Many people may not have heard of LEADER, a community-led rural development programme which aims to improve the quality of life in rural communities. Recently the Yorkshire Dales LEADER Management Group, based in Clapham, has approved funding applications for twelve rural community projects in the Dales, awarding nearly £263,000 in total. Successful applications include improvement works to St Michael’s Church in Spennithorne, to Long Preston Village Hall and to the community facility at Hudson House in Reeth. A project led by the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes to celebrate local food heritage, and enhancement works along the Way of the Roses cycleway also received the funding from LEADER. And money was found too for an innovative project which will build on work previously funded by LEADER with the Wharfedale Beekeepers Association. The project forms part of the long term vision for the group at the Tarn Moor Apiary site, near Skipton, improving access to the site, creating interpretation panels for visitors, and extending the foraging season for the bees at the apiary.  It will also create an additional unique training opportunity, teaching rural skills to disadvantaged unemployed groups. In the Dales region the LEADER Local Action Group has awarded over £2 million since the launch of the fund in June 2009.  Nearly all available funding has now been awarded but applications are being invited for projects aimed at small scale enhancement schemes around villages, community facilities and amenity spaces.

After an horrendous drive home from a footie match in snow on Saturday I was looking forward to a day out with the camera on Sunday. However, in my part of the Dales the fog descended and a very grey and white day ensued… as can be seen above.

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