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Yorkshire’s dales and moors are beautiful places but combined with dry, sunny weather and school half term they can turn into dangerous playgrounds. The river Wharfe at Bolton Abbey has claimed many victims over the years, either further upstream at the Strid or by the stepping stones close to the priory ruins (pictured). Here on a hot day the river is inviting but has hidden depths and currents which can sweep people away in the blink of an eye. I was at Bolton Abbey 24 hours before this weekend’s tragedy in which a boy drowned while on a trip to celebrate his eighth birthday, and I did think how nice it would be to cool off in the water. The week before I’d visited Stainforth Force and seen lads jumping into the Ribble from great heights as I had done many years previously. But knowing the rivers and their routes much better now I realise the dangers that await the unwary and would never treat them lightly again.

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