THE most remote spot in England so it seems is in Upper Wharfedale, somewhere near to Conistone and Grassington, and just outside of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Ordnance Survey says the spot on Riggs Moor is the furthest point from a road; so, armed with my map, I set off to find it. I started from lovely Conistone, made my way up through the dib and at the top, joined the path heading to Sandy Gate.

There were more people than I expected along the way, which made me think England’s most remote spot would be crowded with other walkers, all wanting ‘to be alone’. However, it wasn’t long before the place became deserted, apart from a farmer in a four by four, it was just me, cattle, sheep and some Dales ponies, who as far as I could see, were in exactly the same spot when I came back down off the fell some three hours later.

The track took me past Mossdale Caverns, regarded as a very dangerous cave network, prone to complete flooding, and the scene of Britain’s worst caving tragedy, when in 1967, six cavers were drowned in the system after the water levels rose following a thunderstorm. There had recently been some heavy rain when I passed by, and the beck was thundering down the narrow gap into the cave system.

I carried on, passing several grouse butts; and that was where it all went wrong, instead of taking the path off to the right, I continued along the wrong track and got more and more lost, and increasingly remote. After an hour or so, realising I had in fact gone wrong, I re-traced my tracks, and on my way back down, spotted a walker in the far distance, who was on his way back from the right remotest spot. Now I know where it is, I’ll be heading back again, but not when it looks like rain - there really is very little shelter.

ON the subject of walking, in honour of Yorkshire Day on August 1, outdoor footwear brand, Scarpa, produced a list of 12 of the best walks and activities in Yorkshire - and five of them are in Craven.

Top of the list is the Ingleton Waterfalls trail, and in second place is the Ribblehead Viaduct loop. In fifth place is Malham Cove, in sixth, Giggleswick South Crags, and in seventh place, Gordale Scar. So, there you have it - the best walks in the county are in Craven.

THERE was a great hullabaloo coming from my back garden while I was trying to work this week, and when I went to investigate, I found a young starling very stuck in one of the bird feeders (pictured).

It seemed the inexperienced juvenile had instead of going at the fat balls from outside of the wire cage, had decided to go in at the top, and got itself well and truly stuck; the rest of its family had taken off to the nearby hedge where they were making all the racket - starlings are truly the noisiest of birds.

I tried cutting the bird out with wire cutters; that didn’t work; so very carefully managed to gently push it back inside the cage, releasing its tightly clamped little claws, and lifted it back out. It took off very quickly, straight back into the hedge to join the rest of its family; a lesson learned I reckon.

A LUXURY hotel in Harrogate is offering one weary worker the chance to unwind with a series of free breaks throughout the rest of the year.

Warner Leisure Hotels, which owns Nidd Hall, says the offer is in response to its survey that revealed that 39 per cent of people from Yorkshire failed to claim their full holiday entitlement last year - with the most common excuse being a fear of what they’d find when they returned back to work.

The OnePoll study of 2,000 employed people found one in three failed to claim their full leave, with the average Yorkshire person losing out on six days’ break overall.

Off the back of these findings, the adult-only hotel says it will whisk away a stressed out worker to kick back in one of its luxury hotel rooms, and enjoy spa treatments, swimming pool access, and activities such as archery, rifle shooting – and even Nordic walking.

And what do you have to do to get this fabulous prize? You have to explain in 100 words why you’d make the best Chief Relaxation Officer (CRO) - and of course, be prepared to take some time off.

To apply, visit:, but hurry, the last day for applications is Sunday, August 15.

Simon Thompson, managing director of Warner Leisure Hotels said: “We reckon we’re the country’s best place to unwind, so we wanted to find someone to put our wonderful hotels to the test – and it sounds like lots of Yorkshire people really need it.”

MORRISONS supermarket has come up with a great idea of helping those families who may be struggling as they face sending their children back to school after the long summer holidays.

The supermarket has created stationery ‘pick up packs’ which can be bought and donated in time for the new school year in September.

Pre-packed bags will be available to purchase each day and will contain popular items needed to get children ready for returning to school such as pens, pencils, rubbers, rulers and maths sets.

Customers can pick up a pack on their way into the store, pay for the items at the till and then place the bag in a dedicated donation station. Store Community Champions will then collect and distribute the packs to local schools and community groups.

The packs will cost up to £5 and will vary on price depending on the products inside each pack.

Rebecca Singleton, customer and community director at Morrisons, said:

“Going back to school can be both a nervous and exciting time for families. We hope these packs go some way to helping local children and their families who may struggle with the costs of going back to school - and take one thing off the to do list.”

AN item in A Craven Man’s Diary of 75 years ago, in August, 1946 caught my eye , when back in the day, goodness knows how many years previous, it had been the practice in some villages to keep a net in a building in the higher reaches of the River Wharfe, not to catch fish, but to retrieve bank cheques from the river.

According to a ‘Dales farmer friend’ of the writer, at one time bank clerks would travel by horse and trap from village to village for the purpose of holding sub-branches on appointed days. They would carry big cash bags with them, carefully putting them under their bed at their lodgings every night.

The purpose of the net was to enable the cashing of cheques of customers on the other side of the river when it was in flood and inpassable - astonishing.

ALSO in 1946, it was interesting to read of the efforts of the then Skipton MP to obtain for the Cave Rescue Organisation, based in Settle, portable radio transmitters for use in its rescue work.

Burnaby Drayson received a reply from the Postmaster-General to his request stating that unfortunately, the ‘walkie-talkie’ type of radio transmitter to which he referred, operated on a limited range of frequencies which was already allotted for specific services under the International Radiocommunication Regulations and could not be used for short distance civilian communication.

The minister added that he was sorry he could not authorise the sets to be used by the CRO, but he was considering other options.