‘It would be a pity if he disappeared to Yorkshire & just wrote for the Dalesman’
That was the typically wry comment of my professor, Brian Robb, head of illustration, as he looked through my folio at the Royal College of Art in March 1975. So, with apologies to Brian, you can probably guess what I’ve been writing for the last three years?
With this January article, I’m starting the fourth year of my Wild Yorkshire nature diary for the monthly magazine, described as the parish magazine for the whole of Yorkshire by Alan Bennett. As my deadline is always four or five weeks ahead of the month in question, I’ve based my articles on the observations and sketches in my online Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, which I started on Sunday 4 October 1998.
I’ve kept the focus of my Dalesman diaries on the kind of things that anyone can see in Yorkshire if they get out and about in their local patch and explore gardens, country parks, woodlands, waterside and moor. Now I’m ready to go a little further . . .
Here at Middlestown, five miles south west of Wakefield, close to where Coxley Beck joins the Calder, I’m well placed for heading for the hills with four National Parks – the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors and the Lake District – and I mustn’t ignore the Vales of York, Pickering and Mowbray, the Humber Estuary and the Yorkshire Coast.
I should be able to find plenty of material for next year’s Wild Yorkshire diary!