This is taken on top of Moughton Scar; a ridge that runs sort of midway between Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough. Despite being in the middle of one of the most heavily visited and best loved parts of the Dales, not many people know about it. As you can see, it’s limestone pavement. When you stand up there and look towards Ingleborough it’s almost a lunar landscape; desolate – in the nicest possible way. I genuinely love it up there. I like it in winter when you’ve got snow and ice, but also in late summer when you get the contrast between the heather and the limestone.
I spent five years working at Malham Tarn and I must have travelled up and down the hill to Langcliffe Brow en route to Malham with thousands of students, colleagues and friends. I would often stop and get them to sit on the limestone and take in this view. For me it’s the richness of the dale in terms of the human activity that’s shaped how it looks. It’s not a pristine one by any stretch of the imagination, but for a geographer that's all part of the rich tapestry that makes up a view.
I work on an outreach programme called People and the DALES. We work with disadvantaged groups from the urban areas bordering the south of the Dales, bringing them up to the countryside. Oxenber Wood is just one spot we take people to. It’s a fantastic area, particularly in spring because of the bluebells, orchids and other wild flowers. It’s also relatively easy to get up high without effort for groups that aren’t used to walking. They get that magical experience of being on high and looking down.
This view from the top of Rombalds Moor above Skipton is one of my favourites. You can see for miles and really do get a sense of Skipton being the ‘Gateway to the Yorkshire Dales’ as you admire the views towards Wharfedale. It’s such a peaceful spot that it’s hard to believe it’s just a few minutes from Skipton’s bustling High Street. With an interesting variety of habitats, and of course those spectacular views, it’s a place I enjoy walking at any time of year.
I love this photo of Malham Cove from the road between Settle and Kirkby Malham. This is the view on my way home from work in Clapham with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust to Malham where I have lived for the last 18 years. When I see the Cove from this angle I am always reminded of the last page of Bill Bryson’s ‘Notes from a small Island’ in which he describes his journeys around Britain. However, this view he says is one of the best in the country because it was also his view of home.
Photos for 1, 2 and 4 by Mark and Sarah Butler. They’ve spent 2 years documenting the Dales in their photobook ‘Working the View’. Find more info on their website.
Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust is a small charity doing big things to support the landscape, environment, communities and economy of the Yorkshire Dales. We are proud to help the charity in their work. Find out more at www.ydmt.org