Alex retires

AlexMcManus

Alex McManus – Cam High Road, 2 May 2011.

Alex McManus, our Footpaths Officer for many years, has decided to retire from active service with the Dales Way Association.

Alex has served the Association in this capacity for very many years and has worked hard to help improve and maintain the Dales Way path for the benefit of Dales Way walkers.

He first joined the DWA committee in 2003 and became Footpaths Officer in 2005. He also served as Newsletter Editor from 2010 to 2014 and turned his hand to a number of other roles, including minutes secretary for a while.

He helped steer the Association through two major crises – in 2008 and 2012, when the DWA faced closure. As Footpaths Officer he was particularly busy following the disastrous floods in the winter of 2015, when several bridges and sections of the path were swept away. Alex worked tirelessly to help walkers find their way around detours, in some cases engaging in a spot of guerrilla waymarking.

Over the years, through his dedication, hard work and persistence, he built up the respect and admiration of many of the local authority Rangers who look after the trail.
But the time has come for him to hang up his boots, put his feet up and enjoy a bit of respite.

Alex is going to be a hard act to follow – in fact we aren’t going to try to replace him. Instead, the DWA committee is going to divide the route up into sections according to the responsible local authority and take on a section each as members, returning to a working pattern adopted early on in the Association’s history.

We’re going to miss Alex.

However, we’re hoping that Alex will still find time to contribute occasionally to this News Section, and our Newsletter.

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The Buck . . . . . . is back.

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The Buck Inn re-opened for the Bank Holiday week-end after a year and a half. This news was sent to us by Lynn and Stephen, from West Wind Tea Rooms and Walker’s Lodge in their popular Newsletter. The Buck has been taken on by Jeremy and Joanne, both of whom have parents living in the village. We hope that walkers take advantage and give this important village business their support.

Lynn goes on to inform us that this brings to five, the number of places to get an evening meal within 2 miles of Buckden. As well as the all-new Buck, there is the George Inn at Hubberholme, the White Lion Inn at Cray and the Fox and Hounds and Cellia’s Pizzeria at Starbottom.

The Dales Way Association welcome its return and hope that it prospers, along with the other accommodations listed on our Home Page. Buckden is an important staging post on the Dales Way journey.

Walking the Dales Way

CiceroneDalesWayTerry Marsh produced his first guide to walking the Dales Way 25 years ago, and the latest edition to his popular guide book has just been published by Cicerone Press.

The new book matches the revamped layout of Cicerone’s long distance guides, coming with a separate map booklet with the route shown on OS mapping at a scale of 1:25,000.

As well as a detailed account of each days walking – in both directions – Terry includes a broad range of information on accommodation, public transport, suggested itineraries, facilities on route, wildlife, geology, history and culture, along with a host of his colourful photos.

Terry is a seasoned walk writer, with over 120 titles to his name. He is also a generous supporter of the Dales Way Association and his passion for the trail is clear; “When it came to this new edition, I again walked the route in its entirety between October 2016 and August 2017. The enchantment I experienced during that first effort has reduced not one iota – the Dales Way is every bit as beautiful and charming and agreeable as ever it was… This still ranks as the finest multi-day walking route in Britain on which to cut your teeth.”

Cicerone Guides have their own loyal followers, and Terry Marsh’s guidebook will not disappoint them.

Walking the Dales Way, by Terry Marsh
Cicerone, ISBN 9781852849436, 2018, £14.95

Nothing lasts forever . . . . . . . . . .

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Over the years, the Dales Way Association has been asked for advice by walkers as to how they can place, maybe a seat or sapling etc together with a suitable plaque along the Dales Way to mark a special event. A few have been successful, as observant walkers may have discovered, but in general, the Authorities and Councils along the way are not in favour. However, those who wish to do any of the above, could find a solution with the Lake District National Park Authority.

Last year the DWA produced a video in their Dales Way. By gate, stile and fingerpost series, Staveley to Bowness. This video can be viewed, along with the others, on our Home page. All current fingerposts are in the video. Following on from this we asked the Authority if some of the fingerposts could be replaced. They agreed, and we offered to contribute. They in turn said that they had in place a procedure whereby items could be sponsored and an appropriate plaque put in place.

5 replacement Dales Way fingerposts have now been added to their web site available for adoption. The fingerposts will have Dales Way on the blade, some with a destination  and mileage. To view, follow instructions below.

Go to http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk  and scroll down to the bottom of the home page, click on to make a donation. Scroll down to Pick an area to sponsor then click the tab Central and South Eastern area.

The Dales Way fingerposts are the last additions and are in a West to East sequence.

Why do landowners always put gates in the middle of a puddle?

DWay Gate Tennis ClubThis photo was taken on Tuesday 26th March by committee member Tony Grogan. This is the third gate after leaving the Ilkley Tennis Club at the start of the Dales Way. Walkers were avoiding this altogether and walking on the other side of the fence in the farmers field leading to the farmers gate. Apparently this is not an isolated case. The Area Right of Way Officer of Bradford Metropolitan District Council has been informed. They, in turn, have contacted their Countryside Team to see if the drainage can be improved.

“If at first you don’t succeed . . . . . . . . . .”

 

Following a complaint from three senior walkers in October 2014 about difficult stiles between Bolton Bridge and Addingham, I contacted Tim Brooks, Area Right of Way Officer, Bradford Metropolitan District Council, on behalf of the Dales Way Association, as to how this section of the Dales Way could be improved for Dales Way and local walkers. For reference, a video was produced of all the stiles from Olicana Caravan park to Bolton Road. This was put up on YouTube under the title: Ilkley to B Ab. Stiles. (Dales Way – of  limited interest)

Particular reference was made about the very difficult high stile near the steps leading up to Bolton Road. (Right hand stile above.) Resistance to any change by the landowner prevented any progress with no legal way to change the situation.

However, Tim Brooks has now informed us that they have permission to replace two of the stiles on this section. The ladder stile will be replaced with a pedestrian gate and the wooden stile replaced with a kissing gate. This latter improvement is most welcome, as the height of the step-over makes it very difficult for all but the most agile walker to cross. This work will be done at some point in the summer.

The Dales Way Association, on behalf of all Dales Way and local walkers, wish to thank Bradford Metropolitan District Council Officers for their tenacity in following up and solving walkers complaints.

 

Cumbria County Council continue to improve the Dales Way with a new gate and footbridge.

Gate AA difficult, very old stile, especially in wet weather, for small children and those less agile than they used to be, has been replaced with a new gate. This is on the footpath between Burton House and the Oak Bank Road. Sad but necessary, I am afraid.

20180223_125524Further along the trail, a damaged plank bridge has been replaced with a handsome new fit for purpose crossing.

 

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The bridge has been replaced under CCC Flood Recovery Program funded by the Rural Payments Agency’s Cumbria Countryside Access Fund, which is being used to repair the damage on flagship routes within the county. Photos by CCC