THERE'S nothing quite like wandering around an ancient churchyard for a fascinating insight into social history, and few are as interesting as All Saints Parish Church, Broughton. The early Norman church is just a short distance off the busy A59 between Skipton and Thornton-in-Craven, but it could be a million miles away, such is its tranquil and countryside setting. The 900 year old church, described as 'rather cold in winter' by the Church of England, which goes on to describe its two 'fine but damaged' Medieval statues of Mary and child, which were rediscovered and replaced in the early 19th Century. Inside, the church has the family pew of the Tempest family, who have lived - and still do - at nearby Broughton Hall for generations. Currently, the churchyard is the home of a small flock of sheep, which is doing a grand job of keeping the grass down between the many graves - visitors just need to keep an eye out where they are standing.

A SURVEY has revealed that an 'embarrassing' 84 per cent of those asked failed to identify a dung beetle. The survey, carried out by Camping in the Forest, as part of National Insect Week, further revealed that a third had no idea what a dragonfly looks like - now, that is embarrassing. Furthermore, around a half couldn't identify a Kingfisher, and more than a third knew what an oak tree looks like. Just one in ten said they ventured to the countryside once every six months, and nearly half only drove out of towns to get to the village pub.

Chris Packham, who is working with Camping in the Forest to encourage people to get back to nature, said the British countryside was amongst the most picturesque in the world.

“Not only does this disconnection with nature mean we are ignoring and therefore not looking after our wildlife, but it also means we’re neglecting our own wellbeing by missing out on the fresh air and open spaces available to us.”

So, a word of advice? Ditch the laptop and traffic jams, grab some camping gear, dig out your old walking boots and ‘swat’ up, on your nature knowledge."

Kingfisher fish and chip restaurant at Cross Hills is celebrating after becoming the popular choice of Mazda car dealerships in Yorkshire, so I'm told. By all accounts, managers from the cars business group go dining at restaurants throughout the year and grade each on its food and service. At the end of the year, they return to the restaurant - which for 2015 has been named as Kingfisher - for a second meal.

An interesting appeal appeared in the 'Stop Press' column of the Craven Herald in July, 1916. "Good General wanted immediately, apply Mrs Mawson, High Street, Skipton.

Skipton Jeweller, Thomas Fattorini wrote to Skipton Traders' Association in the summer of 1916 to oppose the plan for all shops in the town to close for four days during 'local holiday week'. It had been decided by the traders' association to follow the example set by other towns and to close for four days. It being two years since the outbreak of the first world war, many shops were also short staffed. But Mr Fattorini wrote in no uncertain terms that he opposed the suggestion and if it went ahead, he would not be able to fall in with it. It was finally agreed to shut from the Saturday to the Friday and to ask all traders to recognise the holiday.

CRAVEN anglers are being invited to fish for a share of £15,000 prize money on offer in the country's biggest canal angling competition.

Pairs of anglers from northern England are invited to fish for a share of £15,000 prize money on offer in the UK’s biggest canal angling competition, run by the Canal & River Trust.

Twelve qualifying heats are being held around England and for the first time the contest has been expanded to include regional heats in Scotland, Wales and Ireland too.

The Trust, which cares for 2,000 miles of canals, is hosting the pairs competition in conjunction with the Angling Trust. Places for the qualifiers must be booked in advance through the Angling Trust, at a cost of £40 per pair, per heat.

Anglers from north England have a choice of date and venue to qualify for the final – either on the Rochdale Canal, courtesy of the Todmorden Angling Society, on Sunday July 17, or on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal on Sunday 9 October 9 , hosted by Wigan and District Angling Association.

For more information about the Canal Pairs Angling Championship and to book a place, go to