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AFTER my last project – which is still ongoing – it was always going to take me a while emotionally to pitch into another.

Lee Briers’ autobiography was such an involved book and has taken most of my spare time for the last 18 months.

Now we are on the last chapter and that means I can now finally focus on my Dales project.

That began in earnest last week as I got a week off from the day job to go interviewing, walking and caving in an area I hold close to my heart.

And it worked too. Interviews flowed, as did my literary juices and I feel ready to tackle it head on.

It wasn’t easy… on the first day my new camera decided to purge the battery of all its juice even through it was charged and then two of my interviewees didn’t show to arranged meetings.

However, these were just blips in a superb week.

Now I have a bundle of transcripts to do and even more interviews to arrange – thanks to the people I met on the way.

I will also be podcasting my walk and ramblings for ‘Walks Around Britain‘ too.

I’ve been reluctant to talk about the book to a few people as it is a real labour of love and I didn’t want to jinx it. Once completed, the plan is to give a chunk of the proceeds to the Cave Rescue Organisation too.

So, what’s it about:

The Three Peaks Of Yorkshire – Ingleborough, Pen-Y-Ghent and Whernside – hold a unique fascination and focal point for all who head to the Dales. They dominate the landscape, shape those who work with and around them, and together offer one of the toughest challenges England can offer.Using the famous Three Peaks Walk as a road map, Mike Appleton takes a tour around this most popular of areas and finds the real story of the picturesque dales. Away from the trudging boots the farmers who have been abandoned by the EU and are left to fight on. The tourist villages still picking up the pieces following Foot and Mouth. The locals struggling to find affordable housing.But in a time when the countryside is facing a crisis from cuts and reduced spending, he also finds beauty in the labyrinth of passages hidden beneath the earth, how countless species continue to thrive and how those characters of the Dales carry on regardless.And he speaks to those who are charged with making sure this boundless natural wonder continues to serve its people and the rest of the country for generations to come.
There you have it…