ARTIST Frank Gordon took this picture of a poor, lost teddy bear sitting in a tree beside an old track between Settle and Long Preston. Frank tells me he and his wife, Sheila, were walking along the track, variously known as Hunter Bark or Edge Lane, when they spotted the forlorn ted. Frank suggests we ought to run a ‘spot the teddy’ competition. “How did he get up there? Did he run away from home and decide to spend the night in the tree for safety,” says Frank.”He must have overslept.”

Meanwhile, Frank, who is primarily an artist of landscapes, who exhibits widely across the North of the country, including at the Mary Gavagan gallery in the old Town Hall, Settle, is preparing to take part in this year’s North Yorkshire Open Studio event. Over two weekends, June 3 and June 4, and June 10 and June 11, artists across the whole of North Yorkshire throw open their studios to the public, making it the biggest and most inspiring showcase of contemporary art in the North. To find out more about it, visit the website, and for more details about the Gavagan studio, visit

ANOTHER reader with an eye for a photograph this week was Jenny Cornish, communications officer at Craven District Council. Jenny took this picture of a rainbow while out running along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Skipton.

THE much anticipated - amongst horse riders both near and far - is the Easter trail ride at Craven Country Ride at Coniston Cold. The Easter event on Bank Holiday Monday, April 17 kicks off the season at Pot Haw Farm, Moorber Lane, and David Coates and his team will have spent several weeks making sure the obstacles, fences, ditches and water features, are in tip top condition. Of course, Pot Haw Farm is not all about horses, it is also a working farm, so all the preparation work will have taken place during lambing. However, the trail is more than five miles long, across stunning countryside, and riders can pick up an Easter treat along the route, followed by pie and peas, and an Easter rosette at the end. Cost per rider is £40, booking is essential, as numbers are limited. Email

SO, plenty of us allow their dog onto the sofa - as with Reg and Ralph here. But, how many will admit to spending more than £1,200 per year on our pet? According to a survey by, a staggering seven in ten dog owners admit to spending just that, with almost half saying the dog is the most important member of the family. There are currently 8.5 million dogs kept as pets in the country, and seven out of ten owners will spend up to £200 per month, with around two out of ten admitting up to £300 - taking their annual spend up to £2,400. So, what do these pampered pets get? Most owners - around 40 per cent - splash out on luxury, or tailored food, while 26 per cent buy coats, which have increased massively in variety in recent years. Just more than 20 per cent admitted to a luxury cashmere bed, or designer collar. However, it seems plenty of us are more than happy to spend, spend, spend. More than 80 per cent said their dog cheered them up significantly, while a quarter said they preferred the company of their pet to family or friends.

ON the subject of dogs, a reader rang in wanting to thank a dog owner who had helped him to free a dog who had got his head stuck in a bin. Not being familiar with dogs he was unsure how to approach the distressed dog, in Keighley Road, Cowling on Tuesday, last week, but a passing dog walker stepped in and helped to free the dog, which appeared to be fine. “I just wanted to thank him,” said Mr Bains.

OUR friends in the Yorkshire Dales National Park are calling on people to help them find out about dark skies. The Dales have some of the darkest skies in the country - and the national park is calling on people to go out with their iPhones - with dark sky meter app -to help it find out just how dark they are. The skies are only truly dark between the end of July and the end of April - so now is the time to get out there. For those without an iPhone to hand, the park has some light meters its willing to lend. Its easy, quick, and anyone can take part. Those with an iPhone can download a dark sky meter app and submit the results to the park, or borrow a light meter and set off to a favourite spot. Once at the spot, people are asked to wait until its properly dark - ideally, a couple of hours after sunset, or before sunrise, and on a clear, moonless night. For more details on how to borrow one of the light meters, email Tracey Lambert on

STAYING with the national park, hot on the heels of being named the nation’s favourite national park by no less than Countryfile Magazine, the Yorkshire Dales has received the Hollywood treatment in Channel 5’s Yorkshire: A Year in the Wild. Never - since ITV’s The Dales, with Ade Edmondson - has the Dales looked so beautiful, and, amazingly, devoid of rain. The four part series, covering each of the seasons in the Dales and Moors of North Yorkshire, lovingly follows the lives of animals and birds, and is narrated by everyone’s favourite Yorkshireman, Sean Bean. What’s not to like? Yorkshire: A Year in the Wild, goes out on Channel 5 on Tuesdays at 9pm.