Sir, - We warmly welcome the reafforestation scheme at Preston Springs, described by Jill Neill (D&S Oct 19) and congratulate the Woodland Trust for attracting more funding for such schemes in Wensleydale.

Even though there is much leeway to be made up to the national average of deciduous woodland in Wensleydale, it is still necessary to make judicious selection of appropriate locations, and adding to the ancient wood at Preston under Scar, reprieved from quarrying but recently, is quite ideal.

I would like to suggest an additional priority for deciduous planting in the upland valleys or dells in the scores of tributaries of the River Ure. In this connection, Jill Neill makes apt mention of Bishopdale. This broad valley is almost a perfect example of headstream decidous plantings in most of the rivulets and streams seeming to have happened almost naturally, and without interference of sheep grazing.

If some the remaining vacant valleys could be completed with the co-operation of the landlords and farmers, the Woodland Trust could provide a wonderful example for the widest application.

I hope to see in due course photographs of this attractive local phenomenon.


Hon Secretary, Council for the Protection of Rural England, Wensleydale Branch



Partial view

Sir, - Hunton recently won the Yorkshire section of the village of the year competition. The parts that impressed the judges were the new village hall and the sense of community spirit.

The need for a new village hall was disputed over a long period of time and was built without the full co-operation of the village, this in turn makes a mockery of the community spirit claim.

The judges obviously talked to people who have a limited knowledge of Hunton. The biggest event in the village for the last 14 years, the annual steam gathering, didn't get a mention in the report.

It has raised money for local charities and provided funding for the village green and children's play equipment, something that the newcomers to the village who were involved in the competition probably didn't realise.




Art's fools

Sir, - Vic Smith's alternative title for the Turner prize of Creative Revolutionary Artistic Productions (CRAP) is brilliant in concept (D&S letters, Nov 16).

The charlatans who pass for "artists" these days are, for the most part, unfit to lace the "great man's boots".

But is it fair to blame today's artists - or should we be looking at those who contribute to the environment in which today's "art industry" thrives?

After all, if,

a) some fool critic praises a load of rubbish,

b) some fool gallery exhibits it, and,

c) some fool, with more money than sense, artistic or otherwise, purchases it, who can blame the artist who has expended 1pc, or less, of his talent - it beats working for a living!


Park Crescent,