Owing to cancellation of the advertised programme for November 8th, our speaker this month was good friend of the Harrogate Fellowship, Roger Oldfield, who was introduced by Jill Pullman.
Roger stepped in at short notice to give an interesting Powerpoint presentation about Rights of Way and the Dales Way Long Distance Footpath.
Centuries old footpaths, which sometimes become minor roads, are known as Rights of Way and are now protected by English Law. Sometimes access to the old lanes and footpaths are found to go directly through property, others across fields and through hedges but are all protected by Law.
Colin Speakman has to be thanked for his planning of the Dales Way, allowing everyone the right to walk, without fear of trespass, from Ilkley to Windermere - 80 miles of open countryside passing by Addingham, Bolton Priory, Dent and Sedburgh and many more all of which are a delight to see. There were many historic buildings illustrated, but the main impression was in the joy of open country. Some places were unfamiliar but the lovely slides gave rise to nostalgia for happy hiking!
Roger was thanked for his absorbing talk by Mary Bradley.
PARK LIFE IN HARROGATE
For our first meeting of the new year 81 members enjoyed our usual cup of tea and chat with friends which was followed by a very interesting talk by Sue Wood, Horticultural Officer for Harrogate Borough Council.
Her illustrated talk gave us an excellent insight into all the various aspects of her work in our beautiful spa town. Starting in the council’s greenhouses at Harlow Hill she showed us where all the flowers are used – roundabouts, hanging baskets and flower beds around the district.
She described and showed us the beds which have been designed for the anniversaries of various organisations such as the W I, Girl Guides etc and this year we will see a green, white and purple flower bed to celebrate 100 years of women getting the vote.
She described the work in the district cemeteries and the grass cutting, of which The Stray is obviously a major part.
A pedestrian counter at the entrance to The Valley Gardens indicates that at least three million visitors walk through the gardens and enjoy the wonderful floral beds and the New Zealand Garden for which money was donated.
A delightful feature around the district is that of carvings on felled trees, the best being Alice in Wonderland figures in Ripon Spa Gardens and another at Conyngham Hall in Knaresborough.
Sue answered a variety of questions and, after being thanked by our Chairman, Mary Bradley, we all made our way home feeling so pleased that we live in such a wonderful town.