Country News - 2003
Monday 22 December 2003
AS we warned in our Week in the country column last week - see A robin is not just for Christmas - a domestic cat has killed a very unusual robin: a visitor from Norway.
Wednesday 17 December 2003
PLANS for a huge increase in the number of passengers passing through Leeds-Bradford Airport in the coming decades were met yesterday - predictably - with highly mixed reactions.
Tuesday 16 December 2003
THE Yorkshire Dales National Park has rushed out a report to confirm that it is, in fact, one of the leading areas in the country for protecting its Sites of Scientific Importance - SSIs - which are causing serious concern in other areas.
Monday 15 December 2003
ENGLISH Nature today published a disturbing report about the state of thousands of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSIs) scattered around the country - and made a special point of emphasising the threat to such sites in upland areas like the Yorkshire Dales.
Thursday 11 December 2003
YORKSHIRE'S farmers and growers have come up with the wide range of speciality foods this Christmas - including a lavender-flavoured cheese which, says its maker, cuts the stress of Christmas shopping.
Wednesday 10 December 2003
BRITAIN'S small market towns need more "one-stop-shops" so that people in remote rural areas can pick up all the things they need in a short single trip to town, says the Government-funded Countryside Agency.
Wednesday 10 December 2003
Ripon Racecourse has been named 'Best Small Racecourse in the North' by the Racegoers Club, a fans' organisation administered by the Racecourse Association.
Tuesday 09 December 2003
AN important forum set up to allow private individuals to have a say in the future planning of rights of way in the Yorkshire Dales National Park has just completed its first year - and has been pronounced a major success.
Monday 08 December 2003
NORTH Yorkshire's newest knight, Sir Ben Gill, was back on the farm this morning - a drastic change from the splendours of Buckingham Palace, where he was tapped on the shoulder by Prince Charles on Friday for his services to agriculture, conservation and the community.
Friday 05 December 2003
A special bus service will be running again this year from West Yorkshire to the Grassington Dickensian Festival.
Friday 05 December 2003
A Skipton company has launched a new title aimed at promoting the joy of scrapbooking to both new and existing enthusiasts.
Wednesday 03 December 2003
PLANS by the Government to reduce "school rush" traffic jams in urban areas could become a threat to free school bus services in rural areas, fears the Country Land and Business Association.
Monday 01 December 2003
BRITAIN'S top ornithologists want to know if a partridge appears in your pear tree this Christmas. Or a robin, a thrush, a chaffinch - or any other bird for that matter.
Wednesday 26 November 2003
AS we reported on Tuesday, the government has dropped plans for a total ban on hunting with dogs, which was widely expected to be included in next year's parliamentary programme.
Tuesday 25 November 2003
ANTI fox-hunting groups were furious this morning after the news leaked yesterday that a Bill to ban hunting with dogs has been dropped from next year's parliamentary programme.
Monday 17 November 2003
THE BBC has decided - at long last, according to many critics - to improve its coverage of the countryside and rural affairs.
Friday 14 November 2003
A NEW Internet helpline has been launched to tackle a crime wave which is sweeping the countryside: dognapping.
Tuesday 11 November 2003
ONE of the most important reports ever to affect the future of the British countryside is due for publication today - the Haskins' report on the future of farming and other countryside businesses.
Monday 06 October 2003
An advocate of traditional British fayre TV cook, writer and broadcaster Sophie Grigson, led the catering team at the Golden Lion, Settle, to create and serve a hearty beef meal and prove to farmers why Yorkshire Dales beef is best.
Wednesday 24 September 2003
BRITAIN'S house builders are under fierce attack from the Campaign to Protect Rural England by grossly exaggerating the shortage of greenfield land available for new development.
Monday 22 September
THE Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has a vacancy on its committee for someone with a keen interest in the countryside who will help steer the park though its landmark 50th anniversary celebrations next year.
Monday 15 September 2003
NEW figures showing a boom in the numbers of peregrine falcon pairs nesting in the Pennines will fuel a row which has been going on for a decade or more between conservationists and pigeon fanciers.
Monday 08 September 2003
A DAMNING report on the "largely poor and disjointed" public transport provision in Britain's rural areas has been published after a joint research programme conducted by the Countryside Agency, Transport 2000 and the newly named Citizens' Advice.
Thursday 04 September 2003
NORTHERN farmers and growers are hailing as a major breakthrough a government plan allow public bodies to buy food direct from local producers, rather than have purchasing decisions made by city-based civil servants who put price before quality.
Wednesday 03 September 2003
THE latest figures from Britain's biggest ever bird census present good news for some much loved rural species like the kingfisher - but worryingly bad news for others like the skylark and the swallow.
Tuesday 02 September 2003
ON OF THE great suspoiscions of rural taxpayers was officially confirmed yesterday: we do pay more than townsfolk - and receive fewer services in return.
Friday 22 August 2003
THE huge contribution that rural non-farming business makes to the British economy has finally been acknowledged in a newly published book designed to help country folk with business start-ups
Thursday 14 August 2003
GROUSE shooting got off to a fine start this week on the Northern Moors with guns using a new, conservation-led code of conduct.
Friday 08 August 2003
ANIMAL protection bodies are concerned that the present run of record temperatures is putting wildlife at risk - and are asking people to give a helping hand to ensure its survival.
Tuesday 05 August 2003
HELICOPTER traffic will increase over the Yorkshire Dales in the coming weeks as emergency road and footpath repair materials are flown to areas which are almost impossible to reach by surface transport.
Monday 04 August 2003
THE Yorkshire Dales National Park celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2004 and its newly elected leaders have issued statements promising to make it a year to remember.
Thursday 31 July 2003
YORKSHIRE acts as hosts to Europe's most popular countryside show this weekend when the CLA Game Fair comes to historic Harewood House in Wharfedale north of Leeds.
Wednesday 30 July 2003
VOLUNTEER workers are being sought this weekend to help clear ancient woodland near one of the most famous sites in the Yorkshire Dales National Park - Aysgarth Falls in Wensleydale.
Monday 28 July 2003
FARMERS have welcomed moves by Government to force highway authorities and railway companies to take strong action against the countryside's "yellow peril."
Thursday 24 July 2003
A HERD of cattle has been creating much interest on the slopes of Ingleborough this week as part of a drive to take Yorkshire Dales farming into the future - by going back to the past.
Wednesday 23 July 2003
AN INVITATION has gone out urging people to go bats in the Yorkshire Dales National Park this August. Or, if they prefer going underground, they can visit some of the park's famous caves - with expert guides to ensure they do not get lost.
Tuesday 22 July 2003
DESPITE several days of heavy rain showers, Northern farmers are worried that this could turn out to be a drought-summer - and are being urged to create emergency reservoirs on their land.
Monday 21 July 2003
DALES communities will this week receive visits from energy-saving experts to advise residents how to cut back on their heating bills - and help reduce global warming and other pollution.
Thursday 17 July 2003
Yorkshire's roadsides are now demonstrating the uncontrolled growth of the killer weed ragwort whose deadly yellow flowers are in full bloom.
Tuesday 15 July 2003
AFTER months of negotiation, a new safe route to school has been found for pupils at Threshfield Primary School, near Grassington, which should not only avoid potential accidents but also maintain the quality of an important stretch of Yorkshire Dales National Park landscape.
Monday 14 July 2003
SCIENTISTS trying to find the cause for the massive decline in the population of the humble house sparrow - millions of the birds have simply disappeared - have narrowed their research to three possible danger areas:
Wednesday 09 July 2003
THE Yorkshire Dales Museum at Hawes is showing a special exhibition to celebrate the re-opening the Wensleydale railway to passenger traffic some 40 years after it fell under the Dr Beeching axe.
Tuesday 08 July 2003
RESENTMENT at Government policies on agriculture is expected to boil over at the Great Yorkshire Show at Harrogate today (Tuesday, July 8).
Monday 07 July 2003
THE Chief Constable of North Yorkshire has joined a growing band of rural police chiefs in believing that a ban on fox hunting would lead to a massive surge in rural crime.
Thursday 03 July 2003
THERE is a growing need for more school visits to working farms or our children could become "alienated from the countryside" says the government's Countryside Agency.
Tuesday 01 July 2003
A MASSIVE constitutional row seems to be looming after last night's vote in the House of Commons in which rebel Labour MPs voted against Government wishes for a total ban on fox hunting.
Monday 30 June 2003
REBEL Labour MPs are expected today to torpedo Government attempts to find a compromise on promises to ban fox hunting - and try to force through the House of Commons a total ban.
Wednesday 25 June 2003
THE Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has decided to continmue with the programme of guided walks and other attractions which it introduced last year in its highly successful attempt to bring visitors back after the foot and mouth disaster.
Tuesday 24 June 2003
ONCE again the French are holding up long-sought reforms of the notorious Common Agricultural Policy, according to the National Union of Farmers. And for Yorkshire Dales farmers, this is a problem which could mean the difference between economic life or death.
Monday 23 June 2003
A MAJOR new campaign to preserve the character of the English countryside was launched today (June 23) by the newly re-named Campaign to Protect Rural England - better known by thousands of country-lovers as the CPRE.
Thursday 19 June 2003
THE Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, often accused by local residents of rejecting out of hand plans for new housing, has in fact allowed the building of 1,000 new homes in the past decade - twice the figure anticipated in 1995.
Wednesday 18 June 2003
DESPITE the fact that it delivers a humiliating slap in the face to DEFRA, a European Commission decision to take over the handling of any future foot and mouth outbreak in Britain has received a reluctant welcome by UK landowners.
Tuesday 17 June 2003
DESPITE a huge wave of opposition from public and local politicians alike, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott is to press ahead with a referendum for the creation of a regional "parliament" for Yorkshire - and it has now been admitted that this would mean the end of North Yorkshire County Council.
Monday 16 June 2003
DESPITE almost universal opposition, the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott will today announce plans for a referendum on the creation of a regional assembly for Yorkshire and the Humber.
Thursday 12 June 2003
THE YORKSHIRE Dales National Park will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year - and its golden jubilee will take the form of a year long programme of events to bring the park, local people and visitors closer together.
Tuesday 10 June 2003
SUMMER'S growing crops and vegetation could land farmers and highway authorities in trouble if rights of way are obstructed or cultivated, warns the Country Land & Business Association (CLA).
Monday 09 June 2003
ANIMAL protection agencies are awaiting with some anxiety the publication of a new set of recommendations governing the slaughter of farm animals for meat.
Thursday 05 June 2003
YORKSHIRE landowners have welcomed the recommendations of a new committee which was set up to study the often-vexed problems of the relationship between tenant farmers and their landlords.
Wednesday 04 June 2003
PEOPLE wishing to do voluntary work in the Yorkshire Dales National Park are being asked to go for a walk this week to see what the jobs entail.
Tuesday 03 June 2003
WHITEHALL civil servants charged with "rural proofing" Government policies need to make "greater efforts" to achieve full potential, the Government's own Countryside Agency said today.
Monday 02 June 2003
SEVERAL species of migrating birds are still arriving in Britain, weeks later than normal, because they have been held up by bad weather in Africa, reports the British Trust for Ornithology.
Thursday 29 May 2003
Bewildered farmers in Yorkshire seeking new business opportunities are baffled by complex planning policies and increasingly entangled in red tape, says the Country Land & Business Association (CLA) which is launching a new initiative to provide practical help.
Wednesday 28 May 2003
THE Yorkshire Dales National Park yesterday took a major step forward towards tackling the area's most serious social problem - the lack of affordable housing for local people.
Tuesday 27 May 2003
THE BBC's flagship Panorama TV programme, often under attack from politicians for alleged political bias, has received hearty praise from an unexpected quarter - the National Farmers' Union.
Thursday 22 May 2003
THE National Farmers' Union turned out some flowery prose yesterday - to help their horticultural members sell more flowers to unromantic Britain.
Wednesday 21 May 2003
NEW figures issued by the Yorkshire Dales National Park show that visitor numbers have continued to soar following the disastrous foot and mouth outbreak two years ago.
Tuesday 20 May 2003
YORKSHIRE farmers and landowners considering forestry projects have until the end of this month to apply for virtual 100% grants - or miss their chance, the Country Land and Business Association warned today.
Monday 19 May 2003
THE Yorkshire Dales national park planners, often criticised in the past for red tape and delays, are now working better than many of their colleagues in other parts of the UK, according to figures released by the office of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
Friday 16 May 2003
AN exhibition featuring a dazzling range of contemporary prints of Yorkshire landscapes begins this week at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes. The exhibition, held by 'INKERS' a group of Yorkshire print-makers and artists, opens Sunday 18 May and runs until Sunday 29 June.
Thursday 15 May 2003
YORKSHIRE is to play an important role in one of the most exciting areas of research to help embattled farmers - the race to produce crops not for food but for use in industrial processes.
Wednesday 14 May 2003
FEARS of yet another EU debacle over farm subsidy payments will be raised at a conference of chartered surveyors and land agents in Harrogate today.
Monday 12 May 2003
BRITAIN'S otter population has staged a tremendous fightback in the past 25 years, increasing their numbers five-fold, English Nature announced today.
Friday 09 May 2003
PLANS by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to persuade more people to visit the Dales by public transport were boosted yesterday by the appointment of a full-time officer to coordinate the scheme with other local authorities.
Wednesday 07 May 2003
THE Government's Countryside Agency today (May 7) joined in the growing row over the lack of broadband internet coverage in rural areas, saying "it can present an expensive obstacle to new rural business."
Thursday 01 May 2003
THE Yorkshire Dales Countryside Museum at Hawes is celebrating its most successful year since opening as visitor figures reach an all-time high. Over 45,000 adults and children have stepped through its doors since March 2002 to explore the history of the Dales and its people.
Wednesday 30 April 2003
A VICIOUS war of words has broken out between two of Britain's oldest conservation bodies.
Monday 28 April 2003
RURAL voters going to the local council polls this Thursday are being urged to consider their candidates' country credentials before placing their votes.
Tuesday 22 April 2003
BIRD-LOVERS are being urged to make houseroom available this spring for a mysterious - but none to clean - lodger.
Wednesday 16 April 2003
EASTER visitors to the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District are being asked to be particular vigilant about fire risks this Easter as moorland fires already rage on the North York Moors.
Tuesday 15 April 2003
A CAMPAIGN launched yesterday to persuade people to eat more British food has revealed a horrific lack of knowledge amongst the town-based public about the sources of the food on their plates.
Monday 14 April 2003
MPs are being urged to back a private members bill going through Parliament to force local authorities and railway companies to clear a deadly weed from their land - because evey year it kills cattle and horses.
Thursday 10 April 2003
FARMING organisations gave mixed reactions to yesterday's budget from Chancellor Gordon Brown.
Thursday 03 April 2003
THE Government's Countryside Agency yesterday launched what is probably its most important project yet: to lay down patterns of future development which will determine what our countryside will look like, and how country folk will live, in 2020.
Tuesday 01 April 2003
FARMERS' leaders trying to negotiate better prices from the big four supermarket companies were outraged today when it was revealed that Lord Sainsbury, head of the second biggest chain, has donated a total of £8.5 million to the Labour party.
Monday 31 March 2003
PRINCE Charles highlighted a pioneering Yorkshire Dales project aimed at creating rural employment for young people when he hosted a seminar on rural problems at his home, Highgrove, over the weekend.
Thursday 27 March 2003
FARMERS' leaders yesterday issued a guarded welcome to Government plans to tighten controls on the import of foreign foods- but questioned if enough funds are being made available to make the new plans effective.
Wednesday 26 March 2003
FARMERS and other food producers throughout the UK are fuming this morning after Office of Fair Trading officials ducked out of a meeting to discuss the vexed question of fair payments by the big four supermarket chains.
Tuesday 25 March 2003
THE big four supermarket chains are still bullying farmers and growers into accepting unfair prices - despite an agreement drawn up last year by the Office of Fair Trading.
Tuesday 18 March 2003
PARISH councils are being offered grants of up to £5,000 to help them produce local development plans under a new initiative to be announced today by the Countryside Agency.
Monday 17 March 2003
THE Country Landowners' and Business Association is hoping to recruit Northern celebrities to help the drive to persuade people to buy more locally produced food.
Thursday 13 March 2003
COUNTRYSIDE holidays could be facing a boom this summer as the tense international situation makes overseas holidays look less appealing.
Wednesday 12 March 2003
FARMERS and rural businesses seeking start-up funding for new projects are being urged of attend Rural Enterprise Scheme workshops - and win an 85% chance of getting the cash help they require.
Tuesday 11 March 2003
NORTHERN bird-lovers, particularly children, are being asked to take part in an important scientific trial to study any potential threat to the swallow, the bird that traditionally heralds the arrival of the British spring.
Monday 10 March 2003
MORE people are taking pains to discover where food is produced before buying - good news for Britain's farmers and growers - as a result of the "Eat the View "Campaign launched last year. But there is still a long way to go.
Thursday 06 March 2003
DOG OWNERS in Yorkshire are being warned to keep their animals under strict control during the lambing season after a spate of incidents in which 18 sheep have been killed and more than 30 injured in the past six months on farmland in the North East.
Wednesday 05 March 2003
IN ONE of the most bizarre confrontations ever amongst British conservationists, English hedgehog lovers are threatening to invade Scotland to save thousands of their prickly friends from slaughter.
Tuesday 04 March 2003
Progress towards reducing speeding on rural roads is proceeding at a "snail's pace" - three years after Prime Minister Tony Blair promised action on the issue.
Monday 03 March 2003
CAMPAIGNERS working for a ban on all battery cages in-so called poultry "factory farms" are planning to demonstrate outside the House of Commons tomorrow (March 4) - and will be taking their chickens with them.
Thursday 27 February 2003
AS THE consultation process over the so-called "right to roam" legislation approaches its deadline, the Yorkshire branch of the Country Land and Business Association has issued a long statement which sets about destroying various "myths" that have grown up around the programme.
Wednesday 26 February 2003
ANGLERS are being warned not to risk casting their lives away through electrocution from overhead power lines as the fishing season gets under way
Tuesday 25 February 2003
GOVERNMENT plans to switch 60% of the nation's energy production to "green" sources in the next 50 years received a mixed-bag reception today.
Monday 24 February 2003
YOUNG people wanting to make a career in the countryside are being invited to apply for four apprenticeships being created by the Yorkshire Dales National Park - and another dozen may soon be available from a local charity.
Thursday 20 February 2003
TODAY is the second anniversary of the outbreak of the foot and mouth epidemic which devastated northern farms - and many people feel that lessons from the disaster have still to be learned.
Wednesday 19 February 2003
AS MORE and more farmers turn to the web to keep abreast of the latest developments - a boon for busy people in often isolated districts - the NFU yesterday opened a new "intelligent" website.
Tuesday 18 February 2003
MUCH to the horror of the nation's health fanatics, this is National Chip Week - and we are being urged by the nation's potato growers to down their naughty-but-nice product every day until the weekend.
Monday 17 February 2003
ENVIRONMENT Minister Michael Meacher, subject to media speculation that he is on the point of resignation, is to visit Yorkshire this Thursday to present a major conservation award to a "green" office development created by a local farmer.
Thursday 13 February 2003
RURAL areas of Yorkshire are in urgent need of a bigger share of Government funding for affordable housing, says the Country Land & Business Association - and that could mean bringing back council houses.
Wednesday 12 February 2003
YET another threat to traditional British farming has been identified by the NFU - a growing shortage of farms for rent, either privately or county council owned.
Tuesday 11 February 2003
ONE of Britain's most successful amateur conservation projects - National Nest Box Week (NNBW) - starts on Friday with this year a tinge of sadness for its organisers, the British Trust for Ornithology.
Monday 10 February 2003
THE Government's Countryside Agency has stepped into the seething row over plans to build millions more homes in England - by emphasising the need for more affordable housing in rural areas.
Thursday 06 February 2003
MORE than 100 MPs have joined the campaign to force British Telecom to provide cheap access to rural broadband services instead of restricting them to urban centres.
Wednesday 05 February 2003
A MASSIVE row over Government plans for green-field housing will erupt today when Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott announces plans for almost two million new homes in England.
Tuesday 04 February 2003
DESPITE much of Yorkshire being under snow and ice, farmers are warned today that spring is in the air - and that they should finish winter work which may endanger wildlife.
Monday 03 February 2003
THE opening shots in what is likely to be a bitterly fought war were fired today when hundreds of North Yorkshire businesses received a mail shot asking for their views on plans to create a regional parliament for Yorkshire and Humberside.
Thursday 30 January 2003
THE Yorkshire Dales National Park decided yesterday (January 29) to launch an apprenticeship scheme to train young people in country skills which are in decline.
Wednesday 29 January 2003
A SUGGESTION from DEFRA that pigs would he happier if they were supplied with footballs as toys has enraged Compassion in World Farming, the British-based pressure group trying to wipe out cruelty in livestock husbandry.
Tuesday 28 January 2003
A GROUP of Cumbrian farmers took up the old marketing slogan of "Go to work on an egg" this morning (Tuesday) by tackling one of the Government's most important rural policy advisers - over breakfast.
Monday 27 January 2003
North Yorkshire farmers and landowners outside the two national parks are being urged to join the new local access forums being created by the county council.
Thursday 23 January 2003
PROPOSED reforms to the European Union's infamous Common Agricultural Policy have split opinions between Britain's two leading farming organisations.
Wednesday 22 January 2003
MARKET research by farmers and food producers has thrown up the worrying statistic that a third of British school children skip breakfast – which can have a serious effect of their ability to learn when they do get to school.
Tuesday 21 January 2003
THE Chairman of the Government's Countryside Agency, Sir Ewen Cameron, yesterday called for new action to help people living in the rural fringes of big towns and cities - an area described last year as a "war zone" by farmers' leaders.
Monday 20 January 2003
THE long running battle over massive housing developments on green-field sites is expected to flare again his week with Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.....
Thursday 16 January 2003
THE Yorkshire Dales National Park is organising a series of Saturday viewings for proposed "right to roam" draft maps so that they can be examined by members of the public who might not be able to study them on working weekdays.
Tuesday 14 January 2003
A TEN-year project to breath life back into Yorkshire's market towns was announced yesterday - with the Calder Valley of West Yorkshire leading the way.
Wednesday 08 January 2003
FARMERS and landowners in parts of Wharfedale and Craven are being warned that they only have until February 18 to lodge appeals against draft maps being drawn up under the new "right to roam" legislation.
Tuesday 07 January 2003
A NEWLY created Government fund to provide environmental improvements in areas affected by quarrying has brought a £122,000 windfall for the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Monday 06 January 2003
YORKSHIRE'S farmers and landowners are being reminded that there is £3 million in grants available in the county to support schemes which improve the rural environment - but they should get their application in immediately.
Thursday 02 January 2003
THOUSANDS of traditional barns in the Yorkshire Dales are facing dereliction and the Country Land and Business Association has launched a campaign to help save them.
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