AN historic feature in the Dales village of Conistone has been restored to its original glory, thanks to the hard work of a group of villagers and a £1,000 grant from the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

A welcoming space at the entrance to the National Trust’s Malham Tarn Field Centre, which is housed in a listed Victorian former mansion, has also been created, along with energy saving insulation, with money from the park authority’s same Sustainable Development Fund - available to individuals, groups, businesses and the voluntary sector.

At Conistone, residents came together to restore the water supply that had been a major factor in the village’s development. The word keld itself comes from the Viking word ‘kelda’ for spring.

The troughs, cobbles and the spring itself – once the source of water for both people and farm animals, and the lifeblood of the origjnal settlement had become entirely covered in vegetation.

Villagers used the money to hire a digger and to pay for a skip, as well as employing a specialist with a chainsaw.

Advice was given from the authority’s historic environment team while much of the digging was done by villagers themselves over a week.

One of the volunteers, Denise Richardson, said it had been a great project for the whole village and had helped community spirit.

“Everyone was so generous with their time and the results are fantastic. The keld is now a focal point for the village again,” she said.

Meanwhile, at the Malham Tarn Field Studies Centre, a grant of £2,464 was awarded for the creation of a welcoming space, including information about the history of the building, which was once the home of philanthropist, Walter Morrison.

Another project at the centre, to install insulation in the walls and ceilings used to accommodate students in the north wing, was given a grant of £6,880.

Andrea Burden, the national park’s sustainable development officer, said: “We were pleased to support the residents of Conistone, and the staff at Malham Tarn Field Studies Centre, who came up with projects that scored well against the fund’s criteria.

“The fund is here to support projects that contribute in some way to helping conserve the natural beauty, wildlife or cultural heritage of the national park, or promote opportunities for people to understand and enjoy those special qualities. Fresh applications are always being invited.”

Those wanting to find out if their project would qualify for a grant, can telephone 01969 652337 or email:

An application form and a set of guidance notes can also be downloaded online