Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Meadows of Muker, UK (Showing Off "a Small Island" - Part 3)

If you have been following my blog, you know that this summer we hosted one of my sisters and her husband in the UK.  This is the third in my series on our trip, and only God can get the credit for the glorious weather that blessed us while hiking this idyllic slice of the world - truly the epitome of the English countryside!!!
Like many of the settlements in Upper Swaledale, Muker's name betrays its Viking origins.  It comes from the Norse word "Mjor-aker", meaning a small piece of farmed land.  Today, the unspoilt beauty of the area brings visitors from far and wide.
The flower-rich hay meadows around Muker are of international importance and are carefully protected.
Farmers receive grants which allow them to farm the land traditionally without using artificial fertilizers.
In 1998 the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, working with local farmers and with funding from the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, completed an important project laying stone flags on footpaths through these meadows.  The flags help to protect the plants from being trampled as well as allowing access for wheelchair users.
River Swale

(At this point, we were only a couple of miles into the hike.  My sister and her husband were gob-smacked (read: amazed) with the simple grandeur of the landscape and the precipitation-free weather.  It was refreshing for me and Spousal Unit - we have renewed appreciation for the beauty we had started to take for granted.)

The traditional late 18th and early 19th century barns and dry stone walls of Swaledale are the most characteristic feature of its landscape.  Both played a key part in a farmer's year.
Leaving Keld and heading back to Muker
The walls enclosed grazing land and the field barns housed cattle and the hay to feed them over the winter.  The muck collected inside was spread on the surrounding meadows in the spring to feed the next hay crop.

Maintaining the miles of walls and hundreds of stone-built barns is expensive.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority in partnership with English Heritage, MAFF, and the European Union, helps local farmers to repair barns and walls with repair grants.
We wrapped this spectacular day with another fine English walking tradition - a drink in the pub at the end of the hike.  The Farmers Arms in Muker was stowed out (read: very full) with fellow walkers, adding to the spirit and camaraderie of a day in the summer sun, surrounded by nature's splendid gifts.  It's easy to see how people can get addicted to this pastime.  Walk on!

Linking to Nature Notes

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  1. I visited England also this summer - Part 7 is being in Whitby, just a few hours away from Muker! Such beautiful country.

  2. Hello, I love the pretty countryside. England is beautiful. What a lovely walk, the waterfalls is awesome. Pretty field of flowers. Enjoy your day and week ahead!

  3. Oh my gosh, England countryside is absolutely beautiful!

  4. Good on your daughter. I hope her movie will make an impact on men and women. Thanks for visiting.

    In New Zealand, we have a stone wall place like yr post.

  5. Oh how I love England. By hosting do you mean that you have a home in England, too, or was it a rental? Such beautiful places to walk in wonderful weather.

  6. That is certainly an awesome piece of the earth, no wonder tourists appreciate it very much. And you captured them with awesome photos too, when expanded they exude serenity, tranquility and peace, the earth we always dream of. And yes i saw similar sights in New Zealand.

  7. These are lovely photos Angie. I was looking at them and also being amazed at the simple beauty and just all the green. I wonder what kinds of farmers my relatives were who came from England to then farm here in the states. I have not been able to find that out yet in my ancestry search...Michelle

  8. What a lovely area! Glad you had such beautiful weather for your hikes. :) Kit

  9. Loved this! A beautiful day indeed and we both would like the wrap up at the end (especially Bill, who really likes to have a goal at the end of a walk.) The reasons for putting in that walkway was great -- such interesting information -- and a win/win for everybody . So impressed.

  10. I'm always enthralled by the variety in the landscape in England. No wonder your guests were gob-smacked - I think I would be, too.

  11. Lindas imagens. Feliz fim de semana.

  12. Angie, What a lovely place to walk! Love the walls around the fields. Thanks for visiting and sharing. Have a great week. Sylvia D.

  13. Wonderful to know that these pristine and lovely settings are being preserved for future generations. Definitely looks and sounds like my kind of walk with the perfect sort of ending. :)

  14. What a wonderful trip you took us on Angie, and the beautiful photos and story around it you added, thank you! I love the UK, we visited several times. Last summer we were in Scotland and like you had very good weather as well. Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog :) I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the video! Wishing you a beautiful day and sending you sunny smiles, xx

  15. These are some fantastic scenes! It's always good to go back once in a while because you pick up on things you missed before.

  16. Beautiful country and wonderful photography ~ and great times with family ~ ^_^

    (A ShutterBug Explores)

    Thanks for visiting and commenting ~ ^_^

  17. Your photos are beautiful, and I really enjoyed this tour! I also love your background, and my favourite colour is green! Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. Thank you so much for sharing. :)


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