ON one of those recent hot Sundays we've had of late, Cowling was the centre of a hotly contested charity rounders tournament. Nine teams from across Yorkshire took part in the annual Jo's Trophy tournament which was turned into a wonderful family day out with a barbecue, bar and bouncy castle, and a face painter. The Cowling team did splendidly, winning all their games, but in the final, lost to Skipton Springboks, who founded the tournament in 2006 in memory of one of their players, Jo Fletcher, who died suddenly. As winners, Springboks will host next year's tournament. The event raised a magnificent more than £1,100 for Manorlands Hospice.

THE Malham Tarn Field Studies Centre, on the banks of the tarn, is a fascinating place - and for a host of different reasons. Now owned by the National Trust, and leased to the field studies centre, it was built around 1790 for Thomas Lister, Lord Ribblesdale as Malham Water House, a hunting lodge. Between 1852 and 1921 it was owned by the Morrison family and was visited by Charles Kingsley, who is said to have been inspired to write The Water Babies while there. Today, there is plenty to draw walkers to Malham Tarn and to Tarn House - and on a recent visit, I spotted not only an over-sized blue crayfish - back at the field studies centre after making an appearance at the Settle Flowerpot Festival, but also an enormous rusting metal spider, crouching on a wall and no doubt catching out many an unsuspecting rambler.

I AM indebted to a colleague for this fascinating - although not all will find it so - picture of what appears to be a pair of mating slugs. As far as I know, the person who took the picture left the slugs well alone - which is more than can be said for many a keen gardener, who no doubt will have employed one of many - and varied techniques to dispatch the two slugs, for the price of one. One person I knew, who was particularly keen on growing Hostas, which appear to be caviare to slugs, would go out into her garden at night with a pair of scissors and cut all the slugs she could find into halves. Another person would empty salt onto them; I've never subscribed to either technique, although finding slugs in the greenhouse this year, eating my tomatoes, did test my patience a bit.

BRETT Butler, Skipton Town Centre Manager bid a farewell to his colleagues at the town council at the end of last week to take up a new job with creative events agency, Events by B3. Brett, who has been town centre manager for eight years, will be sorely missed, but he's not going far. The agency is based in Skipton and this year, organised the first Yorkshire Dales Food and Drink Festival, at Skipton Auction Mart.

AN historic witch once famous across the Dales, will return to Kilnsey Park Estate for spooky fun, spells and adventure this Halloween - from Sat 22 Oct 22 to Sunday, October 30. Nancy Winter, known as ‘Old Nan,’ lived in Kilnsey in the early 1700s, and was famous for telling people’s fortunes as well as for the medicinal herbs she sold at Skipton Market. Nan lived in part of the Old Hall in Kilnsey and it is recorded that people came from miles around to hear her prophecies. In 1904 local historian Edmund Bogg wrote: ‘Kilnsey Nan was the last survivor of a long race of fortune-tellers and witches, who have gradually disappeared before the march of civilisation’. Jamie Roberts, owner of Kilnsey Park Estate, said: "It’s amazing that we used to have a real-life witch in the village. For Halloween we will be recreating Nan’s grotto and there’ll be a special Halloween trail round the park leading to it. Our witch will welcome children for face painting, crafts, spell-making and decoration-making.” There will also be pumpkin carving and seasonal food for sale at the café.

IT seems everyone is taking to Hesper Farm's Skyr. Made at the farm in Bell Busk, fans of the Icelandic super yoghurt could until recently only buy it at Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton. Farmer, Sam Moorhouse, has now however struck a deal with Booths Supermarkets, although at the moment, the nearest of the branches to sell it will be Clitheroe. Sam, who is just 23, spent time learning his craft in Iceland, before setting up the business on the family farm. The product, which is similar to yoghurt, but is three times higher in protein and calcium, is naturally low in sugar and contains no fat, has been awarded a gold star in the Great Taste awards and last year scooped Best Yoghurt and Supreme Yoghurt at Deliciously Yorkshire.

He said: “We are delighted to be working with Booths. They value quality and provenance, supporting British farming and independent producers. It’s fantastic that our skyr will now be available for even more customers to enjoy.”

BEARING in mind we're not yet out of September, the appearance of Christmas decorations in Rackhams, Skipton, last week was something of a shock.

BACK in September 1966, there were few more exciting television shows than the Western series, Bonanza. And the Craven Herald printed a picture of its star, Lorne Green, with Hazel Brown, a then member of the famous Tiller Girls. Hazel - and Lorne Green - were both appearing in Sunday Night at the Palladium.

POSTED on Twitter after last Saturday's Skipton Market, this picture of a car left on High Street overnight - despite the plethora of signs - attracted quite a bit of interest. Someone has put a price ticket on it, but it's not clear if the driver turned up and paid it, or decided to spare his blushes and stay away until everyone had packed up.