Switch Off For Earth Hour

At 8.30pm tomorrow (26th March 2011) lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour, to take a stand against climate change.

Earth Hour is a time to celebrate and contemplate our precious planet. At 8.30pm tomorrow the campaign will unite people across the world for 60 minutes in a common goal – to take better care of Earth, now and for the future.

Earth Hour started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 with 2.2 million supporters.  This annual campaign has grown rapidly every year since then, and in 2010 an amazing 128 countries and territories joined in the global display, brought together by a shared hope for a brighter future. Hundreds of millions of individuals turned off their lights, and iconic buildings and landmarks across the world switched off for 60 minutes.

Earth Hour - Light Writing

Our friends at People’s Postcode Lottery are getting right behind the campaign which is organised by WWF – read more here.

If you’re one of the hundreds of millions of individuals that have shown you care by switching off for Earth Hour in the past, then why not go one step further this year?  Go beyond the hour. Find out more at www.earthhour.org

Will you switch off and show your support for our planet?


Wood work in the Dales

Our People and the DALES team are really starting to get busy with activities out in the Dales now that Spring has arrived. One of Judy’s groups recently lent a hand to the Bodger at Bolton Abbey – working in the woods.

Richard Law is the bodger on the Bolton Abbey estate. During winter he fells certain trees to make way for others to grow and to open up the forest floor so that wild flowers can flourish. The cut timber then has to be moved before the leaves start to come out on the trees.

This year because of the severe winter Richard has not been able to extract the timber in time for the budding season. And thats where we stepped in along with a group of refugees from Darwen who responded to the plea for help. The group have taken part in lots of activities organized by YDMT’s outreach project ‘People and the DALES’ and came out to Bolton Abbey for the day to lend a hand.

“It was hard work lifting huge logs from the steep slopes but everybody got stuck in and we collected two trailer loads of timber which were taken to the Bodger’s camp in the wood. It would have taken Richard two weeks to move this timber by himself but with our help we got the job done in a couple of hours,” says YDMT’s community worker Judy.

Richard then took us to his camp and talked about his work. He demonstrated how he makes a rounder’s bat using a chisel and a leg powered laithe he has made himself. The way he works fascinated the group – many of whom originate from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan where using this kind of tools is common place.


Conserving unique habitats of the Dales

What is Long Preston Wet Grassland Project? If you’ve ever driven along the A65 you will undoubtedly have seen the wide areas of open water near Long Preston. Long Preston Wet Grassland Project (LPWGP if you prefer acronyms!) is a project which aims to protect this unique floodplain habitat for wildlife, as well as developing its potential as a fantastic natural resource for the local economy of the area.

The project began in 2004 and Dave Tayler (who is Deputy Director of the Trust) has helped secure the vital funding to run it.

The LPWGP area, along the River Ribble, is a nationally important nature conservation site, and is home to some increasingly vulnerable populations of birds including Lapwings, Snipe and Curlew. The site is also home to numerous species of aquatic plant life. The project will help improve access and facilities for people to learn about the birds, wildlife and grassland management, as well as the landscape history of the floodplain. 

90% of the LPWGP area is managed under Natural England’s Environmental Sterwardship Scheme and local farmers, who own and manage the land, play a vital role in the project.  

We’ll keep you updated as the project progresses, but if you are in the area watch out for:

  • Improvements to the ‘Ribble Way’ including gates and repairs to pathways and dry stone walls.
  • Interpretation boards to help people discover more about Long Preston Deeps.
  • Educational Events – for special interest groups and local schools.  

Settle College boost their biodiversity!

Chris Lodge, our Woodlands Officer, had an especially green St Patrick’s day when he helped some Year 9, 10 and 11 students at Settle College to plant trees.

The College aims to increase biodiversity on their school site by providing a woodland habitat for wildlife. 30 Saplings of Hornbeam, Silver birch and Rowan were donated to pupils of the school by the Woodland Trust & Chris supplied the valuable expertise on how to plant them.

Kieren Bathers (Year11) said, “It’s been great fun to plant the trees and even better to think that I’ve left a lasting impact on Settle College”.

The tree planting team (L-R): Peter Middleton, Nathan Webster, Jack Northropp, Amy Davies, Rosie Parker, Mrs Lodge, Laura Jubb, Kieren Bathers, Jackie Atkinson, Joe Lister, Miss Harper.

People and the DALES video diary

Judy, our People and the Dales Community Worker and prize winning cheese-cake eater (sorry Judy!), took a group from Bradford on a tour of Skipton in March. Follow this link to see the Groups video diary of their day out.


The group are called BIASAN – and they are a refugee support group based in Bradford. Many of their members originially come from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Judy took the group on a tour around the sites if Skipton, including the woods and Skipton Castle. As you can see everyone seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves!

Fancy a pint?

When YDMT Director David Sharrod isn’t at work he can be found in the pub! And not only for recreational purposes. David now has a stake in his very own beer, which you can currently enjoy a pint of at The Bunkhouse in Clapham. We’ve been assured that “Bunkhouse Brew” beer is very quaffable indeed, clear with a lovely head which sticks to the glass in a satisfying manner….although we’re not so sure and we’ll have to go and test it for ourselves!    

First pints of "Bunkhouse Brew"