With its picturesque appearance, rural location and strong sense of community it is hardly surprising Reeth attracts many highly skilled craft traders.

They provide a lure for visitors to the area and help to keep the community alive, by contributing to a virtuous circle of providing employment which supports families, who create a need for schools and the cycle of life which ensures communities stay vibrant and healthy.

In Reeth, some are focused on the Reeth Dales Centre, which accommodates fourteen small businesses in the same complex.

They are by no means the only craft businesses in the district, but they act as a showcase for the high-quality, individualistic workmanship the area can produce.

Those based there are as varied as a baker, Wensleydale wool shop and a metal sculptor whose impressive designs are reaching an increasingly wide audience.

Michael Kusz

Michael Kusz took up a workshop in the centre after a varied career, which saw him move from his native Wales, though art college and teacher training education to repairing car bodies at a Reeth garage.

That fired his desire to sculpt with metal – after working with many other materials – and led to his current career, with his work recognised and displayed internationally.

National recognition has not brought a desire to move elsewhere, however.

Michael said: “I have been at the centre for 22 years. It is lovely here, I moved into the area about 40 years ago.

“It has been a joy, it is the first place I have ever felt at home. It has been a joy to put roots down somewhere you feel you belong.”