News: June 2023

Free salad, herbs and veg at the Reeth community beds

Black flash reveals swift site: WingIt project in the news; Climate Change Committee 2023 Progress Report to Parliament on emissions reductions; Defra: Improving and extending our offer for upland farmers; Farming in Protected Landscapes programme: Year 2 Update; Meadow surveys; tree health; and local seed collection; National Park Protectors Awards 2023: Sustainable Swaledale nominated; Reeth Surgery Community fruit and veg beds looking great; SOS – Save our Swale; Tree nursery event at Open Farm Sunday event at Hazel Brow and forthcoming tree nursery visit; Two Dales Bakery Swallows nest back on camera; Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority leadership

Black flash reveals swift site: WingIt project in the news

This blog article on the Yorkshire Dales National Park website discusses Sustainable Swaledale’s WingIt project, which supports swifts and swallows. It covers an interview with Rachel and Stacey. A press release is also available.

An article on Jonty Willis and his efforts to increase the swift population in Redmire by making and putting up 15 swift boxes can also be found on  the Richmondshire Today site.

Climate Change Committee 2023 Progress Report to Parliament on emissions reductions

John Gummer, Lord Deben, Chair of the Climate Change Committee (CCC) and a former Conservative Secretary of State for the Environment, was on the Today programme on 28th June discussing the newly published 2023 Progress Report to Parliament on emissions reductions. The CCC is the UK government-appointed  independent adviser on tackling climate change and John Gummer was not in an optimistic mood, with the Committee concluding that policy development remains too slow, confidence that medium-term targets will be met has decreased and a key opportunity to raise the overall pace of delivery has been missed. John Gummer said “Out there, there are millions and millions of people whose future we are destroying. If we don’t fight climate change, we will leave a world which is too hot for people to live in, it will have migratory people moving all over the world, moving away from the floods and the heat, and we will not give to our children the kind of world which we have received.”

Defra: Improving and extending our offer for upland farmers

The government has announced that they will make payment rates for the Countryside Stewardship equal for both upland and lowland farms when they carry out the same actions. The number of actions for which one can receive payment will also increase from 90 to 130 in 2024. DEFRA has also pledged to improve the advice and support available to upland farmers . Check out the DEFRA blog for more information.

Farming in Protected Landscapes programme: Year 2 update

The report, which showcases projects across National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) which have benefited from the Defra Farming in Protected Landscapes funding, has just been published. The Yorkshire Dales is represented by Dalefoot Farm in Mallerstang, an area which includes SSSI designation, supporting nature recovery through the establishment of a network of hedgerows, riparian strips and trees that connect the existing ancient semi-natural woodland.

Meadow surveys; tree health; and local seed collection

Our June meeting took place in Gunnerside and was of a practical nature. Janet started us off with a demonstration on meadow surveying techniques. We were introduced to survey requirements and techniques and reminded that we should be careful to choose spots at random away from the edge of the field, and not to just choose survey squares that look full of flowers. We then identified a number of plants within the survey square and estimated the proportion of coverage for each plant within the survey square (approximately 1m x 1m).  We used a couple of guides to help distinguish between the different grasses which most of us found a challenge. Finally one comes up with a rating for the meadow. 

Paul gave us some guidance on ensuring the saplings planted over the last two seasons remain healthy, including keeping grass down in the immediate vicinity to the sapling and watering occasionally where possible.  Volunteers are visiting all the planting sites for seasons one and two in June so we will have an idea shortly about how the trees and hedging have survived the recent dry weather.

Finally Rob gave a history of our tree seed collection project and future plans for potting the plants on and storing in a community nursery.  Many thanks to Rachel for hosting the meeting and providing refreshments.

National Park Protectors Awards 2023: Sustainable Swaledale nominated

Sustainable Swaledale has been honoured to be shortlisted for the ‘Campaign for National Parks – Changemaker of the Year’ award. The National Park Protector Awards which have been run annually for decades by the Campaign for National Parks, recognise and reward the efforts of individuals and groups who either champion change or protect the national park landscape. The final decision, in part influenced by a public poll, will be announced 12 July. We are grateful to the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust for putting us forward for the award.

Reeth Surgery community fruit and veg beds looking great

These are looking wonderful thanks to Delyth who is organising the planting, and all the volunteers who are on the watering rota and have kept the plants alive during the recent very hot and dry spells.  Plenty of salads and herbs available for taking.

SOS – Save our Swale

There will be a public meeting on 12 July 7-8.30 at Richmond Town Hall arranged by Save our Swale, a group of volunteers concerned about the state of the River Swale. You can find out more about the situation and how you can get involved by attending the meeting. 

Tree nursery event at Open Farm Sunday, Hazel Brow Farm

Local tree seed and nuts collected with the permission of local landowners and kept in seed boxes over winter. were potted out into trainer containers at the Open Farm event at Hazel Brow Farm, Low Row on 11 June. The tree nursery session, run by Carol Douglas of the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, saw volunteers ranging between 2.5 and 70+ years repot hazel, oak, blackthorn, hawthorn and wych elm seedlings. These seedlings will then be kept by volunteers until next spring when the seedlings will be brought together and  quarantined in community tree nurseries for a year to monitor for disease. After this time, it is hoped that native Swaledale tree whips can be planted locally in the Together for Trees 2024/2025 planting season.

The next step will be to establish our own tree nursery, and there is a chance to visit an established tree nursery to see how it should be done.

There are a few places left for a trip to visit Mires Beck Nursery (East Riding) on 10 August. This is for anyone taking part in our Tree Nursery project, or who might be interested in taking part. Transport will be arranged. If interested, contact Naomi –

Two Dales Bakery Swallows nest back on camera

A solar-powered webcam set up to view the resident swallows at the Two Dales Bakery in Reeth has been redirected to allow people to view the new swallow nest, which they built just behind the camera!

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority leadership

At the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority AGM, Neil Heseltine was re-elected Chair for the fourth consecutive year with Derek Twine, the former chief executive of the Scouts Association, becoming deputy chair for the first time.

Neil Heseltine, who last week became chair of the advocacy body National Parks England, has said that he wants to focus on developing the next five-year YDNP management plan, continuing and extending the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, and developing the Local Plan. Mr Twine wants to concentrate on improving accessibility and services for younger residents. Source: YDNPA press release

Core Group Meeting

The 6th July meeting is being cancelled because so many group members are participating in the 1st July talk and film fundraiser at the Low Row and Feetham Institute, so we will have a chance to meet there. 

Please get in touch if you’d like to join us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *