Warning the road bends sharply left under the narrow railway bridge. (When I say narrow I mean breath in).  Unfortunately the number of the bridge and safety instructions are obliterated by the similar graffiti on the plaque fixed to the bridge wall itself.

A word to the graffiti (so called artist). Banksy you are not! If you aspire to be the King then it will only be as Kong. This rendering on a blanked off window is on the Saltaire Brewery offices. Let us hope the king is soon old enough in years and mentality to stop defacing property with his so called tag. If the graffiti artist is self identifying as a female then why use ‘King’

Tag post

 

Shipley’s Rubbish – Airing (or Aireing) a Grievance


Looking over the wall where Otley Road crosses the River Aire in Shipley makes you wonder about the rubbishy nature of our commitment to the environment.
There are at least two companies involved with sign manufacture advertising their wares on the edge of the riverbank. Many of the signs are in disrepair and about to slide into the river (plastic and all). It is a steep slope into the river and once over the weir the flotsam will drift down stream at a rate of knots especially after the recent rain.

Broken signage is not the only problem as pop drinkers and crisp eaters have found where to lob their rubbish just over the wall. It looks like this sort of rubbish breeds with itself. It  will soon be blown or washed into the river to become some onelse’s problem.

Turning on to Dockfield Road and heading  towards the Leeds Liverpool canal there is a turning circle for barges that also formed part of the spur to the Bradford canal. I think you could walk across the canal on top of the detritus that is so compact and noxious.

A little light relief was displayed by the parking arrangements in the middle of the canal.

All photographs taken on 13th March 2018 – how long before   Shipley Rubbish is cleared? From these few photos it is hard to disagree that Shipley is currently not much cop (Rubbish). I have fallen in to the trap of blaming authorities who should be cleaning and tidying up. The real responsibility is us the public and some businesses.

Flat Caps to Help Brain Tumours

Have you got the brains you were born with? If so do you keep them under your flat cap?


March is ‘Brain Tumour Awareness Month’ in the UK and the charity Brain Tumour Research and Support Across Yorkshire,  at Wagon Lane, Bingley are urging the people of Yorkshire to join their Flat Cap Friday campaign to help raise vital funds and awareness for the Charity No. 1095931 . The flat cap is seen by southerners as the iconic hat of Yorkshire.

 Last March Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union took  part in Flat Cap Friday  With a whole host of Yorkshire themed activities going on including:- Yorkshire pudding burgers and real ale in Bar Phoenix and of course a Yorkshire edition of Friday night Karaoke,  Yorkshire toppings on Pizza’s  and a raffle  of Yorkshire foods up for grabs!  It’s was a reyt’ good day! Lets hope they do the same on 30th March 2018 and support this cause.

March is also the month of Wear A Hat Day and is the braintumourresearch ( charity number 1153487) biggest campaign. Wear A Hat Day returns on Thursday 29th March 2018 led by our patron Caprice, a survivor of the disease. Wear A Hat Day raises over £1,000,000

Related Brain Tumour Facts

  • Between 400 and 500 children are diagnosed with brain or spinal tumours each year in the UK.
  • Brain and spinal tumours account for approximately one quarter of all childhood cancers – the most common, after leukaemia.
  • Brain and spinal tumours are the most common cause of cancer death in children.
  • There are 25 registered charities aimed at Brain Tumours.
  • Specsavers become an official sponsor of Wear A Hat Day

I know it is a T shirt not a hat!

Re-homing Hens and the Cock of the North

Yorkshire is a significant producer of eggs and chickens. It is also as humane as practical in the way it treats the flocks including some re-homing of aging birds.

The British Hen Welfare Trust have regional co-ordinators to help with ‘Hen Re-homing’ when the birds get past the age to lay eggs. All commercial laying hens are sent to slaughter at around 78 weeks old when their working life reaches an end unless they can be re-homed. The British Hen Welfare Trust work with schools and 92% of the hens they find homes for come from formerly caged birds not free range chickens. Very occasionally they take barn hens but supporters prefer to offer the old birds a life they previously didn’t enjoy.

Ikkle Chooks Yorkshire Rescue is a re-homing hub. for ex battery hens or ex-commercial hens, with a no cull policy. All rehomed birds are as pets not for commercial activity.

How Long Do Hens Live

  • Birds grown for meat are culled at around 6 to 8 weeks
  • Poultry producers slaughter battery hens or egg layers when they’re between one and three years old. This is when the cost of egg production out weighs the income from egg sales.
  • Free range or garden birds can live beyond 5 years.
  • One of the oldest pet hens was 16 years old when it passed away. Age for a pet hen will depend on the care provided and the breed.
  • The average life of an ex-battery hen could be from two to 12 months as they are about worn out from high egg production when they are 72 weeks old.
  • ‘Free from harm’ a USA charity reports ‘Male chicks born to egg-laying hens can not lay eggs, and are not the breed used for meat …. so they are worthless to the egg industry’ and are disposed of as soon after birth as possible.  The RSPCA says ‘meat chickens are bred to grow large breast muscle and legs  but surplus newly hatched chicks (including males bred for egg laying) that are destined for disposal must be treated as humanely ….. they must be destroyed promptly by a recommended humane method such as carbon dioxide gassing or quick maceration. ‘

 

Yorkshire’s Community Forest Expansion Plans

White Rose Forest plans are in place even if the trees aren’t yet but the plans are inspirational. In fact it will be many years before the plans are complete but by then there will be a continuous belt of trees across the county. The Woodlands Trust has received a welcome boost to membership and participation as a result of the publicity.

Plans to plant 50 million trees to create a “Northern Forest” include new woodland in and around Leeds and other major urban centres. Planting is planned over the next 25 years, beginning in March, across a 120-mile stretch of the M62 corridor between Liverpool and Hull. Its aim is to boost habitat for wildlife including birds and bats, protect species such as red squirrels and provide more public access to woodlands. The Northern Forest will connect the North’s five Community Forests, including the Leeds White Rose Forest, the HEYwoods Project in Hull and South Yorkshire Community Forest.

Community Forest is a partnership between local authorities and local, regional and national partners including the Forestry Commission and Natural England. The founding basis for each Forest is a government-approved Forest Plan, a 30-year vision of landscape-scale improvement

CFT Forest map of the UKmaps with thanks to Community Forest Trust charity no 1072706.

The community charity trust is an environmental charity passionate about community forests and the power of trees to transform places and strengthen and enhance communities.

A Bit More About Yorkshire Trees

  • The oldest living trees in Yorkshire may be the ancient yews at Fountains Abbey.
  • The new forest will contain  native species not more foreign firs! Oak, birch and beech will figure strongly.
  • The Wych Elm in Bainbridge is a survivor of Dutch elm disease it stands as one of only two elms that has grown to a girth of over 13 feet recorded in the county.
  • Yorkshire is proving to be a real treasure chest for tree hunters with magnificent trees ‘If I could spend a month tree hunting, Yorkshire would be my county of choice. Magnificent trees are coming out of the landscape all the time’ said David Alderman, Registrar of the Tree Register who is leading a hunt for old fat trees or Champion Trees.
  • Thorp Perrow aboretum near Bedale is the holder of five National Plant Collections  including Ash, Lime, Walnut, Cotinus (smoke bush) and Laburnum. Not all forest trees but worth a visit.
  • In York the Museum Gardens are home to six county Champion Trees including Alder and Hornbeam.
  • The Yorkshire Arboreturm is a large garden of trees on the Castle Howard estate maintained in partnership with Kew.

Skipton Facts Updated for 2018

Sheer bliss

A History of Skipton

  • Skipton is Anglo Saxon for Sheep Town. There is still a Sheep Street and an aptly named pub on it called The Wooly Sheep Inn.
  • Full sized, ornamental, painted sheep are used to promote events around the town. Sheep day is held on the last Sunday in July.
  • Skipton Castle is a well preserved Norman castle built around 1090 and given to the Clifford family in 1310. (That is the year not the time on a 24 hour clock)
  • The castle was a Royalist stronghold until falling to Oliver Cromwell in 1645. It and the Clifford family took an active part in the War of the Roses.

Craven District

Not only is Skipton the self appointed ‘Gateway to the Dales’ but is the administrative center of |Craven District Council. They are looking for the public’s favourite object from a list of seven

  1. A Bronze Age jet earring
  2. A Roman amethyst intaglio
  3. Medieval floor tiles from Bolton Abbey
  4. Ribblesdale peat spade
  5. Timothy Crowther’s ‘Spell book’
  6. Richard Ryley’s Diary
  7. Dr Rowley’s research notes

Continue reading Skipton Facts Updated for 2018

Through the Arch Window – Views at Fountains Abbey

Easter warrants the simplest of crosses in the hall at Fountains Abbey

The complexity of the construction at Fountains Abbey makes you consider what might have been without the dissolution in the 16th century. Arch way lead to arch and yet another arch!

Framed by the remnants of one window are the impressive ruins of the Cistercian monastery at Ripon

The moss and ferns give atmosphere to the steps many monks would have taken out of the main abbey hall.

March has not yet awakened the leaves on the branches. Spring would be an exciting time for the monks and shepherds who would have been hoping for a good crop of lambs for future wool production. Wool and sheep were the source of most of the abbey’s wealth.
This view was too stimulating to ignore even though it of arches and buttresses rather than just arch windows.

Quirky Knitting Facts in Yorkshire

richmond 010Old Shop

Baa Baa Brighouse has teamed up with a number of Yorkshire based indie dyers to bring you the Yan Tan Tethera Yarn Club. They produce specialty yarns, that have been reared, sheared, spun or dyed in ‘God’s Own County’ (as easy as one two three). The big nits of Sirdar, Rowan and Wendy brands are still based in Yorkshire along with many other smaller yarn producers.

Knitting Pretty is a purl one’ of Knaresborough’s independent businesses and it hasn’t dropped a stitch recently.  Based in Castlegate it has won a Best Dressed Premises award for 2017. (I guess it is best dressed in woolies as it needs to be dressed or it wouldn’t have a stitch on)

George Walkers’s ‘Costumes of Yorkshire’,

 

  • The Holmfirth based Knitting and Crochet Guild is  a national educational charity dedicated to UK domestic knitting celebrating it’s 40th Anniversary in 2018.  In 1996, the national Knitting and Crochet Guild formed a Dales branch called the Airedale and Wharfedale KCG.
  • The knitting reference library based at Southampton University’s earliest published work is dated 1840.  The journals include a run of Girls Own Annual dating from 1881 collected then donated by Montse Stanley.
  • There are several Knitting and Crochet Communities Online including one for Men Who Knit
  • Summer and winter Olympic knitting medals
  • Terrible knitters of Dent
  • Knit and Natter goups abound in Yorkshire. Age UK organise them in Scarborough and Malton to swap patterns and ideas, catch up on gossip and have a good laugh. Other groups include Dringhouses library York,    Miss Butterfinger’s Tea Room on The Green in Idle village, from 2.00pm on the first Thursday each month, Montgom needlers Montgomery Hall, Wath upon Dearne, Rotherham every Thursday 10am-12pm and Commuknity Knit and Natter  Yew Tree Inn Malin Bridge Sheffield.
  • Airedale hospital staff are encouraging people and local ‘knit and natter’ groups to make ‘Twiddlemuffs’ as an eye-catching distraction for patients with dementia. These are  bright coloured hand muffs  with interesting bits and bobs attached inside and out. ‘They have been designed and developed to provide simple stimulation for active hands, while promoting increased flexibility and brain stimulation…….. a pattern can be found from this

Now I am off for a cup of tea from a pot covered in one of my cosies (both crocheted)

 

 

 

Teach Your Budgerigar to Speak Yorkshire

Book CoverI remember my father saying he breed budgies before WWII in his attic at home. It was more than a hobby as he then sold them to Luther Wrights pet shop and any budgerigar fanciers. There was a skill when breeding good show specimens but I never had the tips of the trade passed on to me and it is too late now.

Confusion about Names

  • All Budgerigars are parrots of one sort or another. Obviously the opposite is not true and all parrots are not Budgerigars.
  • The Australian shell parakeet, or budgerigar is the most common parakeet and is colloquially nicknamed the budgie,
  • Melopsittacus is the genus for the species name for Budgerigars or the common parakeet.
  • Budgerigars are also called budgies or keets, shell parrot, warbling grass parakeet, canary parrot, or in many cases Joey, Buddy or who’s a pretty boy. I guess Yorkie would be popular too!

Special Types and forms of Budgerigars

  • Budgerigars are naturally green and yellow with black, scalloped markings on the nape, back and wings, but are now bred in captivity with colouring in blues, whites, yellows, greys.
  • Dominant pieds, Clearflights, Recessive Pieds and Dark-eyed Clears.
  • Crested,  Spangle and Pied Enthusiasts
  • Slates, German & English Fallows, Saddlebacks, Lacewings, Greywings, Easley & Texas Clearbody, Anthracites & Rainbows
  • Rare Varieties,
  • Below is a graphic of a common budgie showing it’s key features:

Budgerigar diagram-labeled.svg
By ZooFariCC BY-SA 3.0,

Budgie Bits

  • For an idea on how to choose budgerigars and how best to look after them try a book that you can refer back too as needed. Housing or caging, toys, cups, perches plus health care, feeding, training, and general wellbeing are all subjects you may need to consider at different stages of looking after your pet budgie.
  • Budgies are seed eaters but the best diet may include different types of seeds, including millet, some limited greens, fruits, and grit. This will get them ‘pogged’
  • One endearing feature of budgies is the ability to train then onto your finger and back into the cage. Patience may allow you to teach them to talk or mimic.
  • Unlike a canary they are no use wukn dahnt pit as gas detectors (fortunately for the budgies).

Book Cover

  • Yorkshire Budgerigar Society’s  current General  Secretary is based in Penistone Sheffield South Yorkshire
  • The small grass parakeet was introduced in 1840 and since then has been the most popular caged bird and house pet.
  • The Budgerigar Society (BS) was initially set up in 1925. The World Championship show is staged at the Doncaster Dome every year, and at the Club Show also in Doncaster  there are  730 different classes with an annual entry of several thousands. There are other societies and specialist clubs including  the Crested Budgerigar Club

 

Your Yorkshire Environment – Case Studies – Rivers

Yorkshire Environment For All

River Ouse York on a Foggy Winter

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to say nothing of the downright diabolical! Do we care about the environment where we live, work and spend our recreation time?

I have recently developed a stronger interest in Yorkshire’s overall environment and how our human endeavour is having a major impact. I want to spread the message be it related to health, abuse of resources or general disdain for the wider understanding of the environment. So far the various posts have not hit home but I have tended to focus on the ugly or worse: In the last month I have posted with photographs about 9 issues in my whimsical style including:-

  1. Noise is Environmental Pollution – Disturbing a Peaceful life
  2. Air Pollution an Environment Problem in Yorkshire –Yorkshire more polluted then expected
  3. Litter and Wheelie Bins There is a lot of trash about
  4. Naturally Looking After Wildlife Yorkshire Charity looking after Wildlife for us
  5. Visual Environment Hag Farm Ilkley Old farmers equipment
  6. Wrong Sort of Plastic on the Line Railway Track & Platform dumping
  7. Shed Street Keighley – Our Environment Casual litter attitudes
  8. Idle Litter Louts – Keep Yorkshire Litter Free Who causes Litter
  9. Interesting and Unusual Facts about Castleford The Aire and Plastic Straws

To this I would add Marine Conservation in Yorkshire published last March

River Pollution

  • Following condemnation from theEnvironment Agency (EA) in the 2016 study produced this month that ‘nearly 90% of rivers fail to meet environmental quality standards’ now is the time to consider the state of Yorkshires great rivers.
  • In October 2017 the WWF produced results of a nine-month investigation on the state of UK rivers that reveals 40% of all our rivers in England and Wales were polluted with raw sewage. This is caused by discharge from outdated sewage treatment plants and sewer overflows during extreme rainfall. Too little public information or concern has led to water companies and government not taking enough preventative action.
  • The Environment Agency produces detailed maps highlighting the incidence of river pollution but who investigates and acts upon the information. Pollutants from industry are a major concern and the EA highlights :
    • Metal, minerals and  chemicals from industry including paper, pulp and board manufacturing
    • Waste landfill sites, waste treatment, transfer and storage sites
    •  Fuel and power production and contaminated land.
  • The farming industry needs more effort to ensure agricultural leaks of slurry, illegal dumping and fertiliser abuse are reduced or better still prevented all together. Polluted rivers can also be caused by run off from roads, urban area dross and land that has been intensively fertilised transfers nitrates and phosphorous into our rivers.
  • Us, the great Yorkshire public are sometimes guilty of disposing of garbage or litter directly into rivers even indiscriminate feeding of ducks or pets. Pouring items down a drain, sink or toilet can end up in a river. Take care with medications or drugs that should be returned to the chemist for safe disposal.

Over the last two years Yorkshire Water has been fined £1.45 million for illegally discharging sewage that polluted the River Ouse near York and Rud Beck and the River Crimple in Harrogate.

According to the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust the Swale, Ure, Nidd, Upper Ouse, Wharfe and Lower Ouse catchment have a legacy of metal mining  that accounts for 2% of the reasons waters fail to meet quality standards.

Rivers of blood(y) plastic have hit the headlines recently. Some river banks have plastic detritus that looks gross and is doing damage to the water in rivers and seas.

On the brighter side 14% of rivers have good ecological status according to EA’s ‘The State of the Environment Water Quality’ report and water quality is better than at any time since the industrial revolution according to EA chairman Emma Howard Boyd. (What century is she living in?)

 

Book Cover

Talking of industrial revolutions  ‘Laurie Dews of Selby worked the Ouse from 1937 to 1987, and is now the only man remaining with first-hand experience of a lost way of life.’ Whilst not focused on pollution but the life of a Yorkshire river bargeman this interesting book harks back to simpler times and a less disposable society.