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The Yorkshire Dales
Gold Duke of Edinburgh
Expedition

The Team

Our Duke of Edinburgh Gold Group consisted of five members who had met through Ian Rodham due to the fact that there was no-one to take us through to Gold apart from Ian Rodham. So through Oxped, our group was formed.

The team members are photographed above, going from left to right; Steph Turner, Hayley Penhale, Beth Clifford, Catherine Taylor and Ruth Holiday. Our team was assessed by Edward Marks(see right,) who was great fun to be with and had a remarkable fitness especially running down Buckton Pike! We had other leaders assisting Ian Rodham, who were Toby Jackson, Tony, and two young people who had just done their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. The date of the adventure was from Monday 22nd of July to the Thursday 25th of July 2002 although we had a day of climitisation on the Sunday to practise map reading skills and go through first aid scenarios to refresh our minds of our first aid course.

The Gold Expedition was one major part of our award where we had to walk 50 miles/80km over a period of four days. Other aspects of the award of sport, a skill, community service and a residential project is required to attain the Gold award. The award tries to challenge young people to acheive targets to improve their statutes like in responsibility, self reliance, perseverance and endurance, making them into a more rounded person. Certainly fromreaching Gold, Beth and myself have learnt many new and exciting skills and have made new friends equipping ourselves for the future.

We went to the Yorkshire Dales, one of the 11 National Parks, walking over many dales. On our walk we experienced going through different terrain, such as walking through woodland, moorland, grassy dales, peat bogs and a few villages. The Yorkshire Dales is located in Yorkshire and will be remembered in our group especially for its beauty and its weather.

The geology of the Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales National Park lies in a section of the Pennine hills that form the backbone of England. It's the hilly terrain that makes out the area. 350 million years ago the area consisted of grits, slates and shales covered by a shallow sea in a landmass close to the equator. Overtime, extra deposits were laid down forming Great Scar limestone under the great pressure from the shells and bodies of ancient sea living organisms.

As the land drifted north, the sea became shallower and a delta was formed laying mud flats, sediments of shales, sandstones and limestone over great Scar limestone, which makes up the rock known as the Yorkshire Dales series. (Rodeable in Wensleydale) As limestone erodes more slowly than the other rocks, this dale in scattered with white and crops of stripped limestone scars, and filled with waterfalls powered by water filtering throughout the porous rock and fumbling down natural staircases.

In the dales where we did our Duke of Edinburgh walk through, there was limestone which ties into our purpose of our expedition about finding out the water and the land forms. This type of limestone is very much different from the limestone found in the Cotswolds, which is golden brown, but the limestone we saw was one of darkgreys. From area to area the limestone shades varied as around Malham Cove the limestone was quite greyish white. Limestone a sedimentary rockwas found evident pretty well everywhere as we walked as there were huge boulders, deposited from glaciation and limestone pavements. The limestone when exposed was in layers.

The glaciation evidence was quite strong as there were sharp comes - steep wall forming lip at the valley end caused by the cutting ice. There have been three ice ages where they began in 450,000 and 190,000 years ago which influenced the Yorkshire Dale land form. The latest glacial period called the Devensian began around 80,000 years ago and ended 13,000 years ago. However between those dates the glaciation was not constant, but the whole of the Yorkshire Dales were covered at times apart from the highest peaks which stood out as islands. The land form before the glaciation affected it as it was initially a U-shaped river valleys with interlocking spurs. But the glaciation caused from the movement of spreading ice from the north and west and the erosive material carried in it, meant that it straightened out the existing valleys to produce glacial troughs.

On our walk we noticed huge vertical faces of limestone and countless scars where there was evidence of ice freezing onto rock and ripping it apart due to the fractioning of the rock. The freezing of water between the limestone pavement was evident caused by the limestone becoming a solution by chemical erosion, so a crack appeared. Then the water froze forcing it apart.

At Ribblehead there are many large eroded and deposited rocks. These are drumlins at Ribblehead. These are elongated hills of glacial deposits that are egg shaped.
Other examples of glaciation were the large boulders that have been deposited a long way from the original area of rock. In Gordale Scar the gorge is a classic example of a V shaped valley cut into the landscape by glacial melt water. The narrowness and sheer sides are evident. In the Yorkshire Dales, Semewater the exit route for melt water 13000 years ago was blocked by glacial deposits so a. lake formed. Semerwater is the last remaining example of glacial lake in the dales.

How has rivers affected the landform?

In the Yorkshire dales we saw the meanderings of streams tributaries confluencing into larger rivers. We saw the effects of the meandering river caused by the varying rates of the velocity of the river. There were scars in where the meandering loops had been but now there was an oxbow lake.
Meanders are curving bends in the river channel, caused by different levels of erosion. Meanders migrate as they move position over a long time across rivers, as we saw the scaring on the floodplains.

Below is the sequence of how meanders form:
1. The river is flowing straight. In this there are pools and riffles (pools being greater areas of erosion, and riffles are shallow areas)
2. The river develops into a series of bends due to greater areas of erosion. The
fastest flow, flows on the outside of these | bends creating deeper pools and more erosion cutting into more of the land.
3. The wave in the river has to become greater. The riffles tend to lie in the middle of the straight parts of the meander. We saw an ox-bow lake on our long walk, so this is a simple explanation in how they form.
1. The meander starts to get more loopy due to the helicoidal flow (secondary corkscrew movement in a river) and erosion and deposition.
2. The meander becomes a lot wider, and the river can't maintain the flow of the bend so it starts to break through.
3. The outer part of the loop is left isolated, and leaves a crescent shaped feature known as the oxbow lake.

Yorkshire covers a wide area, once made up of counties or "ridings" until the arrival of railways, mining and the wood industry in the 19th century was a farming area. Dry stone walls dividing fields still pepper the northern part of the county in the Yorkshire Dales alongside 19th century mill chimneys and county houses. On our walk we didn't see any mill chimneys but we did see many walls that were still being used from medieval farms. We know from history that farmers used to build many walls when keeping sheep and cattle was more profitable. 15th farmers were self-sufficient as they grazed the uplands and terraced the downlands, based on prehistoric farming methods. The walls dated from the 1590 charter which matches up with the 19th century maps of the area the fields are named the same suggesting the field boundaries not changing a lot. The walls are narrow topped and can be tested by placing your elbow on the top of the wall and stretching out your arm and see if the wall drops away from you on the other side.

Around Ribblehead there is archaeological evidence that there was a farm house that was 66ft long alongside with animal bone remains of horse, bore, pig chicken suggesting that the farmers did hunting alongside their farming. Alongside these farm buildings they have found large stones used for grinding up crops like corn, telling us today that in that early settlement they farmed by planting crops on the Yorkshire dales whilst herding sheep and hunting maintaining a stable lifestyle.

In the little farm buildings the medieval farmers made hay from these fields and stored it in the top layers of these houses and put the cattle beneath like a cattle shed for the night-time. It was typically the women and children| doing the farming whilst the men took up mining. In the mines the men used horses tunnelling into the hill sides mining for led. There is evidence for "hooshies" (gutters) where people used to mine for led by channelling water down hillsides to leave the deposits of led at the base of the valley. The people would then use the natural source of wood for fuel for the extraction process. They cleverly used the shape of the land where they used the hills where they used the prevailing wind to keep the furnaces going to build up an incredible temperature to smelt the led.

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