Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team
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Swaledale and Wensleydale

The outstanding beauty and contrasts of Swaledale, Wensleydale and their many side valleys is the reason why many of the team live in the area and why visitors return time after time.  The wildness of the high ground is contrasted by the dale bottoms giving the inspiration found by so many.

There is the mixture of high heather moorland extending to over 2,000ft, grass uplands, hay meadows, rivers, waterfalls, woodlands and limestone scars.  Swaledale extends west from Richmond, famous for its Norman castle towering over the river, through to the rivers source beyond Keld.  The narrower rugged dale contrasts with the broader Wensleydale within which the towns of Masham, Middleham, Leyburn, and Hawes can be found.  The upland and lowland is linked by the network of drystone walls which form the traditional landscape and character of the area.

The industrial heritage of the lead mines is especially of interest in Swaledale.  Many lead mining families emigrated to America as the mines closed during the 19th century.  The settlement of the two dales goes back to Norse settlers, but the most apparent examples are the castles of Richmond, Bolton and Middleham (home of Richard III).

The team’s area is crossed by the Pennine Way and Coast to Coast long distance paths, and is a popular area for walkers, mine and cave exploration and mountain bikers.

Swaledale and Wensleydale

Swaledale and Wensleydale

Swaledale and Wensleydale

 Copyright SMRT 2007