Blog

Let’s Learn Moor 2019

The first week in July saw the Yorkshire Dales Moorland Group welcome 217 school children to Grinton estate which is one of there managed moorlands in the Yorkshire Dales.

The children learnt all about the exceptional conservation work our gamekeepers do, the habitat managed moorlands create and what wildlife thrive on them.

Alongside this we had the following organisations that play their part in protecting and helping our moorlands.

* Swaledale Mountain Rescue

* Richmond Fire & Rescue

* Northern Sky Falconry

* Paul Whent – Local Bee Keeper

Gamekeepers from 6 different estates across the dales spoke to the children over the two days on the following topics…

* Wildlife and predator control

* Gundogs and the role they play

* Heather burning – during this session children were shown the the old fashion and modern day equipment used. We had an ArgoCat on site which is an all terrain vehicle that plays an important part in moorland management as it can handle the most difficult terrain, therefore can get close to most fires with a water tank on the back… the children took turns using the machine to spray the water which was enjoyed by all of them during these warm condition.

A huge thank you to BASC, MA, NGO & Countryside Learning for all their help and support to make this event such a success. It’s wonderful to see all these big organisations working together on such a worthy project.

It wasn’t just us ., all 6 regional moorland groups are taking part in this years #LetsLearnMoor19 showcasing different organisations specific to each area and how they play their part in working along side us.

During this week over 1400 school children have had this fantastic outdoor learning experience., what an amazing week of educating the next generation., without a computer in sight 🙌🏻

Each child went away with one of our #YDMG goodie bags which contains our new colourful fun activity work booklet to continue their learning at home and hopefully encourage them to get back out into the countryside soon! 😊☀️

#letslearnmoor19 #outdooreducation #managedmoorland #yorkshiredales #outdoorclassroom #letslearnmoor #moorlandgroups #conservation #habitat #sharingourpassion #countryside #beingoutdoors #YDMG

Curlew Safaris 2019 @ Bolton Castle, Wensleydale

Saturday 1st June, a selection of our YDMG Gamekeepers took members of the public on Curlew Safaris from Bolton Castle in the heart of Wensleydale.

From the castle they were driven up onto the managed moorland in small groups by an experienced gamekeeper who showed them the habitat where the Curlews and their

chicks favour and that’s it’s not only them thriving up there but a whole host of wildlife, including many other red listed, threatened birds.

On today’s Safaris the guests were treated to seeing lapwing, grouse, shorteared owl, little owl, sparrowhawk, ring ouzel, golden plover, wheatears, redshank, skylark, buzzard and redstart.

Over the last thirty years curlew numbers have fallen by an alarming 20 per cent across the European continent, and in their most western reaches in the Irish Republic there is nothing short of a disaster unfolding. In the 1980s there were around 5,000 pairs of nesting curlews, today there are fewer than 130, a staggering drop of 99 per cent. So alarming are the figures that curlews were made a species of highest conservation concern in the UK in December 2015, and put onto the red list of threatened species by the IUCN, the worldwide union of conservation bodies which monitors the status of animals and plants throughout the globe. They are now in the same category as jaguars, ‘near threatened,’ which means extinction is likely in the future.

Scientific research has shown that where moors are managed by gamekeepers, ground nesting birds such as curlew and lapwing are 3.5 times more likely to raise a chick to fledging. A survey of upland breeding birds in parts of England and Scotland has also found that the densities of golden plover, curlew, redshank and lapwing were up to five-fold greater on managed grouse moors, compared to moorland that was not keepered.

Radio 4 also came along today and spoke to us, this interview will be aired in July.

#curlew #curlewsafaris #redlist #threatened #managedmoorland #favouritehabitat #wildlife #wehavewildlife #gamekeepers #wensleydale #yorkshire #yorkshiredales #YDMG #radio4

Grouse update 2019

Red Grouse are known as the king of game birds… this hen certainly is the queen of motherhood keeping all these chicks in check 🙌🏻

Early brood size monitoring is looking positive and suggest we should have a surplus of Grouse this year on a higher percentage of our moors which mean we can hold more shoot days within the Yorkshire Dales, unlike last season where a lot of estates did not shoot at all.

This had a huge impact on the local economy.

No shoot days = no casual staff needed (beaters, flankers, loaders, pickers up), no caterers needed meaning the local butcher, baker, and green grocer all suffered, there was no hotels needed, no extra vehicle hire, no extra fuel at the local filling stations, no extra trade for local shops.

The absence of grouse was felt not just on the moors, but also on the restaurant menus.

If the weather stays kind to us between now and August we are hopeful for a much better year 🤞🏻

#Grouse #redgrouse #kingofgamebirds #queenofmotherhood #grousechicks #motherhen #brood #localeconomy #gametoeat #fieldtofork #managedmoorland #local #yorkshire #yorkshiredales #YDMG

Charity Working Gundog Test 2019

This year we held out annual charity working gundog test on the prolific Bolton Abbey Estate, by kind permission of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.  We had set the date of Saturday 23rd February, slightly concerned that the weather would no be in our favour, however competitors and spectators enjoyed spring like weather conditions.

Once again we were treated to some fantastic dog work and successfully raised over £3500.00 for some outdoor leaning equipment for the local primary school.

This event did not only benefit the local school but once again the local economy benefited from out of peak season bed nights spent in local hotels and B&Bs from all the competitors and helpers who travelled from as far a field as Sweden and Scotland.

The winning teams were ..

1st place – Team – Three wise men
Mr C Pilkington
Mr W Dewhurst
Mr H Vincent-Price

2nd place – Team – The A team
Mr P Newton
Mr Stephen Le Voi
Mr D Ross

3rd place – Team – Wuffitmix
Nicola Reynolds
Sarah Miles
Gary McCarthy

Highest scoring dog of the day was Maderablanca Amarillo with handler Stephen Le Voi who won the Jimmy Swindlehurst memorial cup