MY walking colleague received a call from a concerned reader recently that she was giving the impression of an irresponsible dog owner by using pictures to illustrate her walks with her dog off the lead. She tells me her English Pointer is always under control, and always on a lead whenever there is any sign of any livestock around (pictured). She does add that he is a very strong dog, and when clambering over a stile, she lets him off the lead, and stands on one side, while her partner stands on the other - a system they have adopted after he managed to dislocate her shoulder once in his enthusiasm. On another occasion he took off after a hare which had been disturbed by a tractor, dragging my colleague along the rough ground for a considerable distance, but she did manage to keep him on the lead.

AT the start of the year, two people from our area - that we know of - took part in the gruelling Montane Spine Challenger, a non-stop 108-mile race along the Pennine Way, and in conditions so tough that the longer, 268-mile Spine Race was actually suspended for a while. And many congratulations to Emma Hopkinson, from Cowling, who broke the women's record for the event, and to Joe Parsons, from Skipton, who was raising money for the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association. It is interesting to see how in just 50 years, races of this type have evolved. Back in 1968, the Craven Herald reported an expected record entry into the Fellman's Hike. Organised by the Keighley and District Service Unit, it was claimed to be one of the toughest of its type in the country. It was held over two days in May - unlike the Spine Race, which is held in deep winter - and about 50 miles in length. The route took in many of the Dales peaks, including Great Whernside, Buckden Pike and Ingleborough and involved a total climb of 10,000 ft. It originally went from Grassington to Ingleton, but in 1968, started at Ingleton. Organisers received 400 entries in 1967, but allowed just 320 for safety reasons, and on the day itself, just 292 hikers took part.

YORKSHIRE and England fast bowler Freddie Trueman (pictured) also made the Craven Herald 50 years ago, when he made off after a thief he had disturbed in the town's Midland Hotel. The paper reported how Trueman had returned to the hotel at about 2.30am, having been out all evening at the Skipton Police Ball, when he and friends disturbed a man in the bar. The man ran off, pursued by the cricketer, but managed to get away. It was later discovered that about 400 cigarettes, cigars and £1 in cash had gone missing.

ONLY the most unobservant amongst us will have failed to notice all the litter on the sides of the roads throughout Craven - and what an awful mess it looks too, all of it the result of people chucking it out of their vehicles while driving along. The residents of Martons Both are one of several communities who will be meeting up shortly to do what they can and clean up their area. Residents of East Marton and West Marton will carry out their annual litter pick on Saturday, March 3, and Saturday, March 17. Anyone wanting to take part is asked to meet in the village hall car park, West Marton, at 10am. It is hoped bags will be provided by Craven District Council.

THIS week is Real Bread Week - and Thomas the Baker, in Skipton High Street, is urging people to 'give yeast a chance'. Figures show that around half of adults in Yorkshire avoid eating bread, so Thomas the Baker is setting out to turn that around, and is offering tastings of its 'easier to digest' range of breads (pictured). The eating of leavened bread dates back thousands of years, but increasingly people are giving it a wide berth, siting allergies or ill effects, such as the notorious 'bloat'. The baker says in a survey it carried out, one in six people in the county say they are allergic to bread, 12 per cent believe they have an intolerance and 23 per cent, while not allergic, say they are put off by the 'bloat'. Despite this, 39 per cent said they love bread, and one in four declaring it their favourite food. So, to encourage people to give their easier to digest range a go, the Skipton store is offering tastings in its white tin breads, and Yorkshire batch breads, which are both produced using a special process, unique in the UK, which aids digestion, and improves taste, apparently. Simon Thomas, managing director of Thomas the Baker, says it seems such a shame with so many people saying they love bread to cut it out of their diets. "We want to give people the chance to try these breads – obviously they’re not suitable for those with diagnosed allergies and intolerances as they’re not gluten-free, but for those people who just don’t always feel brilliant after bread, we think they’ll really notice a difference. And they’re delicious!”

Tastings will be available at the Skipton store until the end of the week.

WELL done to year sevens and eights at Skipton Academy who will be spending their half-term holiday reading to raise money for children's hospitals. The 11 to 13 year olds will be gathering sponsorship as part of the @readforgood children’s hospitals to buy books and get story tellers onto the wards.