Naturally Looking After Wildlife Yorkshire

There are contrasting views that I would like to consider by looking at Yorkshire’s approach to wild life. They are represented by the Yorkshire Wildlife Park the commercially orientated entertainment park and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust the 70 year old members organisation managing designated nature reserves.

Grit gets you everywhere

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Yorkshire has a landscape second to none that is rich in the variety of flora and fauna of largely native species. We don’t need to tell Yorkshire folk about the hill farms or the fertile pastures in the Dales, Wolds & North Yorkshire national park nor the wetland and moorland, fen and bog that have been created as a result of our fine climate. Add to this the natural environment around our rivers and coast and no wonder wildlife like Yorkshire folk are happy and proud to live in the county.

This living environment and natural heritage is to be treasured and where necessary protected for future generations. It is held in trust for those future generations so it is natural for a membership led charitable trust to support the maintenance and well being of the Yorkshire wild life.

     Facts about Yorkshire Wildlife Trust


  • The organisation is headquartered  in York and our trust has been operating since 1946. It is partnered with the 46 other UK wildlife trusts.
  • Yorkshire Wildlife Trust now manages 97 nature reserves across the traditional county. There is bound to be a site near you and many are a treat for visitors, naturalists, bird watchers and tourists.
  • The top sites with visitor centers and educational programmes include :  Living Seas Centre, Flamborough.    Pearson Park Wildlife Garden, Hull   Potteric Carr Nature Reserve, Doncaster   Spurn National Nature Reserve, Holderness  and Stirley Community Farm, Huddersfield
  • Moorland, ancient woodlands, beaches and mixed wetland habitats are all areas under the protection offered by the trust.
  • As a registered charity no.210807 they have an income of just over £5m per annum of which 80% is from members or the trusts own efforts. The government funded conservation and land management subsidies account for the rest.
  • The Grazing Animal Project is just one of the many schemes currently in hand  ’10 years ago Yorkshire Wildlife Trust was given a small flock of about 60 black Hebridean sheep to be used for conservation grazing. Over the years this flock has been managed so that now there are over 500 sheep which are kept at three home sites and sent out in “teams” to graze more than 35 of our reserves to maintain important habitats for wildlife.’ This helps protect rare breeds and bring rare habitats back into balance.

        Facts about Yorkshire Wildlife Park

  • The zoo and wildlife park was converted from a riding school and farm – Brockholes Visitor Center Doncaster in 2009
  • It claims to be ‘A dynamic centre for conservation and welfare’
  • There are  70+ different species of animal.
  • The cost of an adult day ticket until 9th March is £15.50 and £13.50 for a child over 2
  • No pets or dogs, balls, skateboards or scooters are permitted into the no smoking park.
  • Daily attractions include Meerkat and Mongoose Madness and Feeding Time, Bear Facts, Deadly Bugs and Wallaby Walkabout
  • There is a linked charity foundation no.152642  with income of circa £102,000 pa. The aims include to ‘continue to build and promote YWPF’s brand; To continue to implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy; To continue to identify and develop relationships with key partners and stakeholders’ and make grants or can arrange expert support in the areas of exotic species conservation and welfare. YWPF will also consider supporting research.



There is room for wildlife organisations of all persuasions – let us also make room for all appropriate wildlife and human endeavour. Like the Yorkshire Naturalists Union Charity No: 224018 one of the country’s oldest wildlife organisations, having celebrated the 156th anniversary last year.

In an oft quoted comment ‘charity begins at home’ so my personal preference is to enjoy and support the 90 odd nature reserves of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust rather than exotic animals best supported in far flung climates.



Visual Environment Hag Farm Ilkley


A stake in the Environment

With my new found interest in the visual environment I looked back over seven years of God’s Own County blogs and came across this farm dump. It was originally posted as  ‘Hag Farm Dales Way Wharfedale’ but  I need to return to the site as I am sure it has been cleared up to an extent and the ice cream stall taken to a museum. Following the Shed Street urban landscape comments it is interesting to note that the rural landscape can also have its waste disposal issues.

Original Environmental Issues

  • What crops are grown on the Ebor Way – Dales Way Leeds link? Duff tractors?
  • Hag Farm in Burley in Wharfedale shows off the best crop of rusty old equipment you will see this side of Bowness.
  • Walk down Bleachmill Lane from Menston and across a couple of styles to see farming Hag style!

037Na then Ducks

    • Like many other farmers they seem to have produced a good crop of black plastic for the last few years.
    • On a more recent visit I was interested to see the large diameter cylinders have been replaced by new, cube shaped bales. Now farmers will be able to stack them higher.


Perceived Plastic Pollution 

  • One of the great beauties of the dales landscapes is the old barns dotted up the valleys. I know it is too idealistic to expect them to still be used for storage of animal’s winter feed but who wonders  at the black  plastic bales? How many plastic wrappers are recycled?
  • Another good modern crop is of tyres found in great quantity at several spots on Hag Farm. At first I thought it may be the spare tyres the dales walkers are trying to work off. Then I realised the exercisers idea was to make spare tyres invisible – not at all what is happening.

041Well trod treds

    • After your walk you may be fancying refreshing ice cream, drink, sweets or ice lolly. Well it is not only the ice cream that is flaky.

047Buy One and Stop One

  • Burley in Wharfedale publish several walks that pass Hag Farm link.

Shed Street Keighley – Our Environment

Some streets and places have names that hint at a former life. Who didn’t shed a tear of laughter at Tony Hancock and his eponymous home No 23 Railway Cuttings East Cheam. What is no laughing matter is the state of rubbish and litter in this quiet Keighley street. Lest you think the council are on their way to collect the over flowing trade bins below is how Shed Street itself looked.

Houses on the street sell for well under £100,000 (£78,000 in March 2017) and it is not a surprise when you consider this litter strewn environment. Keighley has the ability to regenerate itself and create a dynamic community founded on old traditional values and the local industrial heritage.

Environmental Comments

  • Waste minimisation needs far more attention. Mantras like reuse, recycle, repurpose need a  reality check as they are not making enough impact.
  • Self help and combined local action can help. Organised clean ups, self tipping (you may as well use those cars to take items to the tip) or get local councils to collect bulky waste.
  • Cobbled streets are hard to maintain and keep clean especially when parked cars cover debris.
  • Individual bins are hard to store in back to back or through terrace houses to say nothing of bin lorry access.
  • Trade waste elimination via consultation with suppliers would be a start and look at these plastic bags. Proper sorting and some form of compaction is called for.
  • Finally ‘shed’ a tear for the marine life that is suffering from all the plastic that finds its way into our rivers and seas. Keep the Aire Valley clean and plastic free.

North Queen Street corner of Shed St Keighley 9/1/18


Our Opposition are Wrong

Book Cover

Gods Own County has long espoused the Independent Yorkshire ethos. see Party for Independent Yorkshire State (PIYS).   But by ‘eck we are chuffin cheezed at the off-cumdens from God’s Own Country. From the book-passport shown above we have the following bits of grief:

Where the Opposition are getting it Wrong

  • Why a maroon EU style passport cover not a deeply satisfying blue  – did ships carrying red and blue paint crash leaving the sailors marooned?
  • We can forgive the poncy ‘postrophy but we are the world’s greatest county and do not need to pretend to be a country.
  • Another colour blind error is the ‘gold’ rose – ‘wrong end of….. end of…………… end of……………………’
  • What is all that about Republic! We could still be a monarchy with the Duke of York as head of……oh I see what they mean, Geoff Boycott it will have to be.
  • The font for Yorkshire is depicted as being smaller than that used for Passport. A sin worthy of being forced to drink larger or flat, warm, southern beer.

Where Could this Opposition be Leading Us

  • Dividing the county by these antics could split Yorkshire in to parts – we have seen two approaches so far and a third would create a riding!
  • The Sophie Walker and the Women’s Equality Party were vanquished in Shipley during the last general election by (General) Philip Davies. We might need to make him Field Marshall if we need to fight again.
  • The joke content of the passport could be taken seriously by any aspirational outsiders ‘Whether born and bred in the Broad Acres, an offcumden, a tourist or even a Lancastrian, the holder of this passport is bestowed official Tyke status’. Bestowed in whose name one might ask.
  •  Other Republic pubs like The People’s Republich on Newland Ave in Hull which recently opened so you can play board games and treat them as a cafe. These are frightening uses for a pub.

In Conclusion

One may be able to forgive all but the Lancastrian comment which takes the Yorkie.


Old Amos a Great Old Dalesman

Legendary Yorkshireman Old Amos is 65 this year but regrettably  there will be no pension for Old Amos because he was above pensionable age when he first appeared!

  Old Amos has been a fixture at the Dalesman magazine since May 1953 although its first edition was published in 1939 under the original title of ‘The Yorkshire Dalesman: A Monthly Magazine of Dales’ Life and Industry’. Old Amos is still capable of dishing out words of wisdom in Yorkshire dialect.The wry humour of Dalesfolk is continued in current monthly issues of Dalesman now published from Skipton.

Book CoverOld Amos Biography

  1. Born in Clapham at the Dalesman maternity unit in 1953. Mother unknown father Rowland Lindup cartoonist with a twist. He must have surprised the midwife by being born with a full white beard, old jacket and hat making him look quite rotund and ancient.
  2. He was originally named ‘Owd Amos’ to differentiate him from the old testament version of Amos who I am sure his subsequent followers knew was one of the Twelve Minor Prophets in the Hebrew Bible and old testament.
  3. Prior to publication he used deed poll to become the more familiar and avuncular ‘Old Amos’ using one aspect of the poll tax to good effect.
  4. His first words were ‘A word of advice – nivver give it’.
  5. Some of his later words were ‘Ah’ve always been too busy to grow old.’ ‘Old age is when it takes twice as long to rest and ‘alf as long to get tired.’ and ‘ It doesn’t matter how old you are but how you are old!
  6. His other biography may be available in Amazon Book Cover

Book CoverTry the Tyke Test


Pudsey Pudding Update

Protectionist Corn Laws had existed in some form since the 12th C. and the repeal of 18th century laws curtailed restrictions on foreign grain coming into the country that had been protecting the profits of landowners and British farmers by artificially pushing up the price of bread. Brexiteers and free traderse are you watching.  Pudsey Civic Society published a Guide to Pudsey West Yorkshire available in 1988 for the price of 35p. One of the more notable articles recounted the history of the ‘Pudsey Pudding- Pudsey’s Celebration of the Repeal of the Corn Laws 1846. Acknowledging “The History of Pudsey” by Simeon Rayner.

‘The year 1846 will always be memorable in British history as the time when the Corn Laws were repealed. All over the country, but most particularly in the manufacturing districts, there were demonstrations of rejoicing but none of these were more characteristic or racy of the soil than that which took place at Pudsey, where an original and typical mode of celebrating the important event was adopted. A number of Free Traders had formed themselves into what was called “The Little Committee” which met at the house of Mr. John Baker to devise means to celebrate the great event. The outcome of the deliberations of this committee was the determination to provide a monster plum pudding – such a pudding as the world had never seen before.
The pudding was compoised of twenty stones of flour, with suet, fruit, &c. in proportion. The ingredients were divided amongst twenty housewives, who each mixed her share into the requisite consistency, ready for the final blending. Leave was obtained from Crawshaw Mill Co. to boil the monster pudding in one of the dye-pans of the “leadhus”. The pan having been duly scoured, it was filled with water from the spring. The dames then brought their twenty “bowls” containing the mixed flour, fruit and suet, and these were tipped into a large and strong new canvas “poke”- specially made for the purpose- and by means of a windlass that had been fixed over the pan the “weighty matter” was hoisted into the vessel.
For three days and nights the pudding was kept boiling, along with half a dozen smaller ones to keep it company. On July 31st 1846, the puddings were craned out of the huge copper, and placed upon a wherry, lent by Mr. R. Wood. Here the steaming monster sat in triumph, the smaller puddings being around it, the whole forming a solid and substancial evidence of the material idea meant to be conveyed by the recent Act of the Legislature, and the benefits it was believed the people would reap thereby.
A procession was formed, headed by Mr. J.A. Hinings and Mr. Samuel Musgrave, on horseback, and four grey horses were yoked to the wherry containing the puddings, the driver of which, James Wilson, watchman at the Priestley Mill at the time, but who had previously been a sailor, exhibited no small degree of pride in the part he played in the memorable event of that day. Hundreds of persons joined the procession, and thousands of others lined the streets, the livliest interest being shown in the demonstration- even beyond the borders of the town, for visitors from far and wide having heard of the “stir” came to see the “Pudsey big pudding”.
Tickets were sold at a shilling each to those who desirous of dining off the extraordinary pudding, but each guest had to provide his own plate, & knife & fork or spoon. Hundreds of hungry onlookers sat on the walls surrounding the field and once at least these made an ugly rush to get to the tables, but they were kept at bay by the vigilance of Messrs. J.R. Hinings & Samuel Musgrave who, on horseback, kept up an incessant patrol of the ground. The pudding was literally dug out by Mr. Hinings snr, who was armed with a small spade for the purpose. That the dish was of an excellent nature is proved by the fact that some of the guests “sent up their plates” three or four times! After the last of the guests who had paid their shillings had been served, there was still some of the pudding left, and the aforesaid hungry onlookers & others then had their turn, the result being that the last of the “big pudding” was soon safely tucked away, and so ended a remarkable incident in the history of Pudsey.’

Other Pudsey Pudding References

‘Pudsey Town where it was made
In commemoration of free trade
Five hundred people I do declare
Dined off the monstrous Pudding Rare’

Pudsey Bear had a special dessert  created, to raise money for the BBC’s Children In Need. Pudsey Pudding, named after the charity’s famous bear mascot, was a poor size when compared to the original.

The Urban dictionary defines ‘Pudsey Pudding’ as ‘someone who takes up much needed space in the living room that could be used for legitimate stoned people.’

My  Pudsey Christmas Pudding came from Asda at Owlcoats near the Pudsey railway station – great it was but no silver sixpence.


Leeds Reflections – Window Shopping

When you want to see your local city from a new angle look carefully at the windows of modern buildings. Since glass and reflective materials became the  cladding of choice for constructors and architects there are many visual delights and photo opportunities. It may take a moment to see the buildings reflected in the windows of this Leeds University block but the pattern will soon show.


Some think that the first double glazed windows were installed  at Tan Hill, Great Britain’s Highest Inn. In fact that was just the place where the farmer and TV presenter ‘Ted Moult’ fronted the advertising campaign for window shopping. Talking of window shopping the Trinity center has window views and photographic opportunities that will deflect you from spending money in the 120 or so shops and retail outlets.

More distorted reflections in this picture’ of Holy Trinity Church an early 18th century grade 1 listed building constructed in 1722. Reflecting on the Trinity shopping I note it will have been open for 5 years in March 2018. The church has been open a good deal longer.


Forster in Bradford


William Forster was Bradford’s MP during Queen Victoria’s reign. After making a name for himself in the woolen manufacturing industry his interest in national education encouraged him to establish the 1870 Elementary Education Act.
the statue is newly relocated in the revived Forster Square. The old Post Office clock forms a halo around Forster’s head. I am not sure the pupils who went to school under his education acts were saintly or angelic but we all have cause to be greatful.

Bolton road where the trolley buses used to congregate is now more open plan and forms the rear entrance for the Westfield center.

Around the corner at Church Bank is this trompe oeil.



A landscape fit for Pylons moving electricity around the county.

A portrait of a pylon standing erect around Bolton Woods quarry in West Yorkshire

It isn’t the barbed wire that is dangerous but the wires above that can be shocking.

Gloomy clouds massing over Shipley. Very unfair on Shipley a post industrial town that needs all the sunshine and good luck it can muster.


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