The Yorkshire Dales and The Lakes follows a range of remarkable characters who live and work in, were they to be combined, the biggest expanse of protected countryside in Europe – The Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales National Parks.
These two stunning areas inspire millions to visit every year but are more than a playground for tourists and adventurers: These Parks are also home to sixty-thousand people.
From summer through to spring, The Yorkshire Dales and The Lakes celebrates life in the Parks with real, engaging Yorkshire and Cumbrian folk giving context and continuity as the seasons ebb and flow.
Some of our characters can trace their family history back centuries and consider themselves proud custodians of our countryside. Others have made a choice to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a more considered way of life in the sticks.
As their stories interweave and unfold we celebrate traditional agricultural shows and historic brass band competitions with jaw dropping backdrops and follow adventurers and rescuers who push themselves to the limit in these awe-inspiring landscapes.
There are generational farming families fighting to put a dent in their overdrafts as supermarkets and cheap imports threaten their existence. And there are communities coming together as they battle to protect their unique way of life.
In the Yorkshire Dales, can uphill farmers John and William earn enough to see them through the harsh winter? Will mountain rescuer Pete save a puppy that has fallen down a deep sinkhole?
In the Lake District, Trudy has saved her village school from closure but can the new community estate agents attract new families to Bootle before it’s too late? We meet the family whose home has been a castle for 800 Years, a sheepdog trainer who can more than handle her own in a once male dominated world and ultra-runners Zac and Mick take on Helvellyn’s epic Striding Edge.
These are stories that will resonate with everyone who loves and cares about rural Britain and will be an eye opener for those eager to understand it more.
John and Jules Natlacen, the husband and wife owners of The Churchmouse were chosen to be part of the series have managed to create not just a successful business in a sparsely populated area but have also developed a thriving community hub. The shop is not only a Cheesemongers and delicatessans but doubles up as a cafe, postal collection point, Friday Night Bistro, and holds many events including computer classes for the elderly.
Jules Natlacen said: “We were delighted to be approached and are looking forward to seeing the final series come together after the eight months it took to film. The crew were lovely and seemed fascinated by the community aspect of the shop. I suppose it may seem unusual to others but to us it just makes sense to provide things that local people actually need and want as well as bringing unusual produce to the area. Local people are the lifeblood of any rurally located business, also it makes living there more fun when you get to know people!”
When John and Jules Natlacen bought failing business Barbon Village Store they purchased all the stock in the shop for just £70. Like many rural village stores a steady decline in its offering and usage meant local people were ever more prepared to shop away. John and Jules took over in 2013; the couple had successfully run Churchmouse Cheese in nearby Kirkby Lonsdale for twelve years but saw the opportunity to create something more and began transforming Barbon Village Store that summer.
Large scale renovations including building a south-facing terrace allowed them to start running a cafe alongside their deli and artisan cheese counter, the husband and wife team were adamant they wanted to retain the village store for local people to access daily groceries and newspapers. Since then The Churchmouse at Barbon has become a true community hub and has recently received a National award when judges of Family Business of the Year recognised the Churchmouse as a ‘beacon of light in the local area’ and awarded them Hotel and Leisure Family Business of The Year in June.
The series which covers a range of Cumbrian and Yorkshire people and businesses airs Tuesday 4th July 9pm on More 4.