Last Friday night to mark the end of the Every Barn Cowus Tells A Story project
and as a 'thank you' to the local community for their involvement, an evening of
celebration was arranged by the YDNPark.
The whole project has centred on the iconic little stone buildings that Upper Swaledale is famous for (called cowhouses) and as the name suggests is where the cows lived throughout the winter. The cowhouses are not used for this purpose anymore. The cows are no longer brought in from the high pastures to winter in these little buildings anymore.
Except it did happen .... for one last time ....last Friday night.
Ghost cows were 'called in' by a local choir singing a song that had been especially written for the occasion and sung by local people.
And as the voices rang out two ghostly cows and two ghostly calves were herded into Myers Bottom cowhouse by the apparition of a sheepdog.
The ghost cows were decorated with quotes from local adults about their experiences and memories of when the cowhouses were in daily use as well as words from local children who have been learning about the cowhouses and the part they play in the history of the upper dale.
Read the full Ghost Cow story and find out more about Every Barn Tells A Story at:
where you can follow the whole story and learn loads & loads about cowhouses.
A boxed set of six walking booklets has been produced, each chosen to highlight and explain the importance of the dozens of little stone buildings (Cowhouses) that are visible from every public footpath in Muker parish.
They have been distributed to accommodation providers in the area. Here, a regular guest at Pry House Farm B&B is deciding which walk he will choose to explore.
Alongside the grown-up version is Showing You the Way ....... from Muker to Thwaite,
a children's circular cowhouse trail which was created with the help of children
living in Muker Parish.
There are two other Showing You the Way ........ children's guided walk leaflets; Keld to Muker and Keld to Angram (circular walk) both of which can be used in conjuction with the EBTAS booklets although, as children's walks, they are a bit shorter.
All three Showing You the Way leaflets are available in the Keld Countryside & Heritage Centre
and hopefully by 2018 in the National Park Centre - Hudson House, Reeth.
As the Yorkshire Dales National Park project Every Barn Cowus Tells a Story
draws to a close preparations are in full swing for the grand finale
which will take place at the end of the year.
A two day workshop to make life-size cows, calves and a sheepdog has taken place
during the October school holidays in Muker Public Hall.
Willow is bent and woven, curled and taped to create the required shape.
To get used to the materials required the youngest children made pyramid lanterns .....
and decorated them.
Once the willow structure was finished the job of covering it
with special paper soaked in glue began.
Covering the cow's head and ears.
The workshops were well attended by local residents & children as well as families holidaying in Swaledale. We had everyone from five to eighty-five taking part or dropping by to see what was going on!
The workshops were run by Fran, a professional lantern maker from Hebden Bridge.