Murder and mystery in the Dales

We stepped back in time last week for an unusual 1930’s themed fundraising event. YDMT hosted an evening of murder and mystery 1930’s style at The Devonshire Arms Hotel at Bolton Abbey. More than 70 supporters turned up, helping to raise a fantastic £1025!

The Comply Direct team really looked the part at our 1930's Style Murder Mystery Event

We were very pleased to have the team from Comply Direct along, a Skipton-based compliance business, and a new supporter of YDMT. Jessica Tennant, who is the Office Manager at Comply Direct said, “We all thoroughly enjoyed the night from start to finish and it was a perfect team building event for us. Comply Direct are based in the gateway to the Dales at Broughton Hall and we always want to keep it in Yorkshire when we can. We have expanded our business for many years now and as a result have put in place a number of initiatives throughout 2012 to try to give something back to the local communities. As I say, this one did not disappoint and will hopefully be the first of many fundraising activities with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust helping us to make a positive contribution to the upkeep of the Dales.”

We’d also like to say a big thank you to everyone else who came along on the night, and to The Devonshire Arms for kindly hosting the event as part of their support of the Trust as their charity partner of the year for 2011-12. And of course we can’t forget to say a big thank you to After Dark Murder Company who provided the excellent entertainment!

All money raised will help YDMT to continue vital projects across the Dales such as restoring wildflower meadows, planting new native woodlands, supporting local businesses, education and outreach work, and providing training programmes for young local people wishing to learn countryside management skills.

Cast from After Dark Murder Mystery


Dales Holiday Cottages get muddy boots

The main aim of YDMT is to conserve and restore the heritage of the amazing Yorkshire Dales landscape and we can’t do this without the invaluable support of our business partners. That’s why last Friday we were up to our ears in mud planting trees with our friends at Dales Holiday Cottages. 

Dales Holiday Cottages is a long-term supporter of YDMT and this year donated another £2,000 to YDMT, towards the Dales Woodland Restoration scheme. The company has contributed a whopping £10,400 to YDMT since 2006…that equates to 6 acres of new native woodland and 5,000 new broadleaf trees in the Dales!

To mark the occasion YDMT invited Geoff Cowley, the managing director of The Hoseasons Group – parent company of Dales Holiday Cottages – to plant some special native oak trees at Strid Wood, Bolton Abbey.

The YDMT crew and Geoff Cowley of The Hoseasons group get digging

The YDMT crew and Geoff Cowley of The Hoseasons Group get digging

Geoff said: “We are passionate supporters of our local area which is why we are giving our continued support to the vital work the YDMT carries out. There is no doubt the Yorkshire Dales is an area of outstanding natural beauty that continues to attract tourists year after year. We are committed to helping restore it so it can be enjoyed by future generations for years to come.”

Dales Holiday Cottages will also be supporting YDMT’s 2012 Flowers of the Dales Festival – you can see the full programme of events here.

Geoff Cowley presents a cheque for £2,000 to YDMT Director David Sharrod

Geoff Cowley presents a cheque for £2,000 to YDMT Director David Sharrod

Delve deeper into the Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust is spearheading an innovative new project to promote and celebrate the incredible landscape of the Yorkshire Dales, and the fascinating subterranean world which lies beneath it.

The Geo Dales project will create new trails around Settle, Upper Nidderdale and Greenhow Hill, focusing on the fantastic geological and archaeological features. The project will also help create a youth ‘Rockhound Club’ based at the Hanson Greenhow Quarry in Nidderdale, which will focus on geology.

Dave Tayler, Deputy Director of YDMT says: “People are very aware about species and habitat, but are less conscious of the rich diversity of what lies beneath them. Geo-diversity is absolutely critical and influences everything that happens”.

“This is particularly the case in the Yorkshire Dales where we are blessed with a fantastic landscape which is a consequence of the incredible subterranean world beneath us. There are labrynths of 100km which a lot of people won’t even know they are walking over. If we raise awareness of this landscape it could be a huge boost for the numbers of people coming to visit the Dales. There is so much here of national importance in terms of geo-tourism.”

As part of the project an exhibition to mark the 175th anniversary of the discovery of Victoria Cave at Langcliffe, will take place at the Museum of North Craven Life at The Folly in Settle from July to October 2012. Victoria Cave was first excavated in 1837 with large scale excavations in the 1870s giving rise to the present cavernous entrance. The site has huge scientific and historic importance, telling us about life and climate change in the Dales over the last 600,000 years.

Geo Dales will support urgent work and further research at Victoria Cave, involving the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Natural England, Winskill Farm Visitor centre, caving club volunteers and universities. Local archaeologists will research the ancient settlements around the Plantlife Reserve at Winskill and restore a historic limekiln.

Geo Dales is funded by a variety of sources including: LEADER, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund, Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK through the Landfill Communities Fund, Hansons Greenhow Landscape and Biodiversity Enhancement Fund, and Nidderdale AONB Sustainable Development Fund.

Mick Lambert, Quarry Manager for one of the project sponsors Lafarge, said the company was delighted to support this ambitious project. He added: “The Geo-Dales project ties in very effectively with the work we do at our own Education Centre at Dry Rigg Quarry – the start point for geological tours of our working gritstone quarry by students of all ages.  This project will add to everyones understanding of the unbreakable links between the historical, geological building blocks that shape our physical landscape and the building materials that play such an important part in our everyday lives.”

Are you feeling murderous?

The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust is holding a Murder Mystery Dinner to raise vital funds for a variety of projects that will benefit the landscape and communities of the Yorkshire Dales. Are you brave enough to come?

We’re inviting all wannabe sleuths to an evening at the The Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel at Bolton Abbey, where you can witness the evidence as an Agatha Christie-style parody unfolds before you. There will also be an opportunity for you to interrogate suspects in order to get to the bottom of the murderous crime that has occurred. After a hot buffet and some final detective work the evening will end with the killer being revealed and trophies awarded to the top sleuths.

We’ll also be holding a raffle, with prizes including an overnight stay at The Devonshire Arms County House Hotel, kindly donated free of charge by the hotel. The prize includes dinner in the Michelin-starred Burlington restaurant and a bottle of wine chosen by the Cellar Master to accompany the meal. In addition there will be the rare opportunity for guests to bid in a mini fundraising auction for one of only six places on an exclusive tour of the Duke of Devonshire’s Bolton Abbey Estate. Telephone bids for this special auction are also welcome in advance.

David Sharrod, YDMT Director says, “We’re very grateful to The Devonshire Arms and to the After Dark murder mystery company for making this event possible. This promises to be an unforgettable evening with delicious food, singing, dancing, an array of madcap suspects and a confounding crime to solve. So join us to see if you can solve the deadly mystery, and maybe even be crowned Super Sleuth! Places are limited, so please get in touch to book your tickets soon.”

The event will take place at The Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel, Bolton Abbey on Thursday 15th March, starting at 7pm.  Tables and individual tickets are available to book now. Tickets cost £25 per person including a hot buffet. For ticket sales, auction bids and more information please contact Sarah at Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust on 015242 51002 or email

All money raised will help YDMT to continue work such as restoring wildflower meadows, planting new native woodlands, supporting local businesses, education and outreach work, and providing training programmes for young local people to learn countryside management skills.

A year of YDMT blogging – 2011 in review


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