The green, green grass of home in the Dales

You wouldn't have guessed it, given the cold soggy weather we had to put up with last week, but summer is only just a few short weeks away.

Picture this: Yockenthwaite in the Yorkshire Dales.

The recent spell of wet weather might not have been welcomed by everyone but it’s been a godsend for gardeners and rivers, too, following on from what’s been one of the driest winters for decades in some parts of the country.

Normally at this time of year our streams and rivers are brimming with rushing water but earlier this month there were reports that several, including the River Wharfe at Yockenthwaite Bridge, seen here, had dried out.

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Yockenthwaite is in the Craven district of North Yorkshire and one of three hamlets, Beckermonds and Hubberholme being the other two, in Langstrothdale.

This hillside spot is nestled in the Langstrothdale valley in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and lies 20 miles north of Skipton and eight miles south of Hawes as the crow flies.

It’s a peaceful valley and one of the lesser known gems of the Dales and has the upper part of the River Wharfe running through it for its first 15 miles.

Not surprisingly, given its picturesque location, it’s a popular haunt with walkers who like to get away from the crowds, enticed there by the quietude and the stunning views (especially on a day like this) looking down the valley.

Yockenthwaite lies on the north bank of the River Wharfe and nearby is a stone circle, an area of ancient stones arranged in a circle thought to be the kerbstones of a ring cairn.

It has another, more modern, claim to fame that some of you might not be aware of - for Yockenthwaite was the name given to one of the characters in ITV’s children’s comedy series The Rottentrolls which ran back in the late 1990s.

As this picture shows it’s a wonderfully photogenic spot - one of many that can be found in the Dales. Hopefully the lush, verdant fields and cerulean skies seen here are a little glimpse of what’s to come this summer.

Technical details: Nikon D3s camera, 12-24mm lens, exposure 500th sec at f8, iso 100).

Picture by Simon Hulme

Words by Chris Bond