Labour of Love

shepherds standing on top of mountain with sheep dogs

Land, lives and nature in England’s Upland Commons.

19 April – 8 September 2024

Over one third of England’s moorland is ‘common land’. Shaped by hill farming and cherished by many, upland commons are at the heart of rural culture and are vital for enriching nature.

This exhibition shares photography, film, prose and poetry by Rob and Harriet Fraser and videos captured by farmers through the nationwide Our Upland Commons project, alongside artefacts and archaeological pieces from the Dales. The exhibition presents a point in time and looks ahead, with perspectives from people involved in farming, wildlife conservation, habitat restoration, land management and tourism here in the Yorkshire Dales, and in Cumbria’s Lake District, the Shropshire Hills and Dartmoor.

Cry of the Curlew

curlews in flight

1 February – 10 April 2024

Cry of the Curlew is a celebration of the Curlew and the upper Dales landscapes to which they have returned to breed every year since time immemorial. The graceful and elegant Curlew has iconic status in the Dales because of the impact made by the birds’ annual reappearances, their engaging presence whilst with us, and the absence felt when they depart.

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Within these Walls – Haytime in the Yorkshire Dales

29 April to 17 September 2023

Artist Hester Cox shares her passion for the hay meadows of the Yorkshire Dales and the diversity of meadow plants and wildlife found living and feeding in this special habitat. The exhibition features linocuts and a variety of collagraph work by Hester, including her stunning “Within these walls” installation. Together with hay time artefacts from the Museum collections, archives connected with the Irish workers who once came to work in the Yorkshire Dales at hay time and woodcuts by Marie Hartley, this exhibition is a wonderful exploration of the history and contemporary importance of hay meadows.  

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