Shooting on the Moor – the final poll result

You will all know that we have tried to be as democratic as possible, in giving all our members the chance to vote on our policy about the lease to allow grouse shooting on the Moor.

In the end, 174 members recorded their preferences. That is 41.4% of our membership; an extraordinarily high proportion, as anyone who has ever tried to organise a vote in a voluntary organisation will confirm. For those few people who have questioned its validity, I should point out that this is a higher proportion than those who vote in local elections (in the last election in Wharfedale on 15.11.12, 27.51% of the electorate voted).

Of those who voted, 146 (83.9%) supported our policy, that the shooting lease should be ended. 20 (11.5%) wished the lease to continue and 8 (4.6% ) abstained. There can be no doubt that our policy has overwhelming support from our membership .

I have written to Councillor Green to tell him of our member’s feelings on the subject. The shooting lease is due to come before the Executive Committee of the Council and we await its decision with interest.

The Events Programme

There is a lot more to the Friends of Ilkley Moor than our policy on shooting. Your committee has recently been considering our next year’s Events Programme. The Programme, which is put together by our admirable Project’s Officer, Tracy Gray, is our flagship publication. Throughout the summer months there will be a splendid series of events, some practical, some educational, and all a great deal of fun. These events will often be run by Tracy, but will sometimes have outside experts.

We want to ensure that our events are as well supported as possible. This means we must get the Events Programme distributed as widely as possible. At the moment, much of the distribution falls on the shoulders of just one member of our committee, Barry Wilkinson. We need to find other members who will help. What we need is for individual members to be prepared to take on responsibility for distribution to, say, their local library or doctor’s surgery. This means more than taking a handful of programmes on just one occasion, but means being prepared to take a supply and making sure that the library or surgery is kept topped up with Programmes from about April onwards. It really is not difficult if you are a regular visitor to, say, the Clarke Foley Centre, to put a dozen Events Programmes in your shopping bag once a week, and replenishing the stock.

If you do think you can help, please do get in touch.

We shall also be trying to get the message out, abo ut our events by circulating members of other organisations, by posters in strategic places and by our website. We are also trying, rather late in the day, to make more use of social media. So we hope our new Facebook page will soon make its appearance. We may even explore Twitter, though whether it is possible to say anything meaningful in 140 characters is a moot point.


An item that ought to have been mentioned in the last Newsletter is that the path (for which we paid) from the Lower Tarn to Backstone Beck, has be en completely resurfaced. Members who may have walked in previous winters between the Lower Tarn and the Cow & Calf Rocks may remember how, in wet weather, the steep slope down, just before Backstone Beck could become almost impassable because it was so slippery . The path is now very much improved and has a good firm surface throughout. As with all paths on the Moor, it will be necessary go back after there has been some heavy rain, to see where additional cross drains, etc are required. But for the moment we are extremely pleased that once again, the funds we have raised have contributed to very greatly enhancing a well used path on the Moor.

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