News desk

Opinions, where expressed, are those of the Webmaster or of other identified individuals,
and not of the Scarborough group of the Ramblers' Association


To the rescue

Picture courtesy of Scarborough & Ryedale MRT. - website

The Mountain Rescue Organisation regarded itself as the the fourth emergency service, our AGM was told on Thursday.

Mr Roger Hartley, chairman of Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team, said they supported the police, ambulance and fire services, conducting searches and rescues, they maintained a good relationship with the air ambulance service, and they trained with the RAF rescue personnel.

"We are typically called when no one else can do it, either because of lack of manpower, or because our special skills are needed," he said.

Mr Hartley said they often needed to search for confused or troubled people.

Another typical rescue call could be to Mallyan Spout, where Sunday strollers had trouble on the rocks, perhaps suffering a broken ankle.  Well-prepared walkers, however, rarely needed help.

When the police closed roads because of bad weather, the MRO would be asked to check that no motorists were stranded, he said.

Mr Hartley said the group's 60 members had already dealt with 53 callouts this year. 

They maintain three vehicles, based at Snainton, and their service is entirely voluntary -- in fact members pay £80 a year.

Mr Hartley said that to summon the MRT, callers should ask for the police rather than the ambulance service, as this would be referred immediately to the team.  In answer to a question, he said the ambulance control room worked with postcodes and could not process grid references, but the police could deal with NGRs.

At the meeting, held at the Friends Meeting House, our rambles organiser, Ray Johnson, retired after 16 years, and was succeeded by Trish Mumford.

Also elected: chairman, Phil Trafford; secretary, Pam Grimwood; treasurer, David Grimwood; footpath secretary, Les Atkinson, minutes secretary, Robert Clutson; newsletter editor, Margaret Atkinson; social secretary, Lisa Crozier; webmaster and publicity officer, Harry Whitehouse; committee, Adam Brown and Ray Johnson. - 30 November 2013

Folkton bridleway inquiry

Background information can be found here

A planning Inquiry to hear an appeal against the NYCC bridleway confirmation order on the Old Fordon Road was held at Flixton village hall on 20 November.

Phil Trafford, Bob Clutson and Les Atkinson attended on our behalf, and Les made a statement in support of retaining the public right of way. 

Bob has supplied the following report:

Planning Inspector Mr Michael Lowe

NYCC team: Chief Planning Officer plus a retained barrister.

Complainants: Messrs A & J Baker represented by ROW consultant, Robin Carr.

The NYCC case was supported by some 76 pieces of evidence from 78 supporters.


Flixton Hall had been acquired by A & J Baker, converted to two dwellings and sold, on the land behind the hall planning permission for stables had been granted and subsequently a further planning application to convert the stables to a house had been received and the bridleway shown on the stables application had been stopped by the Bakers by fitting a locked gate.

The NYCC witnesses testified both orally and in writing that use both on foot and on horseback  had been made over a twenty year period over the track south to Folkton Wold Farm and beyond to link with the Wolds Way without challenge.

The British Horse Society submitted a variety of evidence from maps (Greenwood & Bryant)  dating back to 1801 demonstrating existence of a public road/bridleway.

The Bakers presented one witness claiming to have been challenged by the owners while walking her dogs, but the NYCC barrister was able to extract an admission that this witness has been employed to look after the house and horses during the owners' absences.

The Inspector extended the meeting beyond 6pm to avoid the hearing running into a second day.

He will recommend a decision to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and this is now awaited. - 27 November 13


Lord Stones: Goodbye caff, hello café

The expensively redeveloped Lord Stones Café has emerged as a trippers' lunch venue, with excellent food, attentive, friendly staff, and a comfortable, squeaky-clean interior.

As Phil Trafford, Bob Clutson and I discovered this month, the most startling sight for outdoor enthusiasts is a sign banning muddy boots.

Footwear likely to sully the smart eatery must be left in a wooden rack outside. 

The café, on the Raisdale road from Chop Gate, was long a popular stop for walkers and off-road cyclists, and a valuable watering hole for Coast-to-Coast and Cleveland Way trekkers. However, it was acquired by the neighbouring Urra Estate and closed for redevelopment, and in its new guise, the emphasis has clearly changed dramatically.  

The original Lord Stones was known as the café-in-a-cave, as the back was partly covered by an earth bank, but it was celebrated more for the sense of fun and eccentricities of its owner, John Simpson, than for the outstanding qualities of its cuisine.

The indoor eating area of the new café is much larger than the original.  When we called in mid-walk one lunchtime (and obediently left our banned boots outside) it already held 40 customers, all of whom had clearly arrived by car.

We variously ordered the soup of the day and a ham sandwich, all of which were greatly enjoyed.  The ambience, facilities and prices are definitely not designed to appeal to National Park leisure users, however.

Another of the trade mark features of the old café, the flock of wild birds that John Simpson alternately encouraged and spent time cursing, has also been disappeared, incidentally.

It's sad, but it's business. - 19.11.13



Rescue group insight

The chairman of Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team, Roger Hartley, will give an illustrated talk on the group's work at our annual meeting on November 28.

The team, which is called out 25-30 times a year, covers about 2,100 square miles, including the south-east of the North York Moors National Park, Dalby Forest and the Yorkshire Wolds.

Last month, 26 members helped to search for a 63-year-old woman who was missing near Robin Hood's Bay in appalling weather.

Our AGM will. as usual, be held at 7.30am at the Friends Meeting House in Quaker Lane, Scarborough.

The invitation letter, agenda and 2012 minutes can be downloaded from the Resources page.

Roaming to Rochester

Richard Bedford is organising a midweek break weekend in Kent, probably on February 18-21.

He plans a rail journey to Rochester on the River Medway, and visits to local attractions, such as Chatham Dockyard, Rochester Castle, Dickens World and Leeds Castle.

Richard writes: "As with our highly enjoyable trip to Portsmouth, the aim is a mix of culture and the fun of exploring a different part of our country. While not a boots and poles expedition, it will be active, equally suitable for people who do not usually ramble with us. Accommodation will be looked at once it becomes clear how many would like to join in."

Richard can be contacted by email,, or by phone, 01723 586434. - 1 October 2013






Short walks

An experimental series of short walks will start in October, in the hope of encouraging would-be new members, and to accommodate present members who would prefer a shorter distance.

The walks, on the first Thursday of each month from October to December, will be about 5-7 miles.

As with the current Sunday walks, they will start at 10am and break after an hour for refreshment.  When possible, there will be an opportunity for a picnic lunch at or near the finish.

The first walk will be from Falling Foss car park (NGR NZ 888 035) on October 3.

Harry Whitehouse will lead the first walk, but if they prove popular, volunteers will be needed to help them continue, and perhaps increase the frequency. - 10 September 2013

 Photograph of Falling Foss waterfall © Stephen McCulloch and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence


Rosedale Walking Festival

With the absence (as I write) of a walk on September 15, members might be interested in attending the first Rosedale Walking Festival.

There are four events: a 5-mile wildlife walk and a 9-mile teashop walk on Saturday 14, and a 5-mile history walk and 9-mile railway walk on Sunday 15.

The teashop walk costs £10, including drinks and food, and each of the others costs £4.

Attendance must be booked in advance through Pickering TIC, telephone 01751 473791.

For more information,  see the festival website. - 4 September 2013

Airstrip hopes

The owner of South Moor Farm on Ebberston Common, who hopes to build a landing strip for light aircraft, has submitted a planning application to the North York Moors NPA.

Our chairman, Phil Trafford, has expressed concerns because of a nearby bridleway and footpath. The landowner, Mr Bob Walker, clearly feels this issue is of some relevance, as his planning consultants have stated, as part of their case, that "the footpath and bridleway are not generally used by visitors to Dalby Forest".

Mr Walker wants to use the 600m grass landing strip, or a back-up 400m one when the wind is in the wrong direction, for a light aircraft in which he has a share, and for the use of visitors to his bed and breakfast business.

There would be no training flights, practice circuits or aerobatics, flights would be in daylight hours and pilots would be asked to avoid flying over houses within a mile of the farm.  There would be up to ten take-offs and landings each week, and a hangar would be built.

Phil said the group had regularly walked past the farm on Sunday rambles, either having climbed the steep bridleway from Deep Dale or on the way  from Dalby Forest to descend into Deep Dale.

Footpaths Officer Les Atkinson has been asked to make representations to the NPA.

The Scarborough News report of the plan can be found here and the planning application details here. 25 August 2013

Wolds festival

The third annual Yorkshire Wolds Walking and Outdoors Festival will be held from 14th-29th September, and features a wide variety of walks.

These include an investigation of the snickets of Beverley, a fungi foray at Millington, and longer walks of up to 12 miles.

The programme can be downloaded from this link. - 19 August 2013.





Riding to the rescue?

This sign, reading "FOOTPATH UNDER REPAIR. TKS. NRYCC" can be found on a Scarborough public footpath that is in a dreadful condition.

But work is definitely not under way - "NRYCC" is the former North Riding of Yorkshire County Council, indicating that the sign was posted at least 39 years ago.

The path runs from Filey Road, then alongside the South Cliff golf course to the track leading to the sea from the Yorkshire Water pumping station.

I joined it from Cornelian Drive, and encountered appalling condiitons.

I stepped into a concealed ditch, pushed through brambles and nettles and found shrubs so overgrown that the bright afternoon sun could not penetrate.

In places, the path had collapsed down the slope into the ditch, which gradually became a trickling watercourse.

Eventually, I saw a white notice partially concealed by undergrowth.  I pushed aside branches to discover the sign, which must date from no later than 1974. - 13 August 2013.











Diversion lifted

Yorkshire Water's diversion of the Cleveland Way (see report)  on Scarborough's South Cliff has been lifted.  No public announcement was made, so it is possible  that the cliff-top path has been open for some time.

While I was in the area, I tried to check the condition of the closed section of the Cleveland Way adjacent to the landslip at Snape Point.  Some time ago, this was perfectly safe and negotiable.  However, at the northern end, the section of path ends after about 30yards at a tricky 6ft drop that I did not attempt.- 13 August 2013.

Second chance for Folkton track bid

Fresh efforts are being made to restore a right of way at Folkton.

The parish council and North Yorkshire County Council, supported by Scarborough and District Ramblers, thought last year that the campaign was on the verge of success.  A public hearing was scheduled for October 2012.

However, Whitehall rejected the plan and cancelled the hearing because the county council drew the wrong type of lines on the map that illustrated the application.

The planned bridleway, known as Old Fordon Road, runs from Filey Road, Folkton - close to Folkton House - to join the existing public footpath up Folkton Brow.

The parish council registered the right of way in 1948. A public footpath sign was erected on Filey Road, but this was challenged by the owner of Folkton House.

An electric gate now blocks the track and the footpath sign has been removed.

A public local inquiry will be held at Wydale Hall, Brompton-by-Sawdon, on November 20, when Scarborough Ramblers' footpaths officer, Les Atkinson, will speak on our behalf.

Local people have submitted written evidence of using the route, and documents establish its existence over a period of several hundred years.

The county council told a Local Access Forum in February that the application was rejected because the council had used the wrong style of lines on the map that illustrated the application.  They said this was due to the inflexibility of mapping software. 

And Scarborough Ramblers' group committee heard on August 8 that the council said proposed bridleways had to be drawn as dashes with intermittent dashes at right angles to the line, whereas the council's software could not draw cross-dashes.

However, the rejection letter from the Planning Inspectorate (on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Environment) reveals that the council actually slipped up by using the line relevant for a footpath, rather than a bridleway

Pete Bland, an expert in rights-of-way law and procedures who runs the Ramblers-FP message board, produced for me an extract from the regulations, which specifies "a continuous green line, or...a continuous line with cross bars at intervals". (My emphasis.) 

In one instance, the council's mistake was to use a continuous yellow line, rather than a green one, and misrepresentation of the status of the right of way appears to have been repeatedly missed as the application progressed. The 2010 Order map, for example, shows the bridleway as  a "broken black line with short intervals", one of the options for depicting a footpath.

(Puzzlingly, although the council said that its software could not produce a dashed line with intermittent cross-dashes, the line style did appear on the key to a map that accompanied the original application in 2010.  A "continuous line with cross bars at intervals", intended for use for depicting bridleways, is employed on a black and white map to mark Filey Road, a maintained highway.)

On a social media site, a county council officer offered to provide a detailed explanation of the situation to me if I supplied my email address.  I responded immediately, but heard nothing further. 

The documents that trace the fascinating trail of the doomed application can be viewed or downloaded via the following links.

     Committee notification Sept 10   DMMO documents Oct 10   The original order plan  Rejection letter  Cancellation order  Access forum extract Feb 13

    2013 order inquiry notice   2013 order map

Many thanks to Pete Bland, whose expert commentary and research skills have made a valuable contribution to this report.


Pictures by Phil Trafford

9 August 2013 (edited 10 August, 11 August (twice) and 12 August (twice).)

Ban scramble vandals

Reports of falls, and photographs of hazardous conditions or misuse of vehicles on a track from Reasty Top are being sought.

The track, which runs east to join another route from Burgate Farm, has been badly damaged by four-wheel-drive vehicles and motorcyclists.

Users of the track are being asked by North York Moors NPA if vehicles should be restricted.  Our group committee decided on August 8 that a complete ban was needed.

At present, the track is dry, but it has a deep rut eroded by scrambles bikes.

LARA, a group that represents the off-roaders, has appealed to them to avoid the track from August to October, as it says repairs have been carried out.

However, even this voluntary move would leave the off-roaders free to churn up the track during the wet winter months.

The track appears on North Yorkshire County Council's List of Streets, which means it has the status of at least a public footpath, and possibly higher rights that have not yet been determined.

Anyone with photographs or information should contact Les Atkinson - and I would also, of course, be pleased to publish the photographs on the website. - 9 August 2013


Alum Works diversion open

Belated confirmation that the diversion of the Cleveland Way through the National Trust's Peak Alum Works was opened in March. (See earlier report.)

A great deal of work was carried out by volunteers,  resurfacing footpaths, building steps and boardwalks and hanging gates.

On a visit this week, no interpretation board was evident on the route, so visitors are unlikely to be aware that they are passing through an area of interest. - 18 July 2013.

Farndale is final stop for Moorsbus

In 2009, the Moorsbus service made it possible for anyone living within easy travelling distance to walk the Cleveland Way in August without paying for accommodation.

The bus, or other public transport, provided a link to either the start or finish point of each day's stage.

Since then, budget cuts have shrunk the service, and in 2014, the Moorsbus will be reduced to a single venue: Farndale.  Picture courtesy of North York Moors NPA - 18 July 2013



Cleveland Way diverted

Yorkshire Water have back-tracked on their undertaking to keep open the Cleveland Way's route along Scarborough's South Cliff while a pipe carrying waste water from the McCain factory is repaired.

Last month, one of four "key facts" announced by the company was: "A crossing point will be set up to ensure that the Cleveland Way footpath remains open."

However, Yorkshire Water has today circulated a map, prepared by North Yorkshire County Council two days ago, showing a mile-long diversion along Wheatcroft Avenue, Filey Road and Cornelian Drive.

An email provides no explanation for the change of heart, or for the likely length of the diversion.

The repairs started in early April, and at that time work was expected to last until September.

Jo Dixon, Yorkshire Water's customer service manager, later emailed:

"I am sorry that we have had to close the footpath to the beach, I appreciate that this contradicts our promise last month. 

"As you may know there are two pipes which outfall to the sea. As part of our works, we need to divert the flows from the long outfall pipe into the short one in order to progress our planned work. At the end of last week, we discovered an issue with the short pipe which needs addressing as a matter of urgency. In order for us to resolve this, we had to take the difficult decision to close the footpath. 

"Please be assured that if we could have avoided closing the footpath we would have. The diversion in place has been agreed with North Yorkshire County Council. 

"At this stage, as we are investigating the issue and extent of the problem, I am unable to provide you with a timescale as to when we will be able to re-open the footpath. I am mindful that this is a key access route for the Scarborough Ramblers as well as local residents and I will make sure this work is completed as quickly as possible. You will be pleased to know that the footpath is only closed while the short outfall pipe is fixed. Once this is done, the footpath will be re-opened while our planned work continues. 

"It is important to me and my team that our work causes the minimum of disruption. Sometimes problems are discovered while on site which cannot be foreseen, as in this case. Please be assured that we are working very hard to re-open the footpath as soon as possible."- 24 May 2013

Esk walk notes moved to Walks section

Summer leaders needed

Rambles organiser Ray Johnson is seeking leaders for the annual programme of summer evening short walks.

The walks will start at 7pm on Tuesdays from May 28 to August 6 and should be four to six miles, and reasonably close to Scarborough.

The form for submitting walks can be downloaded from here.

Ray says: "This might also be a good time to start thinking about day walks for the 2013/2014 walks programme as I will be requesting information for this in the near future." - 8 April 2013

Lord Stones Café work proceeds

Work is well under way at the popular Lord Stones Café at Carlton Bank, which has been closed for almost 18 months.

The café was a welcome stop for walkers on the Cleveland Way and Wainwright Coast-to-Coast walks, but in recent years, the facilities became very run-down.

By summer 2011, the only running water in the public areas was a cold tap in the disabled persons' toilets, which made basic hygiene for visitors rather problematic.

Two members of Scarborough RA who visited the site on April 3 found that he space behind the "café-in-a-cave" had been excavated, and much other work was under way.

The café was owned and run by the colourful Mr John Simpson, who provided  an effusive welcome for the walkers and cyclists.

However, he became annoyed by the attitude of some motor-cyclists, and complained bitterly about the apparent reluctance of the highways authority to keep the Raisdale road open in winter.

He was reported to have sold the café and its associated grounds to the neighbouring Urra estate, and plans for developments and improvements were submitted.  These appeared to be geared towards a more up-market clientele, with facilities including camping pods.

However, two planning applications approved this year, for an extension of opening hours in the summer months, and for an information point and sales area, were submitted in Mr Simpson's name. - 8 April 13

Previous report



Esk Valley walks

The group's walks on April 28, May 5 and May 12 follow the River Esk from its source in Westerdale to its arrival at the sea in Whitby.

In general, they use the line of the Regional Route, the Esk Valley Walk, but they cut out an unnecessary trek out to the Lion Inn on the first day, and adds visits to a couple of interesting spots missed from the published route.

Everyone, of course, is welcome, whether you wish to complete the whole sequences, or join just one or two of the walks.

April 28: 10am Start from NZ686 080 Castleton near Coop, YO21 2HE. This is an 11.5-mile circular route that includes a couple of miles on quiet roads, and about half a mile across access land. You might wish to arrive early, park near Castleton Station, and walk up to the start point.

May 5: 10.30am Meet at Egton Station to catch 10.45am train to Castleton. We then walk back to Egton. Fare is £3.40, or £6.30 for a couple.

May 12: 10am Meet at Egton Station and walk to Whitby. We catch the 3.25pm train back to Egton. Fare is £3.40 or £6.30 for a couple.

Although these walks have been detailed on our group website for six months or so, the new area handbook has unfortunately missed off the information that they are part of a themed series.

Please call Harry on 01723 375770 or email if more information is needed.

Volunteering in national park

The North York Moors National Park encourage volunteers – either as individuals or members of existing groups – to help with practical maintenance tasks under the supervision of a park employee.

Details of the schemes can be found on the park's website.

Our footpaths officer, Les Atkinson, has discussed with park officers the possibility of our supplying a group to improve rights of way.

A pool of at least 12 would be needed, from which a group of 6-12 could be drawn.

Our chairman, Phil Trafford, said: "The volunteers could be our members or friends of members, as the insurance cover is provided by the park and does not come under the RA’s policy.

"Any necessary training and protective clothing would be the responsibility of the national park. We would probably be asked to provide a working party 4-6 times a year."

Anyone interested should email Phil. If the response is sufficient, Les will approach the park authority.

(North Yorkshire County Council has a similar scheme for individuals and issues a regular newsletter.) - 2 April 13


August Callander trip

Richard Bedford is planning to repeat last year's excursion to Callander, central Scotland, to join a hill walk by the local rambling club..

He writes: The date in question is Saturday 3rd August, the walk is The Tarmachan Ridge on Tayside.

I know the local organiser and contacted him. The walk starts at the CP on Ben Lawers (Perthshire's highest, just under 4000ft) and therefore significantly reduces the height actually climbed. The ridge walk is straightforward and there is an option to shorten the distance for those choosing  so to do.

The scenery here is stunning, I have walked this hill before-it is not too long a drive from Callander, which is where I stay and I am familiar with much of the accommodation on offer. And restaurants. And hostelries.

The local ramblers are a very welcoming group and are pleased to have walkers from away join them.
If anyone wishes to locate the area on the map, find Stirling and go west, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Callander
is 16miles from Stirling. The hill-walk is accessed via the route to Killin and Kenmore, by Loch Tay. I have also been given a site to look at:
If in due course anyone thinks they might be interested in a few days north of the border, please get in touch, even if only
to make a few enquiries - and there are other things to do as well of course!

Richard can be contacted by email. - 22 Feb 13

Woods road slow-down plea

A resident of Low Road, which runs beside Raincliffe Woods, is seeking support for speed restrictions on traffic.

Mrs Joanne Flinton believes that walkers, cyclists and horse-riders are at risk because drivers speed on the narrow road.

She said three cars had crashed through her fence, and she feared someone could be killed.

Mrs Flinton is organising a petition, asking the county council to cut the limit to 30mph – as on Dalby Forest Drive.

If anyone wishes to support the petition, email me for Mrs Flinton's contact details. - 12 Feb 13

Spot the difference

These two pairs of photographs were taken just a week apart, during group walks.

The first, on January 27, was held after heavy rain and a thaw of snow on the moors, and the second, on February 3, after a spell of more typical winter weather. - 3 Feb 13

ABOVE: Hayburn Wyke. BELOW: Road from Sycarham Farm, Cloughton.


Ryedale Walk cancelled

Ryedale group's walk from Newgate Bank on Sunday January 27 has been cancelled because of the depth of snow on the route. - 24.1.13

Hayburn Wyke lunch

Our usual December lunch at the Hayburn Wyke was not held last year, as the only free Sunday was too close to Christmas.

It is now being held on January 27 at 1.30pm, after a shorter-than-usual walk, leaving from the pub at 10am.

If you would like to attend, please contact Phil by email ( ) or by phone (01723 863975).

No payment in advance is needed – the buffet meal costs £6.50 on the day. - 8.1.13


Car pooling mooted at AGM

The establishment of a car pooling register is to be attempted, it was decided at last night's AGM at the Friends' Meeting House.

At the top of the Walks page, I am inserting a panel giving the contact details of anyone who is willing to take a passenger when they attend walks. 

If you wish to volunteer, please email me to advise me of the area in which you live, and provide a phone number or email address. People looking for lifts can then contact the car owner to check on availability.

In the past year, we have received several membership inquiries from people who do not have their own transport.  If the plan succeeds, it will also reduce the number of parking spaces needed at walks, as well as making a small contribution towards protecting the environment.

Shorter walks: Trish Mumford offered to coordinate a new programme of shorter walks, on Saturdays, if enough support is available.

Rights-of-way maintenance: The Footpaths Secretary, Les Atkinson, reported that staff cutbacks at the North York Moors National Park Authority and North Yorkshire County Council would almost inevitably affect maintenance standards.

Away days:  Margaret Atkinson is organising a weekend trip to Hawes in late spring.

Officers: The officers were all re-elected — Chairman, Phil Trafford; Secretary, Pam Grimwood; Rambles Organiser, Ray Johnson; Footpaths Secretary, Les Atkinson; Minutes Secretary, Robert Clutson.  Lisa Crozier will continue as Social Secretary, Margaret Atkinson as Newsletter Editor, and Harry Whitehouse as Webmaster/Publicity Officer.

Postage of paperwork: Members were reminded that posting AGM documents is the branch's biggest single expense.  These can all be provided as email attachments on request.  (The AGM paperwork, and branch and area newsletters can be downloaded at any time from the Resources page on the website.)
30 November 2012

Discounts from new Trespass shop

A branch of the national outdoor wear chain, Trespass, has opened in the Brunswick Shopping Centre, Scarborough.

They are offering 10% discount to Ramblers members, although this will exclude items whose prices have already been heavily cut. 

They have also agreed to display a poster giving details of our walks — as have Mountain Warehouse and Crag and Moor.- 18 November 12

Pond paddling solved

A new path has been built around the eastern bank of the pond at Warren Farm, Lockton, North York Moors NPA announced today.

The authority's head of recreation and access, Karl Gerhardsen, responded promptly to a renewed complaint about the recurring problem at the pond (see Bushy tale below), caused by the farm access road damming water draining along Jackdaw Griff.

Although a diverted public right of way joins the road there, it became necessary to tip-toe carefully along the edge of the pond to reach a gate, and many a boot dipped below the water. - 18 September 12

Wolds festivities

Walks from four miles to 20, together with bird-watching and photography outings, are among the offerings at the Yorkshire Wolds Walking and Outdoors Festival from September 14-23.

Many of the walks have been organised by Ramblers' groups in East Yorkshire.

These include Beverley, who are taking the opportunity to mark the town's new Walkers Are Welcome status on September 14-16.with local led walks on each day.

The full festival programme can be downloaded here, and the Beverley programme here. - 16 August 12






Protecting ancient resident

Most folk who visit Blakey Topping, which rises east of the Hole of Horcum, content themselves with climbing the steep path that mounts its western flank, taking in the view, then returning.

However, this is open access land, and those who venture down the northern slope through the heather and bilberry will find a large rectangular area enclosed with barbed wire. (The outline of the plot can be identified on Google Earth.)

Unfortunately, the corner posts of the fence are braced with very dangerous, twisted barbed wire, running at an angle from the top of the posts to anchors in the ground.  Tripping over one of these in the undergrowth, or falling on one, could cause a very nasty injury.

This was raised with the National Trust, which owns the land, and a very interesting tale emerged.

Bob Dicker, the organisation's local Property Manager, explained that the fence was erected to protect a plant called a dwarf cornel, a remnant of the plants found in this area shortly after the end of the last ice age.

"It hangs on in the north of England by the skin of its teeth. It really belongs in much cooler conditions and can be found, sometimes quite common, in parts of Scotland and into Scandinavia.

"It has hung on in a few more southern sites on the cooler northern sides of hills and is found in just such a situation at Blakey Topping. It also occurs in similar circumstances within the Hole of Horcum.

"These two sites are the most southerly known sites in Britain for this plant," he said.

The plant is insignificant in appearance, and grows no more than a foot high.

However, Mr Dicker has instructed his staff to remove the dangerous corner wires. - 14 August 12.

Bushy tale

Landowners have tried many ruses to deter ramblers, but someone in Lockton parish seems to be hoping that a new idea will bear fruit.

A stile at the end of the footpath that links White Dale to David Lane (SE 854 908) now boasts two gooseberry bushes.

These definitely non-native hedgerow features are swiftly growing through the stile.

The fruit refreshed one Scarborough member this month, but pruners may well be needed to allow progress on future visits.

It was no surprise when another gooseberry bush was discovered growing up a footpath sign where the right of way leaves David Lane further north.

Nearby, the pond that hinders progress at Warren Farm has spread considerably during the recent wet weather, and the webmaster's personal point of view is that it is time for the authorities to resolve this matter conclusively.  

After a complaint to the National Park Authority a couple of years ago, a few stones were placed around the edge, near  to the gate, but this was little more than a sticking plaster response.

The landowner was allowed to divert the path away from his farmyard, and the absence of a safe and convenient alternative should not be considered acceptable.  - 13 July 2012




Lord Stones Café progress

The Lord Stones Café, a popular haunt of walkers and cyclists on the Cleveland Way, Coast to Coast and Lyke Wake routes, could re-open in the Spring.

The previous owner, John Simpson, closed it - initially for the winter - in October.  He complained of threats from motor-cyclists and was annoyed that the highways authorities were always reluctant to clear snow from Raisdale Road, beside which the café stands.

Mr Simpson has sold the café and the 160 acres around it., to Mr John Reeve, who owns the neighbouring Urra Estate.

Mr Reeve wants to extend and improve the café and create a campsite there, with a timber toilet and shower block and five camping pods.

He also plans to have a small shop for campers’ provisions, selling produce from the estate, such as burgers produced from his belted Galloway cattle.

This month the North York Moors Authority Planning Committee approved the plans,  subject to a ban on motor homes and caravans at the campsite, the use of  small parking area by the public at all times, and some other detailed matters.

The café is renowned for being partly sunk into a hill, and for Mr Simpson's colourful character.

He was always willing to give permission for informal overnight camping, without charge, to people who seemed trustworthy.

The site's closure presents some problems for backpackers on t he Coast-to-Coast, as it provided the only reliable source of potable water between Ingleby/Osmotherley and the Lion Inn. - 6 July 2012.


Quarry route planned for Cleveland Way

A new route has been proposed for the Cleveland Way near Ravenscar, leading it via two new footpaths through the former Peak Alum Works, now owned by the National Trust.

The path would be 2m wide, and would move the Cleveland Way along a cliffside route.

The works operated from 1650 to 1862, producing alum from locally-mined shale.

The process, which could take up to a year, was a closely-guarded secret. providing jobs for hundreds of workers and their families. Shale was piled into huge bonfires that smouldered for nine months before being steeped in water to produce alum liquor. Vast quantities of human urine were also required.

The existing inland footpaths would be retained.

Our Footpaths Officer, Les Atkinson, has suggested that consideration be given to providing a bridge over a gully, allowing the further rerouting of the path along the cliff edge past the nearby golf course.

The North York Moors National Park Authority wants observations by August 8. - 6 July 2012.

Cows: a cautionary tale

A link to the following clipping from The Guardian has been forwarded by Les Atkinson, and it provides a valuable warning about the unpredictable nature of cows - in this case, the victim was a man with more than 30 years' experience of the animals.  

Of course, the fact that in a lifetime of working with cattle, this was the first occasion on which a serious problem arose, does lend some perspective to the report.

I recently saw a notice beside a footpath, on which a farmer suggested that 30 metres was a safe distance from a calf accompanied by its mother.

Herds of young beasts are often encountered, and although they are  inquisitive, they are usually felt to pose no serious danger.

However, I am always concerned when one member of a party of walkers breaks rank and encourages the animals to move, as it is impossible to predict in which direction they will break. - 21 June 12.





































Callander whirls

Richard Bedford is running a trip to Callander, Perthshire, on August 16-20, to join a hill walk with the local Ramblers.

"The Callander group is very sociable and are not route-marchers. I  know a day out with them would be most enjoyable and the hill walks are suitable for most abilities," he says.

On Saturday 18th they will walk up Buchaille Etive Mor (weather permitting) at the head of the Pass of Glencoe.

Richard has also prepared a local Callander walk taking in the scenic points.


Dodging about the wolds

The summer weekend Dodger bus service on the Yorkshire Wolds offers the chance to enjoy some linear walks on the route between Driffield and Malton.

This covers villages including Sledmere, Wetwang, Fridaythorpe, Thixendale and Wharram le Street, and well as the Wharram Percy site.

A copy of the timetable - covering Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays until the end of September can be downloaded by clicking the picture.

In case you were wondering, "Dodger" recalls the train service that used to link the villages until the end of the 1950s, which was nicknamed the Malton Dodger. - 19 April 2012

Trail from Leeds

Paths from Leeds to Scarborough have been linked by an author in a trail that he has called the White Rose Way.

Paul Brown, a former policeman from Leeds, launched a £7.99 book detailing the 107-mile walk in Scarborough on 14 April. - 18 April 2012

Get out of the ruts

Views on curbing the damage to green lanes by off-road vehicles are being sought by North Yorkshire County Council.

Members will be aware of the devastating effect on ancient rights of way, caused by motor-cyclists and drivers of off-road vehicles, who seem to prefer the stink of exhaust fumes and the howl of stressed engines to the scents and sounds of the countryside.

Many paths have become so rutted that walkers risk injury in dry weather, while wide diversions are needed to avoid flooded sections in winter.

Our chairman, Phil Trafford, is asking members to complete a questionnaire on the county council website, which seeks views on the use of green lanes and the allocation of resources to their maintenance.

The council states: "...use by motor vehicles is capable of causing significant damage...Such physical damage can not only impair the use and enjoyment of a route by other users but can also create conditions which jeopardise their physical safety. 
"In exceptional circumstances a route can become impassable for all users bar those drivers who enjoy the challenge of such conditions. This impacts on those who may use such ways to access land or premises..."

It says that in unspoilt condition, the lanes allow wildlife to flourish, as well as adding to the visual attractions of the countryside, and the banks can support rare plants.

The council plans to assess all the "unsurfaced, unclassified roads" (UURs), If any were not suitable for sustainment as routes for traffic, they would be geared towards footpath use, with early steps taken to stop vehicles, suggests the council.

However, if the UUR has potential for vehicle use, the council would consider the feasibility of sustaining the use.

To make your views known on the proposal go to .The consultation closes on Friday April 27. 

Phil Trafford's response to the questionnaire is here.

I have also archived the supporting documents for future reference. (1) (2) - 3 April 2012.

Hot foot to a record

The turnout for Judy Trafford's walk from Snainton on March 25 is thought to be a record for recent years.

Encouraged by the very warm weather, 23 walkers (13 Scarborough members, plus guests from Ryedale and York) met for the circuit through Ebberston, Kirkdale, the earthworks beside Scamridge Slack, the parallel earthworks near Moorsome Farm and Wydale.

One field close to Moorsome Farm appeared to have been ploughed for the first time, and very large stones have been brought to the surface.

Several new-born lambs attracted interest.

More photographs are linked from the walks page  - 26.3.12

Farewell Millets, farewell 15%

With the pending closure* of Millets in Scarborough (the parents firm, Blacks, has been taken over by JD Sports), the company is refusing to honour its 15% discount card.

Our group joined the scheme last year.  It was particularly worthwhile, because card-holders could claim the discount even off special sale prices.

However, staff at the Scarborough branch say the scheme has been abandoned by the new owners, and they have orders to refuse to grant the discount.

Anyone with a Ramblers' Association membership card can still obtain a 10% cut, but this does not apply to "sale" prices.

At nearby Mountain Warehouse, some staff are now asking to see an RA card before giving 10% off - previously it had always been sufficient simply to request the discount. - 11 February 2012.

* Millets in Scarborough closed on 16 February. last

Three members have just completed the Yorkshire Wolds Way - and it took them 15 months.

Bob Clutson, Phil Trafford and Harry Whitehouse started with the leg from Hessle to Brantingham in November 2010, having spent occasional Wednesdays on the walk.

They finally entered Filey on Wednesday.  Although the official distance is 79 miles, they covered more than 90 miles, thanks to diversions to places of interest. - 8.2.12




High times
Enjoying that top-of-the- world feeling during a trip to the Lake District were (right to left) Scarbor- ough members Ray Johnson, Phil Trafford, Les Atkinson and Bob Clutson, and Jim Horlock.

The five stayed at Butterly Howe youth hostel, Gramere, from 26-29 January, walking each day.

They are pictured atop Loft Crag, one of the Langdale Pikes. 

Phil reports: 

"On Thursday afternoon, we completed a circular route from Wythburn up Ullscarf. On the way to the summit, we were walking in fog and against driving snow – character building conditions. We completed the walk with some navigational problems but no mishaps until the final half mile, when Bob slipped over violently and was saved from injury by landing on his sandwich box, which was crushed beyond recognition.

"On Friday, Ray led a walk from the hostel. We climbed Helm Crag and then walked along the Ridge over Gibsons Knot and Calf Crag. He had planned to continue to High Raise and then walk down Easedale, but progress was slow in the snowy conditions, so we descended down Far Easedale and arrived back just before dark.

"Saturday was a glorious day. Bob marched us up the Langdale Pikes: Loft Crag, Pike O’Stickle and Harrison Stickle and then on to Pavey Ark, from where we descended via Easy Gulley (definitely a misnomer), where crampons were de rigueur. A superb day – walking on 9” of snow on the top with sunshine and superb views.

"Sunday was Les’s turn to lead. We started from Kirkstone Pass Inn with a near vertical climb in the ice and snow up to Red Screes. Again, the crampons proved to be essential. We reached the summit, just as the cloud descended and had to navigate by compass and footprints in the snow until we got below cloud level. We walked down the ridge nearly to Ambleside, before climbing back up to the Kirkstone Pass up the valley on the southern side of the road, which is appropriately called The Struggle." - 3.2.12

Walking weekend

Margaret and Les Atkinson are organising a walking weekend in Reeth, Swaledale, on May 25-27.

They are putting together a list of accommodation, and are asking participants to book their own rooms.  

Anyone interested should speak to Margaret or Les, or email them.

Holiday bonus

The group has joined a scheme set up by Ramblers Worldwide Holidays, which provides a cash commission for every trip booked by group members.

The firm operates group walking holidays in the UK and all around the world, each accompanied by a qualified walks leader. Over the past 65 years, it has given millions of pounds to walking charities and conservation projects in Britain and the countries visited. 

Holidays are graded in terms of difficulty, and there is a wide range, from sightseeing up to hut-to-hut mountain treks. 

Take a look at their website on or call them on 01707 33113 for more details or to order a brochure.

When you book, quote the name of our group, and we will receive commission of £10 per person on UK holidays, £20 per person on short haul holidays, and £30 per person on long haul holidays. - 5 January 2012

Signed off

The illegal "keep out" sign on a Scarborough footpath , which was reported to North Yorkshire Council footpath officers, has been removed. Members on the New Year's Day walk through Stepney Hill Farm discovered that the attempt by the landowner to deter walkers had been thwarted by our group's complaint, - 1 January 2012.

Tom Scott Burns

I was saddened to learn this week of the death of Yorkshire countryside and walking writer Tom Scott Burns.

He had a great respect for AJ Brown, the author of several books about solo walks on the North York Moors and in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s, and who later ran a hotel in Goathland.

At Low Cables Stones in Tripsdale, Tom fixed a plaque taken from outside Brown's early home in Bradford, and he began writing Brown's biography, before his abilities became handicapped by a debilitating illness.

Tom lived in Nunthorpe, on the northern edge of the moors.

I learned of Tom's death from John White, who has taken on the task of writing Brown's biography, which he hopes to complete in mid-2012. - 30 December 2011

Tom's ashes have been scattered near Low Cable Stones, and a plaque has been fixed in his memory. - 8 March 2012


Moppet makes her mark

Group members Les and Margie Atkinson were in the news this week, in very unhappy circumstances.

Their elderly, much-loved cat Moppet was savaged to death by the dogs of the Staintondale and Goathland hunts outside the couple's home at Stoupe Brow, after which the horseman in charge of the pack tried to hide the evidence by riding off with the cat's remains.

It took several days for the hunt to return Moppet to Les and Margie — in a dog food bag.

Initially, the police brushed off a complaint from Les, although with the attention of the national Press and the furious weight of public opinion focused on them, they later decided that perhaps there was something to investigate after all.

If there is any consolation for Les and Margie, it has to be that after a long and contented life of almost 19 years, Moppet is winning her final fight. More than 1,000 people have posted messages of condemnation on two national newspaper websites, re-opening the question of whether, without restraint by the criminal justice system, hunts should be allowed to cause so much distress to people who seek no more than the peaceful occupation of their property.

And as long as the internet exists, people seeking information through search engines will find the names of the Staintondale and Goathland hunts tainted by reports such as this one, recording the violation of Les and Margaret's rights, and the death of Moppet.

The Daily Mail report.

Les's interview on Radio 5 and BBC Radio York.

Barbara Ellen's comments in The Guardian.

Sign must go

An illegal "keep out" sign on a Scarborough bridleway could be removed by the New Year, say North Yorkshire County Council.

The sign, found on a gate at Stepney Hill Farm, was reported by a Scarborough group member who was checking the route of our walk on January 1.  It was reported to council officers, who are contacting the landowner.

Christmas lunch

Seventeen members attended the Christmas lunch at the Hayburn Wyke Hotel on Sunday 18th December.

Six worked up an appetite on a circular walk from the hotel  in brilliant winter sunshine, interspersed with a few hail flurries. Several others walked to the lunch along the former railway line. - 18 December 2011.

Our new Chief Exec

The new £80,000-a-year Chief Executive of the Ramblers' Association is to be Benedict Southworth, a career charity administrator, who has spent the last two years as a consultant.

A statement issued by the trustees' chairman, Rodney Whittaker, states that Mr Southworth is "passionate about walking". The new chief exec, who takes over on February 1, calls himself a "keen walker" but there is no further description of his experience.  One report suggested that Mr Southworth, who was chosen from 110 applicants, had joined East Surrey Group.

His brief CV reads: "Benedict Southworth has spent twenty years campaigning around the world on the environment, development and human rights. After working for FOE, Greenpeace and Amnesty International his most recent position was as the Director of the World Development Movement.

"He is currently working as an advisor with clients such as Action Aid International, Gingerbread, Our Life, Friends of the Earth and the Pew Charitable Trusts."

The full PR handout can be read here.

He Twitters at and has a blog at

You can see him in action at one of the many seminars/training courses/summer schools at which he talks, at 


9 December 2011

Driffield group disbands

The Driffield group, which had 62 members, decided to close last week, as it could not find anyone to fill various posts, and no walks had been arranged for the coming year.  The group was also concerned that it had been unable to recruit any younger members.

Members are being re-assigned to neighbouring groups. - 5 December 2011.

Stile style

Sorry ladies, but Berghaus boots and Craghopper pants are just so passé.  

Haute couture for skipping through cowpats and clambering over stiles for 2011 dictates nothing less than J Brand leather jeans at £875, Bally boots at £625, a Miu Miu coat (£1,275) and a £250 Mulberry beanie.

As for a rucksack...forget it - pack your sarnies and sit-mat in a patchwork tweed bag

Who says so?  The fashion team on The Times, no less.  Three writers chose their rambling must-haves on Wednesday. They are:

LEFT: Clash chunky knitted patterns with sheepskin gilets, bright woollen trousers and a patchwork tweed bag. Keep to an autumnal colour scheme and you won’t scare the wildlife. - Gilet, £119, by Zara; coat, £199, by Max & Co; shawl, £20, and bag, £45, both by River Island; beanie, £127, by Marni; necklace, £183, by Bex Rox; trousers, £99, by Jaeger; gloves, £29 by Jigsaw; boots, £625, by Bally.

CENTRE: As you’re in the country, take inspiration from Nature. Animal prints are everywhere this season — here is a dapper badger and a squirrel print skirt — perfect for teaming with faux fur, shearling and plaid shirts. - Hat, £179, by Paul Smith; shirt, £44.90, by Massimo Dutti; T-shirt, £25, by Brat & Suzie; gilet, £495, by Twenty8Twelve; skirt, £129, by NW3 by Hobbs; bag, £19.95, by Gap; boots, £285, by The Kooples.

RIGHT: Inject a touch of fashion into the wilderness but keep it practical. Leather trousers are warm, funky flat boots are easy to walk in and a big beanie will keep you snug. If you are tapping into the cropped jumper trend, make sure you layer up underneath. - Blouse, £110, gloves, £59, and bag, £59, all by Jigsaw; cropped jumper, £240, by Amy Hall; beanie, £250, by Mulberry; coat, £1,275, by Miu Miu; leather jeans, £875, by J Brand; boots, £340, by Pedro Garcia ( 

So get those Christmas lists out again, ladies.  We're looking forward to some stylish turnouts in the New Year.  Not sure about the badger and squirrel print skirt though. - 25 November 2011

In lead for 60 years

Margaret Ingham, a Ramblers member since the late 1940s, celebrated her 80th birthday at a lunch with 18 of her regular walking companions on November 18.

Margaret, who lives in Snainton, led her first walk 60 years ago, and has since led in ten countries overseas, mainly for the Holiday Fellowship.

Some years ago, she formed a group for those who wanted to walk less than 10 miles, and at an easy pace.  Her present fortnightly group includes several Scarborough members.

A birthday cake on view at the lunch, at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough, depicted a miniature Margaret in walking kit, complete with poles, a flask, deer, and icing peaks and conifers.- 18 November 2011









Wayward arts

Almost a quarter of a million pounds is being spent on ten works of art beside the Yorkshire Wolds Way.

One of the first to be unveiled, Waves And Time by Chris Drury, uses earth to form a large spiral that reaches across the valley floor to a recreated dew pond.  It can be seen at the junction of Worm Dale, Bradenham Dale and Thixendale, NGR  SE846589.

At West Farm near Wintringham, SE891743, Jony Easterby has created Enclosure Rites, which includes a fence of oak posts and a dew pond.

The National Lottery has provided £80,000, and a further £150,000 has come from the government and the European Union - an East Riding County Council spokesman said external finance was being sought to continue the project.

Other artwork is planned fpr Folkton Wold at 047777, Heslerton Brow/Sherburn Wold, Huggate-Horse Dale, above Millington, 
Goodmanham, Market Weighton, and South Cave. - 5 November 2011

New Chief Exec must get out more

The new £80,000-a-year Chief Executive of The Ramblers must be a keen walker, Scarborough group committee has told the national organisation's trustees.  

The current Chief Exec, Tom Franklin, is leaving in December to become CEO of Think Global, an education charity aimed at promoting knowledge of sustainability, climate change and world poverty. 

After the October Scarborough group committee meeting, chairman Phil Trafford wrote to the trustees: 

Image removed by sender."The Scarborough group consider that it is imperative to appoint a new chief executive who is both  a highly competent leader and administrator AND a keen walker. We would not like to see another career charity chief executive, who does not appreciate the importance of rights of way work to the members, and sees the charity which he is running merely as a stepping stone in his career.  

We consider that it would be much easier to recruit a suitable candidate if the central office was relocated away from London, where it is unlikely that such an individual would be living. We would suggest Sheffield as an ideal city as it is so near the Peak District where so much of the Ramblers' early work was carried out."  

The trustees' chairman, Mr Rodney Whittaker, has replied: "The job ad asks that candidates be tireless and passionate about our cause', and the candidate pack specifically mentions 'sharing our passion for the cause' and an 'empathy for the Ramblers vision and values'. 

I can assure you that Tom Franklin has fully demonstrated these during his time as Chief Executive, and I regret that some parts of the organisation have come to believe otherwise..

Of course, we also need to find someone who's capable of leading a complex organisation with all the skills that demands. The board will be aiming to find that combination.

Regarding location, as you may be aware, the board has already decided in principle that, at the conclusion of the current London office lease in 2015, it will consider relocation outside London. It won't surprise you that we've already had a number of suggestions for the best place for our Central Office."

Mr Franklin, a former Labour Party councillor in London, joined The Ramblers five years ago at an advertised salary of £70,000, after being CEO of Living Streets (formerly the Pedestrians' Association).   

The job specification for his successor and the full application pack make no mention of any requirement for candidates to have any experience of leisure walking.

The spec reads: The new Chief Executive will have the robust management and inspirational leadership style needed to oversee an organisation with 80 employees, a large membership base, complex governance and enthusiastic volunteers. He/she must lead from the front and be a figurehead for the organisation while being inclusive and working closely with trustees, staff and volunteers. The Chief Executive must have a track record of strategy development and implementation, a belief in campaigning to achieve results, an appreciation of the importance of consultation and dialogue, exceptional communication and listening skills, high standards for service delivery and an ability to inspire volunteers and the public. He/she needs the acumen to secure both the continued high profile of Ramblers and a sustainable level of income for the organisation. He/she must have a profound empathy for our cause. 

The candidate pack can be downloaded here

Tempted by £80,000 a year? A Zip file of the full application bundle can be downloaded from the  Resources page.  Applications close on November 9.

21 October 2011

Walk leader needed

Richard Bedford is unable to lead his walk from Wheeldale on November 27, and is seeking a stand-in.  Please call him on 01723 341568.- 18 October 2011  Les Atkinson has volunteered. - 25 November 11

Protecting the Yorkshire Wolds

An online petition is promoting the designation of the Yorkshire Wolds as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

These areas are created by Natural England (formerly the Countryside Commission) to provide protection of the landscape by restricting development, while respecting the rights and needs of people who live and work there.  

AONBs are distinct from national parks because they are designed to cover areas where there are fewer opportunities for outdoor leisure. 

In the North York Moors, for example, there are extensive tracts that walkers, cyclists and riders can exploit with little restriction, while on the Yorkshire Wolds, there are relatively few rights of way and open access areas, and virtually no wild ground..  

Although intensive agriculture has made a significant impact on the Wolds, the landscape (such as that pictured above in Horsedale) is still felt to have high scenic quality, which would be protected under the AONB regime.  

Current concern is centred on a proliferation of applications for wind turbines, and the petition has been initiated by a protest organisation, the No To Wolds Wind Farm Group. 

Some may feel unease that the issues - the specific concern about wind turbines and the general ambition to safeguard the landscape - have been interlinked, in case signing the petition might be seen as wholesale endorsement of the group's existing and future attitude to any wind turbine application. However, the phrasing of the petition does not go beyond requesting the creation of an AONB.

A statement of the Ramblers' national policy can be found here.

The petition can be found here

14 October 2011

Missing key

The "Programme notes and abbreviations" key is missing from the inside back page of the area's 2011-12 winter walks handbook.  A scan of the page is available here. - 7 October 2011.

Walking for hospice

Several members of the group joined the annual six-mile midnight walk to raise funds for St Catherine's Hospice, Scarborough, on the night of September 10-11.  They included Margaret and Les Atkinson, Anne Thornton, Sue and Malcolm Hunter. Please let mw know of anyone I've missed. - 15 September 2011.  

Les's gold award

Our footpaths secretary, Les Atkinson, has achieved Gold status in the National Navigation Award Scheme, after being awarded Silver in March.

Les's story appeared in the Scarborough Evening News, gaining valuable publicity for the group.

He was quoted saying: “I have always been in to rambling and I thought I would have my ability to navigate test.

“I have no other qualifications, and I though if I can do it at 75 other people can do it to.”

Les, who used to work at Plaxton in Scarborough and was part of the North York Moors Rescue Team, attended a two day training course before sitting a written exam, then passing  a practical assignment during a walk on the Yorkshire Dales.

He said: “It wasn’t easy and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it, but I am really pleased that I did.” - 21 August 2011


Sold on Mountain Warehouse

I think it's worth mentioning examples of both good and bad service from suppliers of walking kit, so I'll chip in with my experience of Mountain Warehouse in Scarborough today.

Almost seven months ago, I bought a large rucksack from them, but I made no real use of it until May/June, when I carried it for 11 days.  In the course of that, one of the water bottle nets virtually shredded, and the internal divider between the main compartment and the lower one tore badly near the seam.

I walked into the shop and asked for a refund, which I was given immediately, cheerfully and apologetically. It's just a pity that some other retailers, such as Sports Direct, don't realise how important it is to demonstrate to customers that they can shop with confidence that if anything goes wrong, the proper remedy will be forthcoming, ungrudging, unqualified and immediate. - 7 June 11

Get Walking Day - 14 May 2011

Over the weekend of 14 and 15 May the Ramblers will be running hundreds of short led walks across Great Britain as part of Get Walking Day.

In Scarborough, the easy five-mile walk will start from the Sea Life Centre at 2pm on Saturday 14th..

Get Walking Day is a great opportunity to help people discover the joy of walking and to promote fantastic benefits that walking can bring.

Just 30 minutes walking five times a week can have a positive effect on your fitness, physical health and help you to control your weight. 

Bring your friends and family – everyone’s welcome. We’re sure you’ll enjoy yourself and hope that you’ll walk as a result.

Right-click then select Save As to download A5 poster







National Park parking charges rise

Anyone stopping for more than two hours in North York Moors car parks has been charged £4 from Sunday March 27, while the previous £2.20 charge remains for shorter stays.

This 90% rise for longer stays will be of greatest significance to leisure users of the park, as cyclists and walkers are the main categories of visitors who will be committed to leaving their cars for more than two hours.

In addition, charges (albeit lower) will apply for the first time at Saltergate car park at the Hole of Horcum.  There, the first two hours cost £1, and longer stays cost £2.  There were 26 vehicles in the car park on the afternoon before charges started, and it will be interesting to see if they have any effect. Notices about the charge were not easy to spot. 

Pay and display machines have been installed, so that the park authority can collect ticket fees during the winter, when booths are unmanned.

The car parks affected are at Goathland, Grosmont, Thornton-le-Dale, Hutton-le-Hole, Newton under Roseberry, Saltergate, Sutton Bank National Park Centre and The Moors National Park Centre.

Millets and Blacks discount card

Millets and Blacks are offering a 15% discount at all of their branches to anyone holding a group discount card. Les Atkinson is receiving names and addresses for passing to the firm on behalf of Scarborough Ramblers.  The discount is applied in addition to any special sales offers. Click to email Les.  (In Scarborough, both the Millets and Outdoor Warehouse shops seem to allow 10% discount automatically to anyone who requests it. The Regatta clearance shop at Hornsea grants 10% to anyone who claims to be a Ramblers member.)