Read the news and features from around North Yorkshire in NY Now.

An 18-tonne gritter bedecked in rainbow colours and sporting the slogan ‘North Yorkshire Salt of the Earth’ is to feature in the first UCI Road World Championships publicity caravan.

The gritter – which usually carries more traditional highways livery – will be a striking addition to the cavalcade as it makes its way through many North Yorkshire communities during the final weekend of the championships, the cycling equivalent of the football world cup.  

Along with the other vehicles in the caravan, the wagon will travel through towns and villages on September 28 and 29 to help to showcase the importance of this global event to the county and Yorkshire as a whole. It also carries a message that it’s hoped will resonate across the world reflecting the grit and resilience of North Yorkshire’s communities, including the Dales villages making a strong recovery from the summer’s flooding.

Richard Flinton, Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council, said: “In North Yorkshire we take pride in delivering services that count. Our communities are strong because our people are the salt of the earth and we wanted to take this moment to celebrate those qualities with residents, businesses and the rest of the world.

“This is an incredible moment for us and we have an important story to tell. With some of the most spectacular landscapes in England and steeped in history and heritage, we wanted to take our message back to grassroots and say this is who we are and we look forward to showing you what a terrific place North Yorkshire is.”

The council’s executive member for access, Cllr Don Mackenzie, added: “We have 5,750 miles of roads and maintaining them is a huge task – but a vital one. Roads connect communities, communities connect the county and the people living and working in our county will connect to the world throughout the championships this month.

“Since the Grand Départ in 2014, we have been building on our growing reputation as the home to world class cycling events. Viewers across some 90 nations will watch as the cyclists weave through our lanes and streets, passing traditional dales, iconic landmarks and market towns. This is truly a moment not to be missed for North Yorkshire.”     

Sponsored by our highway maintenance contractor, Ringway, the gritter is one of 86 supporting the winter service in the county as part of a fleet that have spread up to 80,000 tonnes of salt in some of the more extreme, recent winters.

Phil Jepps, Ringway Divisional Manager, said: “We are incredibly proud of the services we provide in this county and our teams are out in all weathers, keeping the travelling public safe. This event, with the spotlight on the gritter, the workhorse of our emergency response, is a fitting tribute to the high quality of the county’s roads and the calibre of the people who keep us moving.”

Andy Hindley, CEO of Yorkshire 2019, added: “We are very excited to be the first hosts of the UCI Road World Championships to have a publicity caravan, because it’s such a great way to engage the thousands of roadside spectators before the riders arrive. We are enormously grateful to North Yorkshire County Council for the role they have played in the planning for this huge sporting event and it is great to have them in the caravan.”

As is traditional with the publicity caravan – familiar to many residents and visitors thanks to the Tour de Yorkshire – the gritter will carry treats. With a nod to Yorkshire’s gritty reputation, we will hand out free natural sea salt crisps provided by Yorkshire Crisps and handmade artisan salted caramel fudge from Harrogate brand Stirrd.

Tim Wheatley of the Yorkshire Crisp Company, said: “We are very pleased to be able to support the UCI 2019 Road World Championships, which will take place this year in God’s Own County, and we will be providing bags of Natural Sea Salt Yorkshire Crisps to hand out to spectators. Yorkshire Crisps are made from specially selected Yorkshire-grown potatoes, which are thinly sliced with the skin left on to make them extra crispy and retain all the best nutrients. They are hand-fried in hot sunflower oil for a few minutes and then drizzled whilst still warm with totally natural seasonings. We are very proud of our Yorkshire heritage and are thrilled to be able to be involved with this prestigious sporting event. We hope all the recipients enjoy a taste of what Yorkshire has to offer.”

Rachael Best, brand manager at Stirrd, said: “We love cycling at Stirrd and we're excited that the UCI riders will be coming so close to our HQ in Harrogate. We can’t wait for people to try our melt-in-the-mouth, good-for-the-soul fudge while they’re cheering on the world’s best cyclists. To celebrate Yorkshire hosting one of the biggest UK sporting events this year, we’re offering 20 per cent off a box of premium confectionery treats using code UCI2019 at”

The rainbow gritter was unveiled outside Bedale Hall alongside the latest addition to North Yorkshire’s winter fleet – a state-of-the-art six-wheeler, 25-tonne truck complete with four-way camera system. This new addition to the fleet of the council’s highways contractor, Ringway, will tackle some of the toughest routes in North Yorkshire this winter, including Sutton Bank.

With now just days to go until the cycling equivalent of the world cup arrives in North Yorkshire, shop windows, streets and gardens across the county are decorated and communities primed for some memorable celebrations.

The UCI Road World Championships returns to the UK for the first time since 1982 next week and promises to be a spectacular event.

The nine-day sporting event will involve 1,400 cyclists from 90 countries, from the US to Syria and Guatemala and is expected to be viewed by more than 250 million viewers worldwide.

Live footage of the race will be shown on BBC2 and will feature many of North Yorkshire’s towns and villages, which lie on the routes.

Community celebrations are planned up and down the county to coincide with the race over the coming days.

The UCI Road World Championships begin this Sunday, September 22, and are preceded by the Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International event on Saturday, September 21, a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.


Tadcaster will be kicking off the celebrations on Saturday, September 21. It is one of three start locations on the Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International races, which all finish in Harrogate.

A community cycling festival has been organised in the town to coincide with the races, which have been organised by Tadcaster Event Management Project Team, supported by Selby District Council. There will be family-friendly cycling themed activities, including the chance to try riding inclusive bikes, mega bikes and rickshaws. There will also be community stalls and activities in Kirkgate and Westgate.


The Dales Bike Centre at Fremington, is hosting the Swaledale Fan Hub and has organised a host of activities and events around the race and organised a pop-up campsite.

There will be a large, outdoor screen showing the racing live on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday night will also be film night on the big screen, when spectators can bring a deck chair and warm jacket to enjoy the entertainment.

Saturday, September 28, will feature a bike ride to Masham at 10.30am to watch the women’s race and during the evening there will be live music at the fan hub.

Sunday, September 29, will see the Men’s Elite Road Race World Championship pass the bike centre at approximately midday. There will be an onsite bar and catering throughout the day and a chance to head up to Grinton Moor, where North Yorkshire County Council recently built a temporary crossing over Cogden Beck, after the traditional masonry bridge was washed away by floods.


Around 100 of the world’s best men’s under-23 cyclists will race through the town on Friday, September 27, the seventh day of the UCI Road World Championships.

Volunteers from Boroughbridge Welcomes the World have been encouraging residents and local businesses on the race route to decorate their home or shop front with bunting and bikes and have organised some family-friendly events, including a big screen, inflatable bouncy castle, assault course, music, hog roast and refreshments stalls. About 50 bales of straw are being brought into the town for fans to sit on and watch the big screen.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Robert Windass, who represents the Boroughbridge division, said: “There will be something for all ages on the race day, as we look to make the most of the brilliant event. The town has been buzzing with excitement for the last few months, so we can’t wait to showcase Boroughbridge at its very best on the world stage.”


Knaresborough has two celebrations planned. The first takes place on Saturday, September 21, when the Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International passes through the town’s High Street between 2pm and 4pm, when Knaresborough Chamber of Trade has organised a day of entertainment. There will be displays of historic and classic vehicles in Market Square, along with food and drink stalls, a special farmers’ market and children’s entertainment.

There will also be free entertainment with a cycling theme at Knaresborough Castle from 11am until 9pm. The Party in the Castle will feature a “Fake Festival” in the evening featuring live tribute acts.

Knaresborough Autumnfest will take place from Friday, September 27, to Sunday, September 29, organised by volunteers with Renaissance Knaresborough, to coincide with the final two days of the championships. The Autumnfest will be a celebration of all things Knaresborough, including a pop-up museum at the COGS centre near Gracious Street, guided walks, stalls and music, dance and art events.


Ripon is planning a three-day festival of events from Friday, September 27, to Sunday, September 29, to mark the cycling championships.

A fan zone will be open in the Market Place on all three days. Various tribute acts will perform including, of Friday, Viva Forever (Spice Girls) and The Cavern Nights (The Beatles) and, on Saturday, Gladness (Madness).

There will also be other musical performances, including Last Night of the Proms with the Mike James Orchestra, followed by fireworks, on Saturday and Ripon City Band on Sunday.

Families will also be able to enjoy attractions including face painting, Punch and Judy, stunt shows, donkey rides, a bicycle exhibition, a funfair and a climbing wall. Some of these will be located in the Spa Gardens.

Other towns with community celebrations planned include Ripon, Masham, Leyburn, Northallerton and Richmond, among others.

North Yorkshire County Council chairman Cllr Jim Clark said: “The arrival of the championships is a once-in-a-lifetime sporting event.

“The race will bring with it a huge national and international audience and many will be seeing North Yorkshire’s towns and villages for the first time. I know communities up and down the county will be pulling out all the stops to ensure people are left in no doubt what a welcoming, beautiful county North Yorkshire is.”

North Yorkshire County Council has some tips to help people enjoy the race and preserve the unique Yorkshire Dales environment:

  • Avoid parking on the race route and use designated car parks if you do need to use your car.
  • Avoid standing on sections of the route which are narrow, have no verge or have walls with a drop behind them. Similarly, don’t watch the race from a bridge.
  • Preserve and protect dry stone walls on the route by not climbing, standing or sitting on them.
  • Be mindful that the rolling road closures finish once the “end of race” vehicles have passed.
  • Avoid trespassing on private land.


From inspecting roadworks to responding to flooding or getting involved in a major cycle race, North Yorkshire’s female engineers enjoy some varied careers. North Yorkshire Now caught up with some of them as the Women’s Engineering Society marks its centenary year.

“I had only ever worked in admin before, so this job was like a breath of fresh air,” said Tessa Neilson, who has worked as a traffic engineer with North Yorkshire County Council for the past year.

“It’s a very varied job; that’s what’s good about it.

“Day to day we get a wide variety of queries and quandaries which come our way from a wide variety of people.

“I enjoy the problem-solving side; it’s a bit of a challenge.”

Tessa is one of North Yorkshire County Council’s 65 female engineers, who make up 16 per cent of its Highways and Transport workforce. This is four per cent higher than the national average of 12 per cent, according to 2018 statistics from Engineering UK, but Highways Improvement Manager, Helen Watson, said they were continually striving to increase this number.

“There’s more females in engineering now – you’re no longer the only female in the office and it’s great to see a lot of young ladies coming through the ranks,” she said.

“As a society we’re beginning to recognise now that half the people we’re designing for are female and if only guys do all the designing and planning then, of course, they’re coming at it from a male point of view. Getting that balance of diversity in engineering is important; it means the solutions they come up with are more likely to help everyone.”

She has worked for 29 years in engineering after being encouraged at school to take the maths and physics subjects which allowed her to study for an engineering degree.

“I think we’re striving for a point where it’s not unusual for women to be engineers, where people don’t say 'there’s a lady with a hard hat on',” said Helen.

As one of North Yorkshire County Council’s newest recruits, Tessa Neilson, said her route into engineering began when an opportunity for maternity cover for another female engineer arose at the council. Previously, she worked in business administration.

“Being interviewed to cover maternity leave gave me a great insight into the job role. It was like I got the benefit of a taster to see if it could be a career path for me.

“When a permanent position became available I interviewed for that too and was offered the role, which took me to the Boroughbridge and Knaresborough highways area.

“From there I have been enrolled at York College to study towards an HNC in Construction and the Built Environment.

“My personal experience is that within the council there have been no barriers towards becoming an engineer and I still receive a great amount of encouragement and support now.

“I’m still learning, but it’s made easy because of the support of other engineers. I’ve found if you are willing to learn and ask questions then there are plenty of people happy to help you.”

Her role includes dealing with requests for highways improvements, road signs, traffic regulation orders, road closures and raising orders for improvement work.

“In time, I will be learning about the development control side of things; how to respond to planning applications with recommendations from a highway perspective, and then go on to learning the maintenance side of the job involving surface dressing etc.

“So this is a role I can see will have plenty of variety to keep me constantly interested and learning over time.”

Beccy Shucksmith agrees engineering offers plenty of variety. She’s one of three female street works inspectors in a team of 11 and inspects utility and road works in the Ripon area. She joined North Yorkshire County Council’s highways department as an apprentice in 2007.

She said: “I had wanted to go into graphic design but I didn’t enjoy college, so when this apprenticeship with the council came up I went for it.

“I was a technical assistant in street works for 12 years and I have been in this inspector’s job for three years. This job is perfect for me; I love it. It’s not something I would have considered at school, but it’s a brilliant career.”

According to the Office for National Statistics, there are now 36,000 more women working in construction than there were 20 years ago, but 324,000 more men.

There are a number of challenges to overcome in getting more women into engineering.

Pam Johnson, a chartered engineer and technical specialist began working for North Yorkshire County Council in 1984 as an assistant engineer.

“It’s a very different industry now than the one I joined ten years ago. But a lot of research has shown there are still barriers.

“One of them is the public perception about the image of engineering and the male image it has. It’s trying to get rid of that and getting people to understand anybody can do it. Engineering is problem-solving; even if your skill is reinterpreting recipes – it’s all about finding different ways of doing things.”

Kallum Takacs is enjoying the working life he wanted after securing gardening work following completion of a supported internship.

Kallum, 21, undertook the internship through the Harrogate Skills 4 Living Centre (HS4LC), which supports people living with learning disabilities. He worked on maths and English qualifications, as well as learning other skills for employment, and spent a day a week doing work experience as a gardener at Rudding Park in Harrogate.

With all that behind him, Kallum has managed to find employment with local company SM Gardening Ltd.

“Gardening is what I was hoping to do,” said Kallum, “because I like to be outside. I have managed to gain that experience and get a job out of it.”

“I am working on a lot of private gardens all over the area, cutting grass and weeding and whatever people need doing. I really enjoy the grass-cutting, strimming and leaf-blowing and the general maintenance.”

“It was good to do it through HS4LC. It helped me to get my maths and English up to date and has helped me do really well.”

The County Council is keen that all young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) should be able to reach their potential in the world of work. That’s why we are holding a series of careers events in response to calls from the county’s Flying High group, which represents young people with SEND, for more help in finding out about employment opportunities.

Major employers will be taking part in the events, including Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Morrisons, Greggs, Flamingoland theme park, the FT Group, which includes construction companies Walter Thompson and Willoughbys, the NHS and the County Council’s recruitment teams. In addition, there will be support organisations that can offer information and advice.

Young people can book sessions in advance with employers to learn about what employers there are in the area, how employers recruit, what they look for in staff and how they can support young people with SEND within the workplace. Opportunities could include one-year supported internships with the possibility of moving into employment.

Chelsea Tiley, the chair of Flying High, who is currently at college, said: “We wanted more training in employability skills to get people into work, as we didn’t think there was enough of that. I will be going along to one of the events to see what’s on offer.”

County Councillor Patrick Mulligan, Executive Member for Education and Skills, said: “We’ve listened to what young people with special educational needs have told us and have designed these events to meet their requirements and enable them to raise their aspirations.

“The events will be a great opportunity to talk to major companies about what they can offer, so I urge young people to take advantage of the opportunity. Come along and find out how you might be able to move into work.

“We’re grateful to the businesses taking part, but are also keen to hear from other employers, particularly smaller businesses, around the county that would be interested in providing opportunities.

“Employment is a wonderful way to help young people with SEND to begin to realise their potential and just how much they may be able to achieve, but there are wider benefits that come from the expanded social network that having work colleagues can bring.”

Flying High with Your Future SEND careers and employment events will take place at:

  • Craven College on 19 September
  • Northallerton School and Sixth Form on 24 September
  • Selby College on 1 October
  • Adult Learning and Skills Service, 80 High Street, Starbeck, Harrogate, on 3 October

Each event will run from 5pm to 8pm.

The events are open to any young person with SEND from Year 7, the first year of secondary school, onwards.

To book a space visit Fly high with your future. For more information, email

You’ve separated your paper, metal, glass and plastics ready for your kerbside collection. What about the items left in your rubbish bin?

Once upon a time the majority of household waste in North Yorkshire went to landfill. Now, more than 320,000 tonnes of black bag waste is processed at Allerton Waste Recovery Park every year, turning your rubbish into enough energy to power 40,000 homes!

If you’re curious to know more about what happens to waste in North Yorkshire, watch this video or arrange a visit to Allerton Waste Recovery Park.

More than 60,000 tonnes of household waste are also collected at household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) across the county. Last year, people in North Yorkshire took 3,961 tonnes of scrap metal to HWRCs. That’s the equivalent of more than 300 double decker buses!

And if you can picture how much six jumbo jets would weight, that’s the equivalent to the amount of small electrical appliances people recycled at the local HWRCs last year. An amazing 1,904 tonnes!

Find out what else you can take to your local HWRC

You can also look out for more ideas to reduce your waste, reuse and recycle on our social media channels during Recycling Week from 23 September.

Previous edition

On Tuesday, 30 July, more than 100mm of rain fell on parts of Richmondshire in what the Met Office described as a “very rare weather event”.

Reeth, Grinton, Bellerby and Leyburn were particularly badly affected by flooding.

The recovery operation immediately went into top gear and in the days since the rain communities, volunteers and agencies, including the County Council and Richmondshire District Council, have all pulled together to get the area back on its feet.

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“The resilience and community spirit and the way everybody is pulling together to help those directly affected in the upper Dales is phenomenal,” said County Council Leader Cllr Carl Les.

Here we present a snapshot of the work we and many others have been doing – and will continue to do – to help the communities recover.

Working to reconnect communities

A temporary bridge was lifted into place on Wednesday to replace the damaged Cogden Beck crossing on the B6270 which links the upper dale to Richmond. Work is continuing to repair a landslip further along the road so it can reopen to two-way traffic as soon as possible. The target date for this is August 16, when the B6270 will be reopened under traffic management.


Work is also under way at the site of a second bridge on the C106 at Grinton Moor, which was swept away by torrential water. A steel pipe will be lowered into the beck upstream of the ruins of the bridge to form the basis of a road diversion parallel to the collapsed bridge. The short diversion around the broken crossing will reconnect the C106 until the damaged stone structure is repaired. We aim to reopen the C106 to traffic by the end of August. Reconstruction of a permanent masonry bridge, similar to the one destroyed, will take place at a later date.

The county council will continue to monitor highways diversion routes, some of which are on very minor roads, to make sure they are safe and usable at all times. Everyone is urged to drive with care and be patient in letting other vehicles pass safely.

Supporting communities

Our resilience and emergencies team have also been on the ground since the rain fell, forging ahead with a clear-up operation with volunteers in the communities, Richmondshire District Council officers and volunteer members of Team Rubicon UK, which is made up largely of ex-military personnel.

Along with volunteers from the our Major Incident Response Team, they have clearing out flood water and rubble from people’s homes, delivered sandbags, food parcels, cleaning and drying equipment, provided advice and dished out hot meals in the community hubs in Grinton, Reeth and Bellerby.

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“Our staff and volunteers, who have been out and about in the Upper Dales have been so impressed with the huge generosity shown for those affected by the floods,” said Cllr Les.  “For the most part residents have been hugely appreciative of the speed and level of support.

“They also want to send out the message loud and clear that the Yorkshire Dales is still open for business. While we urge people to adhere to any road closure or flood warning signs by not driving through these closures, the overwhelming majority of the Yorkshire Dales is still accessible and ready with a big welcome for visitors.”

Calling for more support for farmers

We have issued a plea to Government to release emergency funds to help farmers whose businesses have been devastated by the floods.

In a letter to the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Theresa Villiers MP, we issue an open invitation to the minister to witness the aftermath first-hand. We outline the vital importance of the Dales’ farmers to the local economy and environment and call for emergency funds to help rebuild farming businesses and for urgent changes to the criteria to allow those hit to access the Farming Recovery Fund.


Council Leader Cllr Carl Les said: “There has been significant damage to road infrastructure, which we are working to resolve and liaising with Department of Transport. However, this letter is focused on the critical role played by the area’s farming community, many of whom have suffered significantly.

“Farming is a crucial business for us here in North Yorkshire and is one of the mainstays of our local economy. It’s a tough business in these upland areas and many farms are barely viable, yet at the same time they are absolutely vital to the communities, the landscape and the tourism industry that the whole of the Dales relies upon. We appeal to Government to release funds urgently to help them recover.”

Marske Choir community choir came together to cheer everybody up and promote the spirit of togetherness. At an open-air recital in Reeth members of the choir performed a special version of the much-loved song Beautiful Dale. The recital included a specially written verse about the floods and was sung by local farmer Martin Wallis.

Cockburns in Bedale donated and delivered 250 pies and the fish and chip shop in Hawes sent over a consignment of mushy peas so pie and peas could be offered from the Bellerby hub for people in without the means to cook.


Wayne Pearson, manager of Cockburn’s, said: “We had seen everything that had been going on and wanted to do anything we could to help. It was on the spur of the moment and in the great scheme of things it is a small gesture, but we will try to do anything we can to help.

“The owners, Mark and Jonathan, and I and most of the staff have grown up around the area, so it is horrible to see anyone go through this. It is only a few miles away. We were very lucky to miss most of it here in Bedale.”

Catherine Iveson is a Ready for Anything volunteer, one of more than 300 people across North Yorkshire who will step up to provide practical support to people whose lives have been affected by an emergency.

Ready for Anything was set up by York CVS and City of York Council following the devastation caused by the Boxing Day floods in 2015. With funding from the County Council, it has been adopted by the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum.

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Most recently, Catherine, pictured above, was among members of the team supporting people affected by flooding after the unprecedented rain in parts of the Dales last week. Catherine visited householders in her home town of Leyburn, Reeth and Bellerby. The Ready for Anything team worked alongside the County Council’s Major Incident Response Team and volunteers from the community and other authorities.

Catherine’s desire to help others was instilled at an early age.

“When I was about nine I lived here in Leyburn and a lady in Wensley, just down the road, set fire to her house,” she said. “It was totally burned out, and I went along with a group of ladies and we cleaned out her house for her and it was such a lovely feeling to be able to do something that it stayed with me.”

In her working life, Catherine became a nurse, helping people every day.

“I’m always happy to help someone out if they are struggling,” she said. “A lot of people are, living alone. After the flooding on Tuesday I went to see some people I know who have been flooded before and again their house was wet through.

“They’d had water up to their waist and had lost everything. So I went back with my cleaning stuff and plastic bags to help them. What they really wanted was some moral support at that point, and tea and coffee and some food.

“I got involved with Ready for Anything because I wanted to give something back. People have troubles going on in their homes, their lives and it’s something practical I could do.”

Anyone aged 18 or over can become a Ready for Anything volunteer. No skills are required, just a desire to help others. There is no obligation to offer a regular commitment. Volunteers are notified when there's an incident and if they can help they confirm by text message. Training is provided.

Find out more here:

Our recent teaching awards sought to recognise members of school staff that inspire and make a difference to the lives of the county’s children and young people. They aim to celebrate good practice as well as raising the profile of teaching. We hear from some of the winners.

“Brilliant” and “inspiring” teacher Helen Holmes, pictured below, is making a big impression at her first school, Hookstone Chase Primary in Harrogate.

Helen, who has been at Hookstone Chase for four years, took the award for Classroom Teacher of the Year in a Primary School.

Headteacher Vivien Watson said: “As a relatively new teacher, Helen has been nothing except brilliant in inspiring her young learners. Her classroom a sea of calm and happiness and she excels in developing her children and support staff.”

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Helen supports a number of children with complex needs and is leading on special educational needs and disabilities at the enhanced mainstream school.

“The role of special educational needs co-ordinator came about this year and I jumped at it, because it struck a chord with me,” she says. “I have always been interested in trying to work out how best to support children. I have always wanted to make sure that all children have access to education in the same way.

She adds: “My family are my biggest supporters. They are continuously encouraging and believing in me. I wouldn't be where I am today without their love and support.”

After more than 30 years as a teaching assistant at St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School, Ripon, Catherine Harland, pictured below, is getting used to helping the children of people she taught 20 or more years ago take their first steps into school life.

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Catherine took the prize for Teaching Assistant in a Primary School. She works in the foundation unit with children aged three to five.

“Next year will be my 33rd,” she says. “I’m finding that I taught the parents of a lot of the children I now register in the foundation unit. That was a bit strange at first, but now it’s quite a common occurrence.

“I still keep the old-fashioned paper register, even though there is no need these days, so I can look back to see when I registered their parents. The parents love looking back and seeing themselves and other children they remember.”

Catherine is a key person for half the class, which means she makes sure those children are getting their entitlement and is the first point of contact for parents.

“It is a very privileged job, because people are leaving their dearest in the hands of someone else for the first time,” she says. “When I became a mum I realised how hard it is to hand your child over, so it is a privilege.”

Newly qualified Megan Rowley is a reception teacher, guiding children through their first year at South Milford Primary School. She was named Newly Qualified Teacher in a Primary School.

“I really enjoy teaching that age group,” she says. “They learn so quickly, they make so much progress and it is brilliant to see. It is amazing to see the things they can achieve with their reading, writing and numbers.”

Headteacher Melanie Lawrence says: “Megan has definitely made a huge impact in our school. She approaches everything with an enthusiastic ‘can do’ attitude and has thrown herself into all aspects of school life.”

Also among the winners was the specialist education team of Class 3 at Springhead School, Scarborough,

which ensures children with profound and multiple learning difficulties and life-limiting medical conditions receive the best possible education and quality of life.

Headteacher Debbie Wilson says: “Led by class teacher Eileen Corbett, this team provides a positive and passionate focus to ensure their pupils receive excellent and consistent support and education.”

The team includes Eileen, Jean Monkman, Karen Raven, Alison Robert, Susan Steel and Jess Pinder.

Eileen, who retired at the end of last term after ten years at the school, said: “We have such a happy environment and it is a privilege to work with these children. I have worked with them for many years and they are so close to my heart.”

Teach in North Yorkshire

County Councillor Patrick Mulligan, Executive Member for Education and Skills, said: “These finalists represent the many great teachers and support staff in the county’s schools who are so dedicated to helping children and young people achieve their very best.

“Teachers in North Yorkshire show fantastic commitment and in return get great support through professional development, partnership working and sharing good practice.

“We hold these awards as a signal to teachers everywhere and to those wanting to become teachers, to come to North Yorkshire and build a great career.”

Further details about working as a teacher in North Yorkshire, vacancies and teacher training, plus more photos from the Teaching Awards, can be found on

The award winners in full:

  • Newly Qualified Teacher in a Primary School: Megan Rowley, South Milford Primary School
  • Teaching/Support Assistant of the Year in a Secondary School Setting: Zoe Spink, Malton School and Sixth form
  • Outstanding team or individual (Non-Teaching Team) – Secondary: Ollie Williams and Dave Harston, Stokesley School
  • Specialist Education Team of the Year: Eileen Corbett: Specialist Teacher, Jean Monkman: HLTA, Karen Raven: ATA, Alison Robert : ATA, Susan Steele:  GTA, Jess Pinder: PCA,  Springhead School
  • Stepping up to the Challenge - Innovation Award:   Zoe Gill, Settle College
  • Newly Qualified Teacher in a Secondary School:     Peter Woodrow, Malton School & Sixth Form
  • Teaching Assistant - Primary School: Catherine Harland, St Wilfrid’s;
  • Outstanding Team or Individual (Non-teaching Team) - Primary School: Kim Exelby, Easingwold Primary School
  • Community and Collaboration Award (School/Team): Social, Emotional, Mental Health Team - Helen Mukherjee, Janet Laidler-Smith, Stuart Heaviside, Elizabeth Mukherjee, Upper Wharfedale School
  • Classroom Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School: Sam Stones, Norton College
  • Classroom Teacher of the Year in a Primary School: Helen Holmes, Hookstone Chase Primary School

Jenny Lowes, a service improvement officer working with our waste management team, has a wealth of experience in recycling. Here, she talks about the joy of composting.

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I love composting, it’s so easy and you’re recycling your own waste without it leaving your garden.

I currently have two compost bins; one very basic old wooden one that came with the garden and one of the square plastic ones that I bought from my local council 20 years ago that moved with me. I’m needing a third bin but can’t decide between making one out of some old pallets that the builders have left behind or just going to the household waste recycling centre and buying one of our £11 compost converters.

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Layers are the key to a successful compost bin. Every time I add some green waste (nitrogen) I make sure it’s followed by a layer of brown (carbon) to give a half and half mix.

Most kitchen waste is considered green: vegetable peelings, toilet roll holders, the scum from the sink strainer, the empty flour packet, the tea bags and coffee grounds, fuzzy fruit, a vase of flowers and torn-up pizza boxes. If it will rot down then it goes in. You can even put shredded paper in, just avoid glossy magazines, there's something in the finish that the worms don't like. Other than that, any paper will do.

I have converted the vacuum cleaner bags to a reusable bag (they’re available to buy online), so I now tip that into the compost bin, too. Yes, some grass cuttings, leaves and weeds head into the bin, too.

My top tip would be to buy the biggest kitchen bin you can find and try to line it with paper or card from the start. I loved the size and look of my bin when I first bought it. It can hold a couple of weeks’ worth of stuff (it doesn’t smell, honest!), but because it’s made from metal it’s now just started to rust and leak so liquid can come out of it. I’m looking for a new one, but it has to fit in with the kitchen décor.

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I have been tempted by the food waste digesters and alternatives such as Green Johannas, Green Cones, Bokashi bins and wormeries, as you can put leftover cooked food waste and even meat in these. I’m not keen on worms, though, after a bad experience with the office wormery that I took home one night before a school assembly. The lid wasn’t on correctly and I came down to many slithery trails and worms on the carpet…

They all work on the same principle – microbes, bacteria and fungi to invade until what was whole will be broken down into dark, rich, crumbling compost. Compost replaces fertility lost from the soil through plant growth. It is particularly important if you are growing annuals, such as vegetables, where nutrients are readily lost through harvesting.

We made this short video which does summarise how to home compost.

Our volunteer Rotters will be promoting home composting at various events during August:

  • Saturday, 3 August: Hovingham village market, beside Hovingham village hall, 10am to 1.30pm;
  • Wednesday, 7 August: Thornton-le-Dale Show, Showfield, Maltongate, Thornton-le-Dale, 8.30am to 5pm;
  • Saturday, 10 August: Malton Monthly Food Market, Malton Market Place, 9am to 4pm;
  • Sunday, 11 August: Thoralby Fete, promoting Love Food Hate Waste with smoothie bike, Thoralby village green, 2pm to 4.30pm;
  • Thursday, 15 August: Love Food Hate Waste promotion with smoothie bike activity and mini wormery activity, Great Ayton Discovery Centre, 105B High Street, 11am to 2pm;
  • Sunday, 18 August: Harrogate and District Allotment Federation Annual Show, The Sun Pavilion, Valley Gardens, Harrogate. 11am to 4pm;
  • Saturday, 24 August: The Craft and Food Festival at Sherburn in Elmet - Eversley Park, Sherburn in Elmet, LS25 6BA, 10am to 4pm;
  • Tuesday, 27 August: Kilnsey Show in Upper Wharfedale with Nigel Brown’s Love Food Hate Waste cookery demonstrations, 8.30am until 5pm.

Go along and see this friendly bunch to talk composting. They’re all ready to help and advise.

Further dates can be found at

If you haven’t got a heap, now is the time to start. We offer home compost bins from £9, for further details please visit

330-litre home compost bins are available to buy for £11 from HarrogateMaltonNorthallertonSeamer CarrSelbySkipton and Whitby household waste recycling centres. This offer is limited to two compost bins per household. Payment must be made by credit or debit card only. These compost bins are only available to North Yorkshire residents - your address will be required for purchase.

Shops and residents across North Yorkshire will soon be welcoming the UCI Road World Championships to their towns and villages. North Yorkshire Now caught up with one town where businesses are ensuring their town makes its mark.

“This will be a world affair,” said Ian Weatherhead, owner of Weatherhead and Sons butchers on Pateley Bridge High Street.

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“I’m sure the race will be good for the town. We’re all for it. We have always done our utmost to ensure Nidderdale provides a good welcome. With this race being televised on the BBC, there’s no advert breaks and no chance we will be missed - it’s really going to promote Harrogate and the wider area.”

The family-run butchers has been on Pateley Bridge High Street for five generations and is now run by Ian’s son, Andrew. They are planning to create a special giant UCI pork pie in time for the arrival of the race in September, which will take pride of place in their shop window.

The UCI Road World Championships are due to pass through the town on two separate occasions, with the Men’s Under-23s race heading through the town on Friday, September 27 and the Women’s Elite race on Saturday, September 28.

It is now less than 50 days until the UCI Road World Championships begins on September 22, preceded for the first time by the Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International on Saturday, September 21. Over the nine-day event, approximately 1,400 athletes from 90 different countries will arrive in the region, along with support teams, journalists and other visitors from across the UK and overseas.

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Despite the torrential rain seen in recent days – and severe flooding which affected the Yorkshire Dales – Pateley Bridge and its fellow Dales towns remain very much open for business.

Many of the Pateley Bridge’s retailers are already well underway with their planned celebrations for the race.

They include Tilly Chandler, who runs the Spar store on the High Street with her husband. She is planning to get local children to help create a colourful, rainbow window display for the store on the High Street.

Tilly said for businesses like hers, the benefit would come from the legacy of the race, rather than the day itself.

“On the day itself we get people coming in buying bottles of water or snacks, but not doing their big shop. But thanks to the publicity on television, we get people coming in throughout the year and people coming in saying they saw us on the race,” she said.

Sandra Walker is a community hub coordinator at Nidderdale Community Hub, which houses the local library, Tourist Information Centre and a host of drop-in sessions, groups and other meetings in Pateley Bridge. She said they were already receiving queries from visitors, including one who was visiting the town to plan his viewing point, from where he will watch the race through Nidderdale.

Sandra said: “He’s already arranged his accommodation for the race and picked out his spot where he will view the race from. He can’t wait!”

Kirsty Hannam, of Visit Nidderdale, said following last week’s devastating floods, an event like the UCI Road World Championships was important in showing people the Yorkshire Dales was still open for business.

“Pateley Bridge and Upper Nidderdale survived the recent flooding relatively unscathed, and we stand in solidarity with our sister Dales who have been worst affected,” she said.

“All of Nidderdale’s businesses, tourist attractions, and transport links are open and welcoming visitors as usual.

“This is a crucial time of year for the local economy, so if you have an existing booking please don’t cancel. Check with your accommodation provider for further information.

“If you haven’t booked yet, but were planning to visit the Dales this summer, we have a huge variety of places to go and explore.”

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