Gamekeeper from YDMG helps rescue 60 children on a school trip stuck in the snow.

KEEPERS TO THE RESCUE !!! Fantastic work and kindness from one of our keepers who went above and beyond to get up to Grinton lodge YHA this morning to rescue 2 buses of school children who have been stuck up there all week.
He did 3 runs with the pickup and trailer to bring all the luggage down to the main road where the buses were waiting to take them home.
All the children were very excited about the gamekeepers rescue and the whole Yorkshire snow adventure, an adventure I’m sure they will never forget! #keeperstotherescue #schoolchildrenstuckinthesnow #rescuemission #yha #grinton #yorkshire #snow #stuckinthesnow #makingmemories #aschooltriptoremember #beastfromtheeast #homesafe #yorkshiredales #YDMG

The Northern Echo has covered the story .


Yorkshire Dales Economy benefits from Managed grouse moors

18th January 2018

With the latest grouse shooting season now officially complete (December 10th), the local Yorkshire Dales community is reflecting on what was a successful year with most estates having witnessed a full shooting programme due to favourable weather conditions and shoot days being let right the way through the season.

Managing moorland for grouse shooting is vitally important to remote rural communities in terms of economic, environmental and social benefits and is a life line for many local businesses in the Yorkshire Dales. A full season is significantly more beneficial and is dependent on how well the wild red grouse breed in the spring.

Grouse moor managers in the Yorkshire Dales Moorland Group area report that, approximately 800 driven shoot days were hosted throughout the four-month season on estates across the Yorkshire Dales region.

This year there has been a strong level of repeat bookings particularly from the UK market as well as a high-level of international groups visiting, with parties from across Europe and the US.

It is estimated that the favourable season resulted in nearly 1,600 overnight stays in local hotels with the shoot days directly contributing more than £192,000 to local hotels, restaurants and pubs throughout the season. One estate alone generated 128 overnight stays from sporting guests this season.

On average each grouse moor employs around 50 people per shoot day, including local youngsters, with an estimated 800 workdays of additional employment provided for those who assisted on shoot days, including beaters, flankers, loaders, pickers-up and caterers.

This year’s improved harvest also increased the availability of fresh grouse being supplied to local butchers, farm shops and game dealers, and as a result, greatly enhancing the awareness of grouse as a sustainable food source. Hoteliers, top chefs and home-cooks are now readily choosing grouse as a delicious, healthy and affordable game meat alternative.


This year, the award-winning Grassington House Hotel and Restaurant in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales has featured grouse on its menu throughout the season.

John Rudden from Grassington House said: “My menu would not be the same with out grouse, pheasant and partridge supplied directly from our local estates. We have sold more grouse this year purely down to the support and supply from our local gamekeeper and it has proved a real hit with locals and visitors alike.”

Another award-winning hotel that benefits significantly from the grouse shooting industry is The Charles Bathurst Inn, located in Arkengarthdale in the Yorkshire Dales.

Charles Cody, owner of The Charles Bathurst Inn, is constantly changing the menu to reflect the seasons, with the game served having been supplied directly from the surrounding moors. This season alone, the inn has served over 300 grouse dishes.


Sonya Wiggins from the Yorkshire Dales Moorland Group, said: “We have witnessed a good year with most of our estate members welcoming both domestic and international visitors right into the final weeks of the season. The grouse industry is a life line for many in our rural community offering employment opportunities and supporting many local businesses, with shooting-related tourism bolstering trade during the winter ‘off-season’.

“This successful season is testament to the hard-work and dedication of our gamekeepers and grouse moor managers year-round as well as the private investment by estate owners and sporting tenants in managing moors for red grouse, which also supports vital conservation efforts in the Yorkshire Dales region.

“Grouse is a sustainable and nutritious food source and it has been greatly encouraging to see more grouse being offered on menus of local restaurants and hotels this season. Its reputation as a flavourful and healthy source of protein is growing year on year.”

Moorland owners and gamekeepers of the Yorkshire Dales Moorland Group carry out vital conservation work on more than 226,000 acres of precious heather moorland across the area, much of which is designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Healthy moorlands managed for seasonal red grouse, found nowhere else in the world, support up to five times as many other birds such as the curlew and lapwing compared to moorland that is not keepered. They also offer an important source of drinking water and can lock up carbon in the peaty soils mitigating climate change. Heather honey and hardy hill sheep are also unique products of these remote and treasured landscapes enjoyed by millions. It is thus imperative that the year-round management of grouse moors continues as it plays a big part in shaping the countryside and its offerings.


Picture captions: Yorkshire Dales Moorland Group coordinators (left to right) Sonya Wiggins and Rebecca Avison
Picture caption: Head keeper, Harvey Wiggins of Grassington Moor giving supplying grouse to John Rudden of the Grassington House Hotel and Restaurant.
About the Yorkshire Dales Moorland Group

The North Yorkshire Dales Moorland Group has been set up to give a voice to the moorland managers and rural businesses within the area.


Wensleydale YFC visit to L&A Dent Gamedealers

L&A Dent Game dealers Ltd based in Coverdale recently hosted an evening for 40 of the Wensleydale Young Farmers.
The evening consisted of 4 main activities:
-Grading Grouse
-Plucking pigeons
-Filleting grouse breasts
-Then cooking and eating what they had filleted.
Andrew and his son Dan demonstrated how to grade grouse, pluck pigeons and fillet grouse. All under the watchful eye of Andrews father Lawrence Dent. They then split the group up into 3 Teams for a points-based competition, the winners took home a pack of their branded grouse fillets!
The evening finished with the tasting of the young grouse fillets followed by teas, coffees and cake.
The evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all and provided a rare inside view of a unique business.
#gamedealer #ladent #yorkshiredales #youngfarmers #youngfarmersclub #YFC #wensleydale #wensleydaleyfc #educationalvisit #educatethemyoung #grouse #pigeon #pluck #dress #taste #YDMG

Getting Grouse on the menu…

On our quest to get more people eating grouse we have been busy supplying local pubs and restaurants with free packs of grouse breasts, Headkeeper Ian from Bolton Estate has been busy going around the pubs in Wensleydale. The grouse are collected off the local moors and are processed and packed by our local game dealer LA Dent.
Along with that we put together a leaflet of our favourite ways to cook grouse from our Facebook page of the grouse recipes that we have been showcasing each week.
So if your eating out in the dales this week look out for grouse on the menu and give it a try!
#grouse #freegrouse #tryit #lovely #local #natural #wild #food #recipes #ladent #gamedealer #supplylocal #localpubs #yorkshiredales #YDMG

Regenerating Heather Moorland

75% of the worlds remaining heather moorland is found in Britain , but this area declined alarmingly over the latter part of the last century.
Re-seeding heather is a very costly process sometimes can run up to as much as £1,100 per acre in the worst areas. Estates which take re-seeding on, often do it at the land owners expense both in money terms and time.
Without this commitment by land owners / sporting right holders the decline in our heather moorland would be sure to go up, and without this work the precious land would revert to scrub or forest.
By maintaining the heather moorland we are maintaining the exceptional habitats for unique birds, plants and animals and also safeguarding peat for carbon storage and water quality. Rabbit control is another factor, the wild rabbit weighs 1.2 – 2kg. High population densities can cause both economic and ecological damage on heather moorland.
On this moor in the Yorkshire Dales extensive rabbit fencing is used with drop box traps to control the rabbit population all year round as the picture shows., one side of the fence has been re-seeded and the other is with rabbit and sheep grazing pressure. However we do need a balance as the sheep do play an important role on the moors.
#reseed #heather #peat #moorlandrestoration #rarerthantherainforest #managedmoorland #moorlandmanagement #habitat #reseeding #drinkingwater #yorkshiredales #YDMG