The Wolds Diary column with Sue Woodcock

The church at Londesborough is one of the most picturesque in the Wolds.
The church at Londesborough is one of the most picturesque in the Wolds.

The weather has been almost warm this week. While I have been out and about I have been delighted with a wonderful show of snowdrops, everywhere.

Even on the verges of the A1079 they are in abundance.

I even have a few in my garden and I also have some miniature cyclamen that are remnants of the previous owner of my bungalow.

The crocus in the front garden add a touch of rich colour. It seems that spring is waiting to arrive.

Sunday was a chance to go to church and I even had to read the lesson, and met many friends.

I seem to have been cursed with colds and voice loss over Christmas as well as other problems and have not attended as much as I would have liked.

I am very privileged to tell the world I am a Christian even if I am not a particularly good one!

The Wolds have some of the loveliest churches almost everywhere you go.

Often on the way back from dog walking I will park up and visit those I have not seen before, such as Burnby, Nunburnholme, Londesborough, and Warter.

For centuries people have worshipped in these havens of peace and will, I hope, continue to do so.

On Monday evening I was invited to give a talk at the rather fine village hall at Bishop Burton.

I have often driven through the village on the main road but never investigated the back streets where I discovered a charming village with excellent facilities.

I arrived early and watched with great delight the end of the puppy obedience and training class that was running.

To say the puppies were adorable was an understatement.

My talk was not the usual one, I was asked to tell them what I do with the ties I collect and how I make quilts out of them, so I took some examples of some items both finished and under construction.

The ladies were a great audience and were soon inspecting what I had brought and asking lots of very intelligent questions about them.

I took the dogs out one day for an extended walk along the Hudson Way, one of my favourite sorties.

I like it because I know that if I keep the dogs under control they will not rush off and worry or distress livestock, a matter I am very aware of and have, indeed, even been the victim of, when I farmed.

When I was at Grassington I went out to my field one day to find a couple who rushed up to me and told me to stop my sheep worrying their dog!

I pointed out that the sheep had just given birth to a lamb, that the dog was off the lead and was worrying livestock and that they were trespassing.

When they refused to leave, I offered to shoot their dog and when they complained to the local police were correctly informed that under the Animals Act 1971 I had the right to do so.

What I didn’t tell them was I do not have a gun. Having had a few facts explained to them the couple did apologise.

The ewe had a slight cut but the lamb was not hurt.

The dog seemed all right. It was not the dog’s fault. I am always very conscious of how dogs can distress and injure livestock and game, and I sometimes meet other dog walkers who seem to think that the dogs are “only playing” with sheep.

What they don’t understand is that the sheep don’t know they are playing and such incidents can cause abortions, injury, and deaths.

This is why I tend to seek out areas where even if my dog were to escape, there is no stock for them to worry.

There are many excellent public rights of way where one can walk dogs and there is no need for dogs to roam over fields.

Another walk that is suitable is beside the Pocklington Canal, and I love to watch the wildlife that abounds there.

At the right time of year there are water lilies and beautiful vegetation.

Then there are kingfishers and swans not mention other water birds. I have even seen water voles.

In my garden, there is a gathering of song birds that seem to be courting, the males are squabbling over the females and they all seem very hungry. Bird food is not cheap!