I’d have been more welcome in Cornwall, says Askrigg holidaymaker

Right of way at Seata Barn

By Betsy Everett

A visitor to Askrigg who was confronted by an “agitated” resident on a right of way, says he and his dogs would have been more welcome in Cornwall.

Adam Atkinson complained to Askrigg and Low Abbotside parish council that a man with crutches challenged him while he was walking his black labradors, Wilson and Ryder, on a path near Seata Barn where previous confrontations are reported to have taken place.

The man had pointed one of his crutches at him. “He was very close to physical contact,” said Mr Atkinson. “I told him if he touched me it would be an assault,” he wrote in a letter to the council.
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He added that had he not been staying “for free” at his sister’s cottage he would not want to return to Askrigg.

“Had I been a proper, paying, tourist I most certainly wouldn’t be back. There are just so many other places to go. Cornwall, for example, where everyone is very friendly and dogs are most welcome.”

Karen Lynch, clerk to the council, said police had been unable to intervene as no offence had been committed but a national park ranger had visited the occupier of Seata Barn.

Also at the parish council meeting a suggestion from county councillor John Blackie that Askrigg and Low Abbotside be placed in separate wards under the wards review ordered by the Boundary Commission met opposition.
One councillor pointed out that the primary school, Bainbridge Vets and the brewery were all in Low Abbotside and closely aligned with the village, and others raised concerns at the proposed separation.

Cllr Blackie had proposed that Askrigg be placed in ward two with Aysgarth, Thornton Rust, Bainbridge, Bishopdale, Newbiggin, Thoralby and West Burton, while Low Abbotside should join Hawes, High Abbotside, Muker and Gunnerside in ward one. Following a lengthy discussion on the proposals, which will see Richmondshire District Council reduced to 24 wards instead of the current 34, Mr Blackie agreed to redraft the proposals to include Low Abbotside in ward two with Askrigg. He would circulate the new draft and the parish council would respond once they had seen it.

Cllr Blackie updated councillors on a meeting convened in June by parents at West Burton primary school, part of the BAWB federation with Askrigg and Bainbridge schools. He had attended along with local authority officers and it had been agreed that in the autumn term there would be an informal consultation with all three schools to seek views on the way forward.

The next meeting of the parish council will be on Thursday, September 21, at 7.30pm in the village hall.