Bats, bikes and birds take centre stage in Nidderdale

Bats, bikes and birds take centre stage in Nidderdale

Published at 7:11pm 6th October 2017.

Walks, talks and workshops have been organised as part of Nidderdale Moorland Festival.

It will take place over three weeks and features a moorland safari, an introduction to mountain biking and foraging along the River Nidd.

The celebration of Nidderdale's internationally important heather moorlands is hosted by the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Liz Milner, Discovery and Learning Project Officer at the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership, said: "Autumn is nature's seasonal highlight and the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors before winter sets in. It's a great time to explore an area packed with history and wildlife.

"The festival offers a hands-on way to really indulge in autumnal splendour right in the heart of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty."

Mountain biking near Brimham Rocks

Mountain biking is a popular pastime in Nidderdale

The festival also features experts, including ecologist and bat specialist Dr Anna Berthinussen and professional gun dog trainer Natasha Bujnock, who invites you to meet the dogs and puppies who work the moorland, as well as offering a few training tips for your own pets.

From dogs to bogs, Dr Tim Thom, from the Yorkshire Peat Partnership, explores the habitats of peatlands and botanist Dr Judith Allinson takes you on a beginner's guide to examining the walls and woodland lichens on a guided botanical walk.

Paul Harris, professional photographer for The Sunday Times and Geographical Magazine, will host a photographic workshop to help you hone your skills using the moorland's dramatic scenery to take the perfect landscape photograph.

For stargazers, the York Astronomical Society will be at the Lime Tree Farm Observatory near Grewelthorpe.

Meanwhile, BBC producer Mary Colwell-Hector will speak about her passion for curlews and the moorlands they call home.

Scar house star trail

Nidderdale is an ideal location for seeing the stars

Liz Milner added: "Perhaps not everyone is aware that Upper Nidderdale is home to some of the finest heather moorlands in the country. They are internationally important for conservation because of their rich concentration of rare plants and wildlife.

"So, if you just want to explore this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, meet like-minded nature lovers or just be inspired this autumn, we look forward to welcoming you."

More information at