Sunday, 17 September 2017

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Learning How To Handle a Hay Rake

As a thank you to the children for all their hard work producing drawings, paintings & collage
 for the new Cow House Children's Guided Walk leaflet they were invited to come to Pry House Farm for an afternoon in the hay field followed by a traditional hay time tea.

 Chris shows the children how to turn the hay.

 Then it was time to 'row up' and it was all hands to the rakes!
and finally making 'foot cocks' and 'jockeys'.
Handling a hay rake correctly and efficiently is hard work and not as easy as it looks.
Everyone had a go, they worked hard and definitely earned their tea!

Thursday, 31 August 2017

From my kitchen window this morning

An early morning sunray highlights the plumage of
the delightful little Meadow Pipet.

Born Free

I love to see our cows out on the moor but when they wander onto the road side
 and take up residence, I often wonder what visitors to the top of the dale think, when they round a corner to find several large bovine either on or very close to the highway!

We have had several calves born outside on the open moor this year. 

The little brown one is the youngest.

Grazing on some sweet grass on the roadside.

Lunch on tap!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Heather Hills

Vibrant purple heather with Hilltop in the background.


Exploring the many waterfalls at the top of Hoggarth's Gill

Spying on the neighbours.  Hey-there Smithyholme!

Iron gate at top of Hoggarth's Cow Pasture

Purple heather in profusion.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Wool filled pillows from the Woolroom


A huge delivery of products from the Woolroom arrived at Pry House Farm today.
Wool is nature's miracle fibre; never too hot and never too cold.
I buy from the Woolroom in Ipswich which is run by Bob the Shepherd and his wife, Nicky.  What better endorsement could you ask for? A Suffolk Shepherd and a hill farmer's wife from Swaledale!


The pillows & duvet in the Shepherd's Hut have always been wool but now Woolroom products can be found in the bed & breakfast and Hillcrest Holiday Cottage.

Everything from the Woolroom comes in its own strong, linen bag which after some ingenious disguise by a clever friend of mine now make perfect storage bags ......
  
 .......... and at the same time provide extra cushions for the daybed. 

  The pillows are adjustable;  too firm - remove some filling, too soft - add a bit more. They regulate the temperature so no more waking up feeling hot and having to turn the pillow over to the cool side.
They are completely washable too.  If they help my guests sleep well then I will be happy.
 

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

A Yorkshire Shepherd on Camera

The Yorkshire Dales National Parks 'Every Barn Cowus Tells A Story Project' is well under way and several local people have been chosen to tell their stories and share their experiences of what life was like when the Cow Houses were in use on a daily basis.

 Chris has many memories of working with stock in Cow Houses and Hogg Houses at Hoggarths, Harkers, Firs and Thorns.  Here he is getting 'mic-ed up' ready to be interviewed.
 From an early age Chris helped his father on the farm and when he left school he wanted nothing else than to be a farmer.  On a daily basis, throughout the long winter months he helped fodder the stock in these off-buildings known in Upper Swaledale as Cowus' and Hogg Houses.
 Sussing out the location of one of Chris' stories with the film maker.
Firs Hogg House stands at approx 1400ft above sea level and is where, in the winter of 1979, Chris and his dad and their neighbour and his hired man where 'holed up' for several hours sheltering from a snow storm.  Firs hogg house is less than a mile from Hoggarths (we can see it from Pry House) but the weather was so severe and visibility so bad it wasn't safe to walk back to Hoggarths along the road for fear of getting lost so they made their way down the pasture to the River Swale in the bottom and followed the river, crossed the bridge and finally walked back up the house.

Filming at Harkers Cow House and Hay Mew.
I was asked by the YDNParks to interview people who had memories to share and to get their stories on tape.  I talked with over 25 people; present residents of the dale and those who now live far away.  It has been a marvellous project to be involved in, hugely interesting and I have learnt such a lot.