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Dales Young Rangers enjoy the sunshine in front one of the former railway buildings they cleaned up

Young Rangers visit Podgill and Merrygill Viaducts

Sunday 12 September, 2021, by Alex Green

During the summer holidays, Vicky Woof (age 14) and Thomas Gibbons (age 13) met six other Dales Young Rangers at the entrance to the Northern Viaduct Trust walk at Hartley, Kirkby Stephen. From here they spent the day cleaning up old railway buildings and clearing vegetation from Merrygill and Podgill viaducts and the surrounding pathways.

Both Vicky and Thomas recount their stories from the day.

On Saturday we arrived at our site on the Eden viaducts, Merrygill and Podgill. We had introductions of everyone’s names and collected equipment to get going on our first job we needed to do. This was clearing grass, plants and moss from the edge of Merrygill viaduct, which is 78ft above Hartley Beck, with nine 30ft arches. We moved along the path and came across some overgrown offshoots which needed sorting, and a dirty platelayer’s hut. The group split in two to work on the different jobs which needed doing.

Moving swiftly along the walkway, we came across the next viaduct, Podgill, which is 84ft above Ladthwaite Beck, with a total of 11 arches. The same needed doing here as we had done at Merrygill, so we cleared as much as we could off the edge. Many people walked by and said what a great job we were doing. It was then lunch, so we took a little walk down some steps to a picnic area with a different view of the viaduct. Everyone was doing a great job.

After lunch we moved along to another platelayer’s hut and more paths that needed trimming back a little. The huts that had been cleaned were looking sparkly and the viaduct walk was left in a pristine condition.

Vicky
Young Ranger sit down at benches in woods beneath the viaduct to enjoy their lunch
Dales Young Rangers enjoy lunch in the woods beneath Podgill Viaduct

Throughout the day at Podgill Viaduct it was amazing to see how intricate the viaducts were. Preserving the stonework so that others will be able to experience it, as I have, is an exciting thought. I enjoyed the company, it made the day much more enjoyable (and I especially enjoyed my lunch) and I was glad I was able to capture the moment on such a nice day. I hope that I’ll be able to go to Podgill Viaduct again at some point.

Overall, a great day of clearing weeds and pathways, and cleaning out derelict buildings. Would love to do it again.

Thomas
Young Rangers walk across the viaduct which is looking clean and tidy.
A tidy looking Podgill Viaduct following the Young Rangers hard work clearing vegetation

I met with a lot of new people and saw some faces I’d seen before. Young Rangers is a great way to make new friends and share any environmental opinions freely. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in looking after nature and the environment. Thanks again.

Vicky

Want to find out more?

If you would like to come along to any of the Dales Young Rangers sessions, please get in touch via learning@yorkshiredales.org.uk or 07815 970346. You can also follow the Dales Young Rangers on Facebook

The North and West Young Rangers groups are funded by BIG Lottery Fund through the Green Futures partnership programme led by charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust. Green Futures aims to empower and support young people in the Yorkshire Dales and the surrounding area to become more involved, aware and connected to the fantastic natural environment that’s right on their doorstep.

Green Futures is part of Our Bright Future, a £33 million programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund and run by a consortium of eight organisations which is led by The Wildlife Trusts. Our Bright Future aims to tackle three big challenges facing society today – a lack of social cohesion, a lack of opportunities for young people and vulnerability to climate change.

The Young Rangers group based in the South of the National Park is being part-funded through Stories in Stone, an ambitious four-year programme of conservation and community projects concentrated on the Ingleborough area developed by the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership. The scheme is led by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alex Green

One Reply to “Young Rangers visit Podgill and Merrygill Viaducts”

  1. SJW says:

    Great work, guys. Your hard work and dedication is most appreciated. Thank you!

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