A YouTube video provided the excuse for a visit to what must be one of the quietest dales on the North York Moors.
Hartoft, or should it be Hartoft-dale, is a shallow v-shaped tributary of Rosedale. It could be said to be a Rosedale in miniature, and without the crowds.
And the video was an interview with Nicky and Simon Johnston of a mural painted on the gable end of their barn in support of Hen Harrier Day, an event held this year on 8th August to raise awareness of all birds of prey and their criminal persecution by unscrupulous landowners and gamekeepers.
Raptor persecution seems to be on the increase. Hardly a week goes by without some report of another Buzzard, Kite, or Hen Harrier going missing or being found dead in suspicious circumstances. And the county with the worst reputation of all is North Yorkshire. A browse at the RSPB’s Raptor Persecution Map Hub is thoroughly disheartening.
The mural is a powerful work of art, a statement by local dales folk who opposed to these crimes being committed.
For obvious reasons, I have decided to omit the usual marker pinpointing my position from today’s map extract.