News: August 2020

Sorry we’ve been a bit quiet over the lockdown… we had to postpone our tree-guard ‘picking’ event and slow down our Reeth Incredible Edible project – but we’re getting going now things are easing back to ‘normal’!

Here are a few quick updates on what we’re up to…if you’re on Facebook, please join our group and get involved in the conversations.

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Incredible Edible Swaledale

Incredible Edible Swaledale aims to grow free local vegetables for all, on un-used bits of ground. You may remember we built the first raised beds at Reeth Medical Centre and part-filled those with compost – then the lockdown happened.


After lots of hard work by our members (especially Stacey!) the Reeth Medical Centre Incredible Edibles plot is now finally ready.  Thanks again to the Medical Centre team for supporting us with this project.


To get started, we’ve been planting up with herbs, spinach, courgette and turnips. We still have a bit of space in the beds, so if you have spare plants but don’t want to plant them yourself do get in touch and we’ll arrange to come and collect them.


If you wish to plant them yourselves, do please just go ahead. For this year, just plant things wherever there is space (ideally keep all the herbs together). Be mindful of how large some things may grow. 


Please label the things you plant if they are something un-obvious!


We encourage people to pick the fruit and older leaves, making sure you leave plenty for others too.  If you’re a good weed-spotter, pull the tiny weed seedlings out before they get started!


As we write this, we don’t yet have a working water butt, so if you are nearby and could do a bit of watering (if it ever gets warm again this summer!), please do. Our plans also include signage and fruit trees.

Share your favourite recipes

You may remember that we are collecting and sharing recipes recommended by local people. We’re keen to include vegetarian, vegan, fish- and meat-based, gluten-free or other dietary ‘specialities’. If your recipe uses local ingredients, that’s even better.

We were delighted to see that the Swaledale Museum recently published some post-war (c. 1951) recipes from the ‘Yorkshire Federation of Women’s Institutes Recipe Book’. We’ve posted some of the recipes on our website (with kind permission from the Swaledale Museum). Why not try them out?

Other recipes include a local version of Welsh Rarebit/Rabbit(?!), with Swaledale cheese, recommended local beer and a Yorkshire alternative to Worcestershire sauce.

We’d love you to share any stories behind your recipe – where it came from, why it’s popular in your family, and how you’ve improved on the original version. And a photo would be brilliant!

Please share your favourite recipes by either:

  1. Posting on our Facebook page
  2. Or email it to us

We’ll add them to the Recipe section on our website, and we’ll credit the recipe creator and photographer – please make sure you let us know who you are!

Creating our own wildflower meadow

Inspired by the blog on the need to encourage more pollinators, we have embarked on a wildflower meadow  around our newly planted apple trees.  Although Swaledale is rich in meadows, nationally meadows and other species-rich grasslands now cover less than 1% of the UK.  Grasslands not only lock up carbon but also provide greater bio-diversity. Read more in our two latest updates, here and here.

Core Group Meeting

We’ve switched our meetings online during the lockdown. The next one will be Thursday 3rd September – please email us if you’d like to join.

Life after lockdown

What kind of changes would you like to see after ‘lockdown’, to help us live more sustainably? How can we make positive changes to support social and environmental improvements in Swaledale, and help our communities thrive? Get involved and let us know!

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