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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Daffodils, Fairtrade and hospital

Well I've been back for some weeks, but busy, busy, busy.

daffodils by the river
The daffodils are coming out at Farndale, so the National Park, www.northyorkmoors.org.uk, has a Mobile Display Unit at Low Mills, the bottom of the Dale, to help visitors enjoy the daffodils and give out information about other aspect of the National Park. Most days three Voluntary Rangers staff it; as well as being in the Unit to help visitors, we walk along the path, doing a bit of litter picking (there is very little) and closing the gates properly. Most of the gates have a latch and if these aren't clicked in place sheep can lean on the gate and hey presto they are in the next field! Unfortunately we also have to ask dog owners to keep their dogs on the lead, only a few thoughtless people, but one loose dog can do a lot of harm to lambs and ewes.

the hills above the dale
 Many of the visitors have been coming back year after year, but every year is different they say. About half the daffodils are out so far, I have one more day there, so hopefully they will all be out for my last visit. The wild garlic is also coming through, so soon there will be white as well as yellow flowers, and finally the bluebells. On my last walk along the river I hear the cry of a curlew, my day is complete.

Our local Fairtrade group has been busy filling in forms in order that we can renew our status as a Fairtrade town, www.fairtrade.org.uk/. Some of the cafes that were using Fairtrade products at our last renewal have closed, but we have other outlets to replace them. More shops are stocking Fairtrade goods, largely because so many big national firms are now making more of their products, like chocolate and sugar, Fairtrade. We look back over the last two years and are quite surprised as to how many different things our small group has been involved in, craft fairs, shops, chocolate tastings, stalls big and small, even a presence at our local Folk Festival. More farmers and their families in developing countries are able to have a better quality of life by their own efforts, not from hand-outs. Surely every one, what ever their political outlook must approve of that?

My friend in Leeds has been hospitalised whilst I was away, complications from a condition that is waiting to be operated on. I go over twice and on one occasion have to be a bit more forceful with staff than I would want to be. It works and she and I get the information that she needs, but why should I have to act like that?

Finally Coasties, www.nationaltrail.co.uk/cleveland-way,
cleaned and restoned
the view as we worked,
not bad
was steps again, this time at Boggle Hole. We cleaned them of grass and mud, put new stones from the beach on them and some of them had to be replaced completely. Towards the end I also got to cut some blackthorn back; it was my first week back after my holidays and I felt that I hadn't been away!