The Dales Way. Dogs and Cattle.

Ilk T Club Dogs 3

A lady dog walker contacted us and sent in the above photograph. She was concerned that the sign, positioned next to the Dales Way finger post, may be misinterpreted by first time Dales Way walkers thinking that it referred to the Dales Way footpath.

The notice is in the grounds of the Tennis Club indicating that no dogs are allowed inside their property. Dogs are welcome along the Dales Way but must always be under control.

As prospective walkers may be dusting down their guide books and maps, ready to embark on the great adventure, now is an appropriate time to add a few words re the title above.

Re your dogs, they must be under your control: on a lead where a notice requests you to do so, and in a field where animals are present.

Re dogs you may meet en route: problems with aggressive animals are extremely rare, but if you or any member of your party are threatened by a dog, the incident should be reported to the local police who will take appropriate action. We would like to be informed also, where we would take the matter up with the Authority or Council concerned. The Dogs Act 1871, although old is still powerful, providing a civil remedy . . . . even in and around a private dwelling. (Defra)

Re Cattle: again, problems with walkers and cattle are infrequent, but do happen. As a large part of the Dales Way passes through farmland (completely closed in 2001 because of the Foot and Mouth  outbreak) you can see cattle anywhere on your walk. The last incident reported to the YDNPA was in October 2012 and they sent the following information to help walkers.

“In the Yorkshire Dales, it is relatively common to find non-dairy bulls in a field along with cows or heifers, where that field is crossed by a right of way. It is important to understand that this is perfectly legal. However if a walker was attacked and injured by the cattle or bull and injured, the keeper may be liable for prosecution and sued for damages (under various acts,  if it was proved that he was aware of dangerous characteristics in the animals.)

The nature of Dales farming often means that the best grazing land is in the dales bottoms and this tends to be where the footpaths also run. We always advise to give cattle a wide berth. Dogs and cattle are often the trigger for incidents, where the cattle, especially when calves are present, become suspicious of the dog. In this case our advice is to let go of the dogs lead and quickly exit the field, allowing the dog to outrun the cattle”

Iain Mann. YDNPA

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Dales Way Association Committee Meetings. AGM 2017

The Dales Way Committee meet 3 times each year, usually January, April and August.For the last 4 years we have met in Settle, moving from West Leeds to accommodate our two members, Tony and Donald, who have to travel from Burneside and Windermere respectively. At our meeting on January 19th, following other business, we fixed the date for our Annual General Meeting. Saturday November 11th. 2017

Our AGM used to be held in the Linton Village Hall, Linton in Craven, which is near Grassington, with a very pleasant country pub overlooking the village green, ideal for lunch after the traditional morning walk. The only problem we had was that the attendance at the meetings usually consisted of the Committee [less apologies] with guests numbering between 1 and 5. At the meeting in 2010 we had 3 visitors. In 2011 with a similar number we decided that a meeting place for our AGM needed to be somewhere easier and more convenient to reach if we wished to attract more people; with good  rail and road transport, together with other attractions. We decided on Ilkey for 2012.

The 2017 AGM will once again, be held at some pleasant and welcoming hostelry. With numbers joining in the morning walk in the mid twenties, it has proved to be the correct decision. Some couples and individuals construct an away break around the AGM, and travel some distance to get there.

With a decent attendance, we have become more adventurous for this years meeting and have invited a speaker. Alan Hulme, Head of Ranger Services, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority will present a slide show and commentary titled, “A walk in the Park”

The day will commence with a 3 to 4 mile walk then lunch, with the meeting starting at 2pm and finishing at 4pm.

The date for the meeting is Saturday November 11th. We have picked this date to avoid local school holidays and festivals that we are aware of, to hopefully, avoid the increase in accommodation that those events attract. Further details will be published nearer the date on our web page.

We hope to see you on the day.

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The Final Step. Sprint Mill Footbridge finally replaced and open to walkers.

new-sprint-brisge-open-250117The new footbridge is now in place. The original pillar which was in the middle of the river has been omitted, thus allowing huge floating objectives free passage, one such object suspected as being the cause of the original damage. CCC has been working closely with the mill owners, whose insurers’ settlement has funded the project, to design a bespoke bridge that is more fitting for present and future use. CCC has provided the usual technical expertise, namely design and method statements, obtaining necessary EA and NE consents, tenders and contract management during the works. On behalf of all our future Dales Way travellers, the Dales Way Association wish to thank all those involved in putting this bridge in place.


Open all hours.

Photos supplied by Geoff Fewkes. Countryside Access Officer. CCC

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Cumbria County Council Rangers continue to improve the Dales Way.


This distinctive ladder stile between Burneside and Bowston will be remembered by all who have climbed it. An improvement was suggested by the landowner and CCC following their policy to make the Dales Way more accessible, by replacing stiles with gates, have provided something a bit easier to negotiate. This has been funded by their Rights of Way Improvement Project. (RoWIP)  The new alternative will be appreciated by many of our senior and parents of very young, walkers.


Photographs by Geoff Fewkes. Countryside Access Officer. CCC.


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The New Bridge at Birks Mill, Sedbergh has been completed.


Carl Lis, the Chairman of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority with local resident Richard Thomas, who uses the bridge daily cutting the tape.

Opening the new bridge at Birks Mill, near Sedbergh, in a ceremony on Wednesday, 30th November, Carl Lis said, “The construction of this wonderful new Birks Mill Bridge has been achieved through great teamwork, both amongst those actually working on site, and those providing material and financial support. It will be a great boon to both the local community  and the many visitors who come to walk in this beautiful part of the National Park.”

The components for the bridge were supplied by Cumbria County Council and it was then constructed by Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Rangers, Apprentices and Volunteers in a little over two weeks. A new ramp at one end, steps at the other and surfacing of the path at both ends completed the project.

Nick Cotton, the National Park Authority’s Member Champion for Recreational Management, said “The National Park Authority treats the maintenance of the 2600 kms of public rights of way in the Park as a top priority, to ensure the network is kept in the best possible condition for all the walkers, cyclists and horse riders who use it. In that way we are helping to realise the immense potential for outdoor recreation in Yorkshire Dales Nation Park, consistent with the Government’s 8-Point Plan for England’s National Parks

We couldn’t do all this work without the help we get – in terms of finance, materials or volunteer workers – both individuals, businesses or other partnership organisations and we are very grateful to them for their support.”

Donors for the project are mentioned in the previous bridge item below.


Pictures supplied by Yorkshire Dales National Park  

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Sprint Road Bridge has now reopened.

Sprint road bridge is now open to pedestrians and vehicles, except for larger wagons, as the bridge in Burneside has not yet been repaired. This stretch of road is no longer part of the Dales Way, but in an emergency, walkers may wish to get to Burneside as quickly as possible from the Oakbank junction, rather than follow the Dales Way via the present route over the aqua- bridge.

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Another Bridge being replaced.

This was the remains of the footbridge, on your left as you enter Birks Mill on the Dales Way, heading for Brigg Flatts, after Storm Desmond. Its disappearance means that people wanting to cross the River Rawthey between Birks and Catholes are forced to take a 2 kilometres detour via Millthrop, reported YDNPA Ranger Paul Wilkinson, at the time.


Work has now started to replace it. The new bridge has a span of over 33 metres. Photo enthusiasts will notice that the middle support has been excluded in the present design, this is inline with the current re-evaluation of the changes in our weather regarding rainfall, river and bridges, as Storm Desmond has reminded us about the unpredictability of nature. The new bridge is higher and the lattice work design and lack of the middle support is to decrease the pressure of water when the river rises.The bridge has been supplied by Cumbria County Council and will be assembled by Yorkshire Dales National Park Authorities rangers. The bridge should be open to walkers by the end of November.

The Authority has been working with a number of partners to plan the replacement. Financial support has come from CCC, the YDNPA, Sedbergh Parish Council, Friends of the Lake District, HF Holidays (Pathways Fund) the Lancaster Group of the Ramblers’ Association and the Dales Way Association.

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