Category Archives: Moors

Ryescape Exhibition

As artists living and working in Ryedale, we are lucking to not only live in a beautiful place, but we also have the benefit of support from a remarkable Creative Economy Officer in Yvette Turnbull whose enthusiasm for and nurturing of creatives is infectious and her support both active, constructive and generous. We have been lucky enough to benefit from Yvette’s support over the years and for that, we are eternally grateful.

As an example of this work, Ryedale District Council have produced a map, called RyeScape – the map is designed to help make the most of all Ryedale has to offer culturally – it shows Galleries, Artists’ Studios, Public Artworks, Theatres, Art Centres, Museums, Heritage Attractions, Festivals and Events.  It also highlights landscapes of particular cultural importance and Ryedale has many!

In addition to the RyeScape map, twenty of the Ryedale artists are holding an exhibition to support and promote their work, also called RyeScape.  Ryedale District Council have worked in association with Ryedale Folk Museum, who will host the exhibition in their gallery at Hutton le Hole. The show will be on during Easter and the May Day Bank Holiday, so it is a great time to visit this beautiful area.

A Baa-rilliant Day On The Moors

Tuesday was due to be snowy, so I set the alarm for early and headed down the lane near home to a location I’d had in mind for a while. As the light came up it all looked promising, but just before sunrise, a snow squall blew in and obscured the colour in the sky, so I headed home for a coffee and a warm up, then loaded the car for a day out on the moors.

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Despite all the dire warnings on the news, the Whitby moor road proved to be clear apart from a little slush, so we pressed on towards Goathland in the hope of getting onto Egton moor. As it turned out the council had done a great job ploughing the back roads and we made it up to the crossroads above Grosmont without any problems. Understandably the Egton moor road hadn’t been ploughed, so I was faced with walking the last half mile to the famous lone tree. It was fascinating to see such a large area of pristine snow untouched by human, but absolutely covered in bird and animal tracks. As I reached the tree, the snow wasn’t quite deep enough to fully cover the heather, so I wasn’t able to produce the pure white image I had in mind. Two disappointments before 9 o’clock, this was proving to be a difficult day!

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After Egton moor, we backtracked towards Goathland and suddenly spotted some sheep on a bank near Two Howes moor. Janet had the camera on her lap ready to go and as we jumped out of the car the heavens opened and a blizzard started to fall horizontally. At first only a few sheep came to see us, then more, then loads more, until we must have had nearly a hundred. I crouched in the lee of the car to shelter as the sheep lined up on the bank, whilst Janet headed into the group like the pied piper of Goathland. As she walked away they all followed, then she turned back towards the car and they all followed her back again, what an amazing sight! They were obviously hoping she would feed them. We left this scene smiling and hopeful we’d some good shots in the bag, but with all the milling about by the sheep, who knows what we might have got. As it turned out, we’ve come away with a set of good images.

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After Goathland, we headed for Egton Bridge in the hope of getting to Danby, but met some ice on a sheltered hill so failed to get up the slope towards Limber Hill. A quick detour back to Egton Bridge and we stopped for a nice lunch at the Blacksmith’s Arms in Egton Bridge, where a cheery landlord served us a huge beef sandwich, lovely!

Suitably refreshed we headed for Lealholm on dry roads and little snow! A quick look up Fryupdale, soon showed we wouldn’t be going up on to Danby Rigg as that hill hadn’t been ploughed, so we backtracked again and ended up at Fat Betty to marvel at the wind sculpted snow drifts.

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Then on down to Bell End where the light on Hill Plantation was great so we stopped for another shoot only for the sky to cloud over with another squall just on sunset.

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A grand day out with mixed results, but now we’ve had a chance to review our images it certainly looks like having been a productive one with a whole flock of sheep images that we are really pleased with and quite a bit stock as well.

Heather Workshop on the Beautiful North York Moors

Exciting News!

The heather on the moors promises to be great this year, so we’ve teamed up with the Milburn Arms Hotel in Rosedale and they are offering a 2 night, mid-week break complete with photo tuition from Janet and myself. Contact the Milburn Arms to book and get full details. 01751-417386 or email enquiries@milburnarms.com

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Bridestones

As the autumn colour gradually increases along with the chances of getting mist in the valleys, I set my mind to thinking of a good location for capturing autumn colour. I’d tried both Newtondale from New Bridge and also further north at Levisham, but neither location had started to turn yet. I’d been to the lake at Dalby the previous week to shoot the dawn light and noticed that the trees were turning nicely there, so I decided to take a trip to the Bridestones to see if I could get both autumn colour and mist in the valley.

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I got up before dawn on what looked like a most un-promising dull, foggy morning in the hope that I would get above the fog higher up past Dalby. As I made my way through the forest drive, the fog persisted, but I pressed on and hiked up to the Bridestones. I spent an industrious hour shooting dew on the cobwebs and berries whilst I waited for the light to come. As the sun rose higher in the sky the light improved, so I tried a shot of the Bridestones with a bracken fern in the foreground, then eventually I spotted the first signs of blue sky above me, so I changed my location to shoot the clearing mist in the valley.

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As the sun rose even higher, the light started to illuminate the bushes in the foreground and the light turned beautifully warm on the surrounding area, giving me the type of scene I was looking for.

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Wild Flower & Cotton Grass

Aren’t fields full of wild flowers brilliant? Fortunately it’s been a great year for wild flowers this year with huge swathes in the fields all around Ryedale. Normally we would have to travel over to places like Wensleydale to get any quantity of wild flowers, but this year we’ve been able to capture them locally.

Buttercups have been everywhere and the Wolds are alive with Cow parsley and red & white Campion, and now the Poppies and Oxeye daises are bursting through. Traveling back from an exhibition we spotted a glorious bank of Oxeye daises in the middle of a village, so we just had to return to capture them. After that we pressed on up to Danby Rigg which was covered in cotton grass. We normally get some cotton grass on the moors, but this year there are literally acres of them.

Traveling back from Danby Rigg, we spotted another bank covered in Oxeye daises, so we just had to stop and record them as well. Swathes of wild flowers like this don’t occur every year, so we are working hard to make the most of them while they last. Poppies seem to be the one wild flower that is in short supply so far, but who knows, they are popping through all the time, so we might just get some yet.

Sheep & Highland Cows

Apologies to our readers if we’ve been a bit quite on the blog of late, but a mixture of exhibitions and decorating have taken a lot of our spare time. Excuses, excuses……

Anyway none of that has stopped us getting the shots. Travelling back and forth to the Saltburn exhibition meant our journey times were very dependent on sheep activity, so Janet took the opportunity to shoot a few (Tempting!) With the sheep standing on the grass banks, it made for a good eye level shot from the car.

Jan has also managed to come up with a great set of Highland cow images, which were immediately snapped up at the Danby visitor centre.