The picture doesn’t quite portray the hurricane-like gusts, making it a struggle to stay upright. Another rain shower is looming, chasing away the previous one in no time.
I’m up on the moor behind Park Nab, looking across Kildale. On the distant skyline, at its highest point, stands Captain Cook’s Monument. But something’s amiss with the foreground. The dilapidated fence doesn’t quite fit in. It’s not often you see precast concrete fence posts on heather-covered moors. They’ve an almost military or utility-like feel. My hunch tells me they put it up to keep the livestock away from a spring that’s marked on the map.
Now, Captain Cook’s Monument is on Easby Moor, but that entire forested ridge to the right, well, that’s Coate Moor. A nod has been given for a 25-metre telecommunications mast here to serve the folks of Kildale1Minting, Stuart. 2023. ‘Phone Mast Approved beside National Walking Trail – Hambleton Today’, Hambleton Today <https://www.hambletontoday.co.uk/phone-mast-approved-beside-national-walking-trail/> [accessed 16 September 2023]. I’m not exactly sure where that “dark green lattice” mast will stand, but I reckon it’ll be somewhere up there above Bankside Farm — that’s the farm on the hillside to the right of that corner fence post. Apparently, when you look from Kildale, you’ll see the top six metres of the mast poking above the trees, but it’ll also be visible from Roseberry Topping and Captain Cook’s monument.
I do possess a certain degree of ambivalence. The erection of such masts is driven by the necessities of contemporary human existence, and the benefits of a rural mobile network will probably outweigh the ugliness of a mast’s presence within a National Park, despite this one’s near concealment by a dreary commercial plantation. Furthermore, it is possible that it will not be there forever. It is highly conceivable that, in a few decades, Elon Musk’s Starlink system will dominate the world, masts will have become obsolete, and folks might find themselves mourning the loss of such examples of industrial antiquity.
- 1Minting, Stuart. 2023. ‘Phone Mast Approved beside National Walking Trail – Hambleton Today’, Hambleton Today <https://www.hambletontoday.co.uk/phone-mast-approved-beside-national-walking-trail/> [accessed 16 September 2023]