buscel - celebrating 900 years of the Church + tree work 'Heather Hopper' for Esk Moors Active - provision of lift on community bus Lastingham Village Railings - renewal of traditional stone posts and timber railings

 

Lythe Village Hall - outdoor seating equipment Wass Environment Day - weekend public event celebrating the local environment Old St Stephen's Chuch, Fylingdales - noticeboards, pamphlets, posts and website

 

 

 

Shandy Hall Gate, Coxwold - reinstatement of gates and rebuilding of drystone wall Egton Mortuary Chapel - provision of information board Gillamoor Village Enhancements - restoration of traditional name signs + tablet at Surprise View

 

 

 

Hartoft Horse Trough - repair of double horse troughs 'A Sign in the Right Direction' Project - refurbishment of 8 traditional highways signs Drovers' Road Play - creation of play based on local heritage

 

 

 

Thornton le Dale Village Projects - notice board, directional signs and restoration of stocks. Alms Houses photo by Peter Smith. Heritage Cycle Routes - creation of cycle route linking heritage and local villages in the south of the North York Moors Kilburn Village Institute - upgrading heating system. Photo © Gordon Hatto.

 

 

 

Coxwold Village Enhancements Art for Sustainability - art classes around sense of place Chop Yat Iron Forge Festival, Chop Gate - traditional events and demonstrations

 

 

 

Fylingthorpe Methodist Chapel - setting up luncheon club for elderly residents Ravenscar Barrows - geophysical survey of ancient barrow site Sinnington Local History Group - I.T. equipment for village archive

 

 

 

Fylingdales Local History Group's 'Archive Open Door Project' - archiving historical documents Rosedale History Society - display equipment
Rosedale Railway 150 - website and leaflet to celebrate 150 anniversary

 

 

Farndale Band Room - provision of new doors Lastingham War Memorial - restoration Old Byland Church - restoration of drystone walls and mediaeval tiles

 

 

 

Lealholm Church Pews - seat cushions Roxby Old Manor Site - consolidation of ruins Aislaby Name Signs - provision of traditional looking signage

 

 

 

Rosedale and Thorgill Name Plates - provision of traditional looking signage Abbeyfield Esk Moor, Castleton - projector and sound equipment for facilities for the elderly Ampleforth Water Pump - repair of street water pump

 

 

 

 

Appleton le Moors Church Displays - permanent display in Church Beggars Bridge, Glaisdale - interpretation panel Castleton Play Area - new access gate

 

 

 

Chop Gate History Project - celebrating the last 60 years of Bilsdale Commondale Village Hall - new boundary fencing and disabled access Goathland Village Improvements - restoration of heritage signage and old stone trough

 

 

 

Ha Ha Bridge, Thornton le Dale - restoration of listed bridge Hackness Pinfold - restoration Hackness, Suffield, Broxa Name Signs - traditional looking name signs

 

 

 

Hinderwell Cemetery - restoration of iron railings Hutton Buscel Gate Piers - restoration of listed pillars and reinstatement of gates Hutton le Hole War Memorial - renovation

 

 

 

 

Hutton le Hole Wildflower Area - creation of wild flower meadow behind Church Ingleby and Battersby Junction Name Signs - traditional looking new name signs Ingleby Cross and Arncliffe Name Signs - new village name signs

 

 

 

Jugger Howe Nature Trail - boardwalk materials for new nature trail Lastingham Beck Enhancement Lockton Village Improvements - restoration of village well and provision of tree seat

 

 

 

Lythe War Memorial - cleaning and re-etching NYM Honeybee Conservation Project - hives for nucleus colonies Osmotherley Pinfold - repair

 

 

 

Oswaldkirk Telephone Kiosk - restoration Peacock Row Cobbling, Robin Hood's Bay - pavement works Pinchinthorpe Hall - moat and garden restoration

 

 

 

 

Plum Tree House, Borrowby - restoration of historic trods River Esk Monitoring - training local anglers to monitor invertebrates Rosedale Church Conservation Area - creation of grassland conservation area in churchyard

 

 

 

Rosedale East Pond - restoration Seggymire Community Access - restoration of historic route along Old Monks Trod Sinnington Village Maypole - restoration of village maypole

 

 

 

Sneaton War Memorial - cleaning Spaunton Village Projects - retoration of listed Victoria cross and village pinfold St Hilda's Church, Chop Gate - notice board and seat

 

 

 

St Hilda's Old School, Hinderwell - new energy efficient lighting St John's, Fangdale Beck - restoration of war memorial and new gate Staithes Harbour Store - improvements

 

 

 

 

Tallest Man in the World Musical - creation of musical play telling local story by Osmotherley and Swainby Primary Schools Teaching Trees - coordination of woodland classess for local schools The Hulleys, Cloughton - topographic and geophysical surveys of prehistoric site

 

 

 

Thimbleby Sports Field - provision of a generator Thirlby Village Improvements - railings for Village Hall, traditional name sign, I.T equipment Underhill Flags, Robin Hood's Bay - repairs to section of historic stone flag footpath

 

 

 

Victorian Geology Experience - display materials and costumes Warren Moor Panel - on site interpretation of the 19th century Ironstone Mine Bilsdale 100th Anniversary Show - contribution to celebrations

 

 

 

Hawnby and Laskill Telephone Boxes - reuse of old red telephone boxes as information hubs Hall Fields Walk, Great Ayton - improved access into woods Battersby Junction - opening up section of historic trod

 

 

 

 

Goathland Trods - restoration of historic stone trodsBygones of Bilsdale - 3 day exhibition and event to record memories
Hutton le Hole Village Hall - provision of screen for presentations. Photo © Pauline Eccle.

 

 

 

 

Robin Hood's Bay Museum - promotional signage and display lightingHutton Buscel Churchyard Project - woodland and wildlife education

 Robin Hood's Bay Museum - improvements to the Museum to gain museum accreditation. Photo © Mike Kirby.

 

 

 

Hinderwell War Memorial - renovation Battersby Junction Recreation Ground - contaminated land survey to enable community use Danby History Tree - educational history plate in tree stump

 

 

 

Hawnby Church Path - footpath works for improved and safer access to Church Levishan Wall - rebuilding of prominent drystone wall in Conservation Area Newton on Rawcliffe Village Hall - timber windows

 

 

 

Lastingham Notice Boards - provision of 2 new village notice boards Danby Village Hall - improving energy efficiency. Photo from solarwall.co.uk. St Thomas', Glaisdale - churchyard improvements + information board. Photo from Familysearch.com.

 

 

 

Doorways Project - local youth scheme to involve young people in their community Bridge over the River Esk - erection of bridge to open up circular routes Fryup Cricket Club - new pavilion and improvements to facilities

Byland Abbey and Oldstead Village Improvements - restoration of traditional name signs Appleton le Moors Village Hall Display - provision of display equipment St Michael's, Cold Kirby - heating and lighting improvements. Photo from Familysearch.org.

 

 

 

West Ayton Wildflowers Project - creation of a wild flower meadow

 

Flithers and Swill, Staithes - production of song reflecting local oral history Handale Abbey Gate - new gate for listed walled garden. Picture of local legend by pupil from St Josephs School, Loftus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lealholm Village Interpretation - village information board Kildale Village Boards - information board and two new noticeboards Hawsker Village Interpretation - village information board

 

 

 

Fylingdales Football Team - purchase of starter kit for newly formed local team Rosedale Abbey Pond - restoration Gillamoor Cricket Club - provision of cricket nets for playing field

 

NYM Riding Routes - promotion of 14 circular horse riding routes through the National Park Gateways - website development for access promotion Chop Gate and Carlton School Wildlife Areas - creation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunnyside Trods, Fylingdales - restoration of historic trod Cosy Cottage Steps, Robin Hood's Bay - pavement works Laurel Cottage to Gallery Cottage, Robin Hood's Bay - pavement work

 

 

 

 

St John's, Pockley - restoration of old Victorian heating system Osmotherley Cobbles - restoration of cobbled area  Ride Yorkshire - creation and promotion of long distance horse ride routes

Ugglebarnby Village Improvements - renovation of traditional sign and trods Levisham Flag Pole - reinstatement of village flag pole
North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast Forum Panels - six interpretation panels to help promote work of Forum

 

 

Staintondale and Ravenscar Local History Group - digitally recording their archive collections

 

 

 

 

Staithes Arts and Heritage Festival - equipment to display archivesIngleby Greenhow Name Signs - restoration

 

 

 

Newton on Rawcliffe Church Clock - restoration and repair Kildale Tomb Chests - repair of listed tombs in churchyard

 

 

Hawk and Owl Trust - interpretation for Fylingdales Moor

For more information see the full North York Moors SSE Review. Hopefully we will be able to access LEADER funding for the North York Moors and surrounding area again from 2015. In the meantime the National Park has its own Community Fund for small scale local projects.

 

Teaching Trees

Clair Shields – Small Scale Enhancements Scheme Co-ordinator

One of the final projects supported by the LEADER funded Small Scale Enhancements Scheme in the North York Moors has been the Teaching Trees project, run by the Royal Forestry Society. The project encourages teachers to bring children of all ages into managed woodlands, and where possible introduces schools into the woodlands in their own vicinity helping to broaden and consolidate regular classroom work by using woods as outdoor classrooms.  The first session was run at Duncombe Park near Helmsley, where younger children foraged for leaves and seeds, hunted for minibeasts and built bug huts while the older children looked into the management of the woodland and helped to decide which trees should be thinned in a particular part of the wood. As a National Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Duncombe Park contains some of the best veteran and ancient trees in the National Park. Outside the formal parkland the woodlands are managed for a variety of benefits including timber, sport and landscape, as they have for hundreds of years, and therefore the site offered a great variety of interest for the Teaching Trees Project.

While the majority of the schools involved lie within the North York Moors National Park, an important element of the project was about bringing children from a more urban environment into their National Park to experience the special qualities the Park has to offer including some massive trees.

This is what Teaching Trees education officer Julia Cheetham said about it: “I have been working with a group of eleven and twelve year olds who live on a council estate and very rarely if ever visit a wood. Watching these children experience the different sounds and sights of a wood for the first time was truly magical. They couldn’t get over the true size of a tree and were amazed to find out how old they were.  I think the children taking part in this project are gaining a greater understanding of woodlands, how they are managed and, above all, why we need to look after them.”

Pam Sellar, a teacher at Egton Church of England Primary School in the National Park agreed: “Teaching Trees has had a much bigger impact on the children than I could ever have envisaged. It has made them think very carefully about trees and the impact on their lives. Every morning we have had to spend the first part of the day looking at samples of trees, leaves, fruits and seeds they have collected on their way to school.”

For more info on the Yorkshire based Teaching Trees project – click here.

Volunteering in and out of the Office

Sam Lightfoot – LEADER Programme Volunteer

I have been volunteering with the North York Moors. Coast and Hills LEADER Programme for almost four months now. The current LEADER Programme is in its final year and is currently undertaking a thorough evaluation to assess how it has performed, and identify its strengths and any areas of weakness that could have been improved upon.

As part of this process I’ve produced, administered and analysed a survey of  Local Action Group members to find out about their experiences of the LEADER Programme, how the Programme here has been of benefit to them and how they feel it has helped to support and improve our rural communities. I’ve also been on a number of monitoring visits and learned about the diverse range of projects that have been supported by LEADER as well as the innovative ways in which the Programme has been helping to address local needs.

During my time as a volunteer I have gained a practical knowledge of the LEADER approach, the issues affecting rural areas and how LEADER seeks to address these. I have enjoyed meeting the interesting and enthusiastic people who share a commitment to improving the quality of life in our local communities.  Over the next few weeks Jo Collins (LEADER Programme Officer) and I will be producing case studies of projects that have been supported by the current Programme, including visiting and photographing many of the small scale projects supported by the five LEADER Small Scale Enhancement Schemes throughout the area.

In addition to the work I have done with LEADER, I have also been out and about with other members of the Conservation Department. I’m really interested in the flora and fauna of the countryside and try to improve my identification skills at any opportunity. I was therefore very pleased to be invited to help with recent botanical survey on Levisham Estate with Alex (Conservation Graduate Trainee), and to assist with the collection of wild flower seeds at Rosedale and Sutton Bank with Ami (Conservation Land Management Adviser) and Alex.

My next new challenge will be to produce a ‘places to visit’ guide for the local BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) community champions to use, which I will be researching and writing over the next few months.

Volunteering has been such a positive and beneficial experience for me that I hope to continue for as long as I can. My role has had the flexibility to suit my personal circumstances and I’ve been able make the most of my available time by gaining practical on the job experience, and also working autonomously from home on suitable tasks when I only have the odd hour to spare. I have gained practical skills and experience that compliment my academic qualifications, and am pleased to be making a contribution to the National Park and wider North York Moors, Coast and Hills LEADER area. The work that I have undertaken so far has given me a sense of achievement and increased my self confidence and self esteem. I have met so many interesting and inspiring people and am very grateful to all who have taken the time to share their knowledge and experience with me.

Local grants: past and future – part 2

Following on from Clair’s last post…

All the funding through the current LEADER programme and the LEADER Small Scale Enhancement (SSE) Scheme in the North York Moors is now committed. Efforts towards securing another LEADER programme for the area from 2015 are underway.

But in the meantime the National Park Authority have new funding available through a Community Grant for 2013/14 . The previous post gives a few ideas of what was funded through SSE and these are the same sorts of things we’re looking to fund through this new grant.  Hopefully we can keep some of the momentum generated by the SSE going.

Up to £5,000 is available for small scale projects, put forward by local community groups in the National Park and aimed at habitat and wildlife enhancements, conserving cultural heritage and local history, or improving a community building.                        

Applications need to be in by the end of July. Successful projects need to be completed by the end of March 2014. Guidelines and an application form are available on the National Park Authority’s website. The application form is pretty simple, so it could be well worth the effort of applying.

Even relatively small sums of money, spread out amongst the communities of the National Park, can go a long way and make a difference for the better.

Local grants: past and future – part 1

Clair Shields – Small Scale Enhancements Scheme Co-ordinator

As we’re entering the final year of the LEADER funded Small Scale Enhancements (SSE) Scheme in the North York Moors I thought it would be good to highlight some of the great projects the Scheme has supported.

The habitats and wildlife of the National Park are one of its most bee hivesvaluable aspects, and consequently projects which look to enhance areas for the benefit of birds, bees and insects can only be a good thing. The Honeybee Conservation project involved the purchase of 30 nucleus hives providing new beekeepers with the equipment needed to set-up new hives to help increase our local bee population. Local bees have a high tolerance to the Varroa Virus, derived from 15 years of hard work by our local Beekeepers’ Associations.

River Esk monitoringThe SSE has also funded a monitoring programme to continually assess the health of the River Esk. Known as the River Esk Monitoring Initiative, twelve local anglers have been trained to assess the biological health of the river which will feed into the data collected by the Environment Agency who can then take action should the water quality drop below expected levels. The River Esk is home to a number of protected species, including the nationally important Fresh Water Pearl Mussel.

Other environmental projects supported include the Rosedale Church Conservation Area project which is enhancing a “wild” area of the churchyard using wildflower seed gathered from a local farmer’s hay meadow; and St Matthew’s Church Habitat Improvements linking children with their local wildlife havens and sustaining the wildlife populations in area by making bird and bat boxes and bug hotels. The SSE has also supported projects to encourage local communities to start up small growing initiatives, re-connecting communities to their environment. An example is the Doorways Project which involved young people (not working or in education) constructing 20 wooden containers, which were then placed within the public realm and are used by the local residents of Easington and Charlton in the far north of the National Park to grow their own vegetables.

Local history and cultural heritage has been the most popular of the SSE’s themes and I can only mention a few of the projects facilitated. The North York Moors Association‘s History Tree at History TreeDanby Moors Centre was one of the first projects supported – a metal plate was fitted to the stump of the iconic copper beech tree (which had to be felled in 2007) displaying a timeline of historical events which occurred during the lifespan of the tree (c. 200 years), and now forms a popular teaching tool for the education team at the Centre. The conservation and promotion of our history and cultural heritage is important to give a grounding for people, which is why those involved with the Egton Mortuary Chapel wanted to erect a plaque to raise awareness and appreciation of the Chapel’s history. Sited in a secluded location outside Egton village, many locals and visitors to the area will have been unaware of the listed Chapel’s story; however the plaque will now illuminate those passing by. Similarly the new Beggar’s Bridge Interpretation Board tells the tale of the local legend behind the building of the bridge involving an endurance swim and a happy ending. It doesn’t matter if it is true or false, it adds an interesting layer to its history, so visit the site to see what you think!

The final theme has been improvements to community buildings, not only village halls but cricket pavilions, football clubs, recreation fields, churches… Conserving a sustainable functioning community of people is as valuable to the North York Moors as populations of wildlife. The SSE assisted Danby Village Hall with their A Warm and Welcoming Village Hall Project, funding loft and cavity wall insulation. The cost savings made from these works will feed into the Danby Village Hall and Esk Valley Community Energy websites to help share useful information with other communities.

Quite often it is the hidden benefits which are the most worthwhile, as with the Fylingthorpe Methodist Chapel. The funding simply provided a new cooker for the Chapel, and one of the resulting benefits was it allowed the community to set up a ‘luncheon club’ for the elderly residents of Fylingthorpe.

Overall there has been some great projects (too many to mention in this post) and it is hoped that this enthusiasm and interest can be carried forward using future grant schemes.

The Drovers’ Road – brought to life again

Clair Shields – LEADER Small Scale Enhancements Co-ordinator

Jointly funded through the SSE Scheme (which I coordinate) and the Lime & Ice Project, there is a current scheme which is aiming to engage local people in celebrating and interpreting the National Park’s natural and cultural heritage by the creation of a community play about the Drovers’ Road. The Drovers’ Road is an historic route running along the western escarpment of the North York Moors which was used by Scottish drovers bringing down their cattle from the north as far south as London for sale, during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The project involves young people working with professionals and culminates in the production of the play, featuring performers of all ages from the local area.1

Public auditions have taken place resulting in a chosen cast of 42 people and 1 Old English sheepdog! The final script is coming together nicely and the students from Ryedale School have finished their workshops with the playwright.2

The 50 minute play will be performed on Friday 21 June and on Saturday 22 June at the Helmsley Arts Centre.

If you want to act out being a Drover yourself – there is an organised walk taking place on 4 September. I’m not sure if there are actual livestock involved.

An afternoon of looking to the future

Jo Collins – LEADER Programme Officer

The North York Moors Coast and Hills LEADER Local Action Group event ‘Shaping the Future’ took place on the 24 April at Hutton Le Hole. Delegates spent the morning taking part in a unique tour of the new LEADER funded Community Library and Archive at Ryedale Folk Museum.  A tasty soup and sandwich lunch at the Barn Tea Rooms in Hutton-Le-Hole was enjoyed by all.

Hutton-Le-Hole village hall provided the venue for the afternoon’s presentations and discussions. Peter Spencer, Malcolm Bowes and Patrick Holdsworth (from the LEADER Executive Group) gave a summary of some of the recent LEADER project achievements and introduced the afternoon’s discussions. Catriona McLees, Head of Promotion and Tourism at the National Park Authority, gave a presentation about the Moors and More local distinctiveness project – a project designed to boost local business and increase tourism within the North York Moors National Park and the wider LEADER area.

This was followed by lively and constructive discussions on the current and possible future LEADER programme. The main points included:

  • The current LEADER funded Small Scale Enhancements scheme is well supported and has a simple and easy application process.  The current main LEADER programme had a more difficult application process however this is well supported by staff.  This availability of support has enabled the successful delivery of projects.
  • A future programme should have a simplified application process and less bureaucracy where possible. There should be more information and support about the application process with capacity building training to assist communities to complete the projects and continue to benefit from them in the future making the projects sustainability beyond the funding.
  • A future programme should include funds for economic development support, particularly for new businesses, but in balance with community, and heritage interests.
  • Future projects should focus on – enhanced rural broadband provision; greater support for young people perhaps through apprenticeship schemes and with a greater level of involvement in the planning of a new programme; funds focussed on supporting elderly and retired people; and support for social enterprise to benefit communities.
  • The current geographical area is about right however it would be good to include the market towns which currently can’t benefit from LEADER funding, and to close up gaps between the different LEADER areas in the country.
  • The current Local Action Group itself has an appropriate role however a future programme should try harder to bring in younger members to the Group, to look at improving publicity about the LAG and the LEADER programme, and to increase communication with rural communities.

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Thanks very much to all who took part and watch this space for future North York Moors, Coast and Hills LEADER programme consultation events, and the development of a future LEADER programme for the area.

A few more April snap shots (including daffodils)

Ami Walker – Conservation Land Management Adviser

Pig troughs after wall repaired

Pig troughs after wall repaired

Pig troughs before wall repaired

Pig troughs before wall repaired

Following on from the bee boles in Glaisdale, here is another historic feature from the North York Moors. This is a row of stone pig troughs built into a dressed stone wall in a farmyard in Bilsdale. The farm is within the North York Moors Farm Scheme and through that scheme this wall has been repaired. Care was taken to retain the pig troughs and we think it’s worked pretty well. These small scale cultural features can easily be lost, but not in this case.

Mark Antcliff – Woodland Officer

This tree in Farndale just doesn’t know what it wants growing under it – to the left is OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcovered in daffodils and to the right it is bluebells (yet to come into flower). This is part of a six hectare woodland project with the Farndale Estate where 500 oaks grown from acorns collected from local veteran and venerable trees (approx. 200 – 300 years old) were planted two years ago. With some on-going care from me virtually all the trees are growing nicely and I look forward to seeing the maturing trees shade out the giant beds of bracken – if I live that long or am still able to clamber up to the wood!

Alex Cripps – Conservation Graduate Training

I am well underway with the Rosedale wild daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) survey and after such a late spring the daffodils are now looking spectacular.

I have been visiting many landowners who have kindly been in touch to say they have wild daffodils on their land. I walk the sites and map out the distribution of the daffodils, categorising them according to whether they are have a dense or a scattered distribution, or if it is just an occasional plant. I also make notes on how well they are flowering.

Wild daffodils are growing really well along the banks of Northdale Beck and the River Daffs1Seven, along various small springs and also on banksides that are often wooded. Wild daffodils favour these areas as they provide partially shaded habitats. Now we are having warmer days (although that may not be the case for next week!) there are lots of insects about which will be pollenating the daffodils, allowing them to produce seeds. Wild daffodils do however have a second method of regeneration by producing small bulblets around the parent bulb. Having two methods of regeneration is a great way to ensure their survival.

This is the first time we have carried out a detailed survey of the wild daffodils in Rosedale and it will be interesting to compare future survey data to build up a picture of what is happening to the population.Daffs2

Clair Shields – Small Scale Enhancements Co-ordinator

A LEADER Small Scale Enhancements funded education project is underway in Hutton Buscel led by a local volunteer and Hedgehog Club co-ordinator called Tammy Andrews. The first session, at St Mathews Church in Hutton Buscel, involved 23 children from Derwent Valley pre-school. The children walked round the churchyard looking for the photos of birds which Tammy had hidden and listened to their songs using an app. The children then collected sticks, feathers and grass to make a bird’s nest collage. They even found an actual old bird’s nest! Back at the pre-school centre everyone helped to build bird boxes. The idea is to have another day for the children in a month or so to see the bird boxes installed on site along with bat boxes and ladybird logs.