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Nidderdale Charity WalkSunday 10th May 2015

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About The Walks

The Rotary Club of Harrogate has been organising a series of walks in the beautiful countryside of Nidderdale for over 20 years and providing individuals and organisations with the opportunity to raise monies for their own particular charities.

In 2014 individuals and organisations who gave of their time and energy to support the charities of their choice raised over £40,000 for 50 charities and did so amidst the spectacular Nidderdale countryside.

2014 was the 21st anniversary of the walks and we introduced a new ‘marathon’ walk making a total of six planned and supervised walks in and around Pateley Bridge

Family Walk (Just over 4 miles)
Coldstones Cut (8 miles)
Lofthouse Walk (15 miles)
Scar House Reservoir (22 miles)
Marathon Walk (26 miles)

Also there is the Special Walk of four miles that is designed for the disabled. This starts at Scar House Dam and is four miles on paved roads.

General maps and photos of the walks can be found here

8 Mile Walk

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Where are the walks?

The walks are in the beautiful Nidderdale, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty and is one of Britain’s finest landscapes.

All the Walks, with the exception of the Special Walk, start and finish in the Dales town of Pateley Bridge and the principal points of interest are shown on the above map.

The Special Walk starts at the Car Park for Scar House Reservoir and finishes Near Lofthouse.

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How Do I Apply?

Entry forms for the 2015 Nidderdale Charity Walk will be available shortly. Please bookmark this site and come back to get updates!

Please note that the Rotary Club of Harrogate does not accept responsibility for accidents of any kind or for the safety of those taking part. Personal accident insurance is the responsibility of each individual entrant.

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The Special Walk

Special Walk

The special walk is designed for those who have a disability and their carers and supporters, but it is also used by groups of young children such as Brownies, Cubs and First schools. It is a four mile downhill walk on a metalled road and gives a lot of fun and satisfaction to walkers who participate. In recent years over one hundred participants of all ages have taken part in each of the special walks and in addition to enjoying a great experience, have raised sponsorship monies for their own charity or organization.

Groups, schools or individuals may pre-register for the walk for a small fee per walker to cover administration. Any carers needed by groups or individuals on the walk are free entrants.

The special walk has a start time of 11:00 (and no later than 13:30) from Scar House reservoir car park above Lofthouse. Please note that it takes approximately 25 minutes to drive from Pateley Bridge to this car park. There is no charge for parking. The route follows a four mile road from the car park to the Water Board road entrance in Lofthouse. It is a pleasant downhill walk through the beautiful Nidderdale countryside. Orange juice, drinking water and biscuits are provided at the half-way point and at the finish. Each walker receives a certificate to confirm their participation.

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Registration for the special walk is at the free car park near Scar House Dam which is reached via the Water Board Road from Lofthouse. It takes about 25 minutes to drive from Pateley Bridge to Scar House Dam


Registration for all other routes is at walk control and is located at the Nidderdale Scout Centre, Riverside Hall, off Millfield Street in the centre of Pateley Bridge. Access from the car park is via the Millennium footbridge

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Family Walk

This walk provides an opportunity for younger children to participate and enjoy the "I spy" quiz during the walk. Please note there are stiles on the route and so push chairs are not recommended.

Follow the starting point at Riverside Hall follow the same route as the 15 and 22 mile walks. After the Wath checkpoint continue along the field next to the river and then up a slight gradient to the farm track. At this point you leave the 15 and 22 mile walkers.

Turn right along the farm track until you arrive at the new family walk checkpoint then follow the signs along and down the track through the woodland until you reach Wath village. Keep right along the minor road and just before the road bridge take the stile to the left and return along the riverside footpath back to the Riverside Hall.

Finally, collect your "Achievement Certificate" and your well-earned cup of Taylors tea or coffee.

Click here to download the Eye Spy quiz for the family walk

Family Walk

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Where routes cross roads - please take care and be aware of traffic


Please ensure to bring the appropriate clothing and footwear for the walks. Remember it can rain - even if you start the walk in the sunshine!


Remember to bring plenty of water and something to eat as you walk around your chosen route.

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Coldstones Cut Walk

Example Map

The Coldstones Cut Walk takes you from the Riverside Hall where you turn left and walk south towards the town. And over the main river bridge to the pedestrian crossing in Pateley Bridge.

On through the showground and along the footpath that leads to Fishpond wood then follow the track up to White Wood farm that leads to Gilbeck Farm. After the Farm you head towards Coldstones Cut.

Walkers can take a short detour from here to the spectacular 'Coldstones Cut' sculpture where the two viewing platforms look out across Nidderdale and surrounding areas. There is a dramatic view of Coldstones Quarry immediately in front of the sculpture.

Return down the access path and take the road to the checkpoint then onto the footpath alongside the Pateley to Greenhow road, B6265. From here you head towards Coldstones Fold Farm then towards the Nidderdale Way and turn right towards Pateley Bridge. Follow the signs through the "Hole in the Wall", across the park and the Millennium Bridge to the Riverside Hall.

Finally, collect your "Achievement Certificate" and your well-earned cup of Taylors tea or coffee.

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Much of the walk is over farming land with many sheep and young lambs about and care must be taken to cause no harm to animals, crops, fences walls etc; No dogs are allowed on the walks.


Guidance for walking – Please walk in single file where paths are narrow and also keep to the marked footpaths to avoid unnecessary damage and erosion. On public roads walkers should proceed in a single file on the right facing oncoming traffic and please exercise great caution when crossing roads.

Points of Interest

Wildlife – Nidderdale is a beautiful area rich in wild flowers, birds and wildlife, with a delicate ecology balance. Help preserve it for the future pleasure of yourself and others, observe the birds and wildlife, but please leave them undisturbed – do not pick flowers (it is illegal to do so)

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Lofthouse Walk

From the Riverside Hall, take the river path marked Blue Route, past Wath to Gouthwaite Reservoir, followed by two miles of easy walking beside the water. You might expect to see heron, curlew, lapwing, jackdaw, Canada Geese, redshank or even a common buzzard soaring overhead. This is a nature reserve; please take care not to disturb wildlife or nesting birds.

Leaving the reservoir, turn left at Bouthwaite on a metalled track to Ramsgill then follow an easy path passing West House Farm to Blayshaw Gill with excellent views towards the head of the valley with Middlesmoor perched high on the hill. A superb cavern apparently runs immediately below the gill. From here drop down to Lofthouse, a grand old village little changed over time and sporting one of the smallest cricket fields perhaps in the world.

The checkpoint is at the Lofthouse Memorial Institute where toilets and some refreshments are available. Return via Bouthwaite and Wath.

Lofthouse Walk

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Do Not Drop Litter!

Litter - Please do not leave any litter – it can kill birds and animals.


Leaving the walk early - for safety reasons if leaving the walk mid route walkers must report to the nearest checkpoint or walk control as soon as possible. The reason for this is to ensure that the emergency services are not alerted or people put at risk looking for ‘lost walkers’ who are, in fact, not lost but have chosen to leave the walk early.


Finally – Please obey all warning signs and Marshalls.

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Scar House Reservoir Walk

Scar House Reservoir Walk

This walk has all the pleasures of the 15 mile route together with a low level walk along the river beyond Lofthouse, finally rising up to the top of the escarpment of the Upper Nidd Valley with marvellous views of Great Whernside, Scar House Reservoir and Dam to the west.

Follow the Blue Route to the checkpoint in the Lofthouse Memorial Institute. Then follow the Red Route for about five miles to Scar House Dam. This is the infant River Nidd. Cross the dam and take time for a short detour to read the information board (near the toilets) detailing the history of this amazing structure - the village, the railway and the craftsmen.

Return to your route to the village of Middlesmoor. This is perhaps the most spectacular part of the walk, with Middlesmoor clearly the head of the dale.

Leave the village to Lofthouse and return via Bouthwaite and Wath to Pateley Bridge and the Riverside Hall. Finally, collect your "Achievement Certificate" and your well-earned cup of Taylors tea or coffee.

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Marathon Walk

The new 26.2 mile marathon walk is for those serious walkers who would like to add a `marathon` to their achievements. Following the same routes as the blue and red walks the new black route takes in the full extent of the Scar House reservoir.

At the Scar House checkpoint walkers follow the signed path towards Angram reservoir. The route follows the remote and often wild area at the head of Nidderdale. Cross the dam which separates the Angram and Scar House reservoirs and continue around the reservoir, then link up with the red route walk across the moor to Middlemoor and back to the checkpoint at Lofthouse - from here walkers return along the marked route to Wath and Pateley Bridge.

Please note because of the distance it is a requirement that all walkers on the marathon black route must arrive at the Scar House checkpoint by no later than 1.00pm.

If this time is not achieved walkers will be directed to take the red route across Scar House dam to complete the 22 mile walk and return to the scout hall at Pateley Bridge by 6.00pm.

Marathon Walk

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Start Times

Registration starts at 07:15

However, the latest starting times for the walks are as follows:

Special Walk (4 miles) - 13:30
Family Walk (4 miles) - 13:30
Coldstones Cut Walk (8 miles) - 13:00
Lofthouse Walk (15 miles) - 10:30
Scar House Reservoir Walk (22 miles) - 09:00
Marathon Walk (26 miles) - 08:00

In order to ensure that walkers are able to complete their route by the closing time of 18:00, registration cannot be accepted later than these times

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Car Parking

The walk car park is located approximately 1/2 mile from the centre of Pateley Bridge. After passing the Nidderdale Showground take the first right along Low Wath Road. Immediately after the caravan park on the right is the entrance to the car park from where there is direct pedestrian access across the Millennium footbridge to the walk registration point in the Riverside Hall. Please note that there is a charge of £2 per vehicle for the day. Those who have pre booked on the submitted entry form will have a car park token sent to them, others will be charged on the day.

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At the end of the walk

At the end of the walk

For safety reasons, every walker must book out at walk control when their walk is completed to enable records to be cleared and registration cards to be endorsed

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The walk will close at 18:00 All walkers must complete their walk by this time. At 18:00 any walkers still en route must stop at the nearest checkpoint and then return to the start in such a manner as directed by the marshals


We recommend that only experienced walkers attempt the 22 and 26 mile routes

Public Toilets

Public toilets are available in Pateley Bridge, Ramsgill, Lofthouse, Middlesmoor and at Scar House Dam car Park (which is only 200 yards off the 22 mile route)

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Those on the 15 and 22 mile walk will pass Studfold Farm, Lofthouse, so look out for some of the 1200 trees we have planted in March 2012. This is part of our plans to plant 25,000 native broadleaf trees in the Nidderdale area of outstanding beauty as our thanks to those living there for allowing us to use their beautiful country for our annual charity walk. If you would also like to help us reach our target, trees with a stake and protective sleeve cost only £2.50 each and if you donate £10, with Gift Aid that is equal to five trees. IF you donate £10 or more on a regular basis and you will also be given a free membership of The Friends of Nidderdale AONB. Please contact us for more information.


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Weather Warning

Clothing – All walkers should wear appropriate footwear and clothing. As the Walks take place in May you are advised to be equipped for an extremely hot and humid day without a breath of wind but also be prepared for the start of the second ice age and anything in between!!!

St. John Ambulance

First Aid – Members of St. John Ambulance will be in attendance with an ambulance and a mobile medical service is also present. If assistance is required then you must contact your nearest marshal or checkpoint.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones – Do not rely on mobile phones in this area, however, all checkpoints plus the medical services are in constant radio contact with Walk Control.

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Our major sponsors provide important support to the Nidderdale Charity walk and the Rotary Club of Harrogate would like to thank them for their continued support

Hanson Heidelburg Cement who produce aggregates (crushed rock, sand and gravel), ready-mixed and precast concrete, asphalt, cement and cement-related materials, bricks and a range of building products.

Colouritin A multi disciplined creative company based in Harrogate and specialising in print and online marketing solutions - for sponsoring the 2014 walk.

Ripon Land Rover Land Rover dealer in North Yorkshire committed to supporting all your Land Rover needs. From purchasing to servicing, they have a dedicated team of specially trained staff to assist you.

Ascot House Hotel The Kirkpatrick family owns and manages Ascot House Hotel situated just a short stroll from Harrogate’s conference and exhibition centre, town centre and visitor attractions. Ranked no.2 hotel in Harrogate (Trip Advisor).

Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate A proper brew. Pure and simple. To give our blend its refreshing flavour, strength and colour we use top quality Assam and African teas. In the tea trade we’re renowned for paying more to get the pick of the crop. Our experts travel the world to find the people who grow the best teas, which we then blend together using our secret recipe to create a traditional, satisfying brew.

Raynet UK The Radio Amateurs’ Emergency Network is the UK’s national voluntary communications service provided for the community by licensed radio amateurs.

Holistic Wellbeing Holistic Wellbeing offers a unique and contemporary approach to your health and wellness. Trish Nugent is a highly qualified and experienced holistic therapist delivering a high quality service. Specializing in Stress Therapy, Deep Tissue Massage and Mindfulness Meditation, Trish facilitates wellbeing workshops on-site and in the workplace. Based in a beautiful rural setting in Sicklinghall.

Cotswold Founded in 1974, Cotswold Outdoor is a retailer of Outdoor Clothing and Equipment, from leading brands such as North Face, Berghaus, Salomon, Lowe Alpine and Merrell. They have a huge selection of camping equipment; Travel Equipment; Climbing gear and a range of Childrens clothing and many more Travel, Camping, Climbing and Outdoor accessories.


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The Nidderdale Walk has been supported over a number of years by various charities and we thank them for their continued support and wish them well with their fund raising efforts –

Sue Ryder Wheatlands Hospice provides a specialist palliative care service; improving the quality of life for those living with, or affected by, a serious illness. Our aim is to make sure we meet individual needs, focusing on the hopes and wishes of the people who come here, including family and carers. With the support and expertise of our multi-professional specialist palliative care team, we make this happen.

We work in partnership with the primary health care team in helping to support patients who wish to be cared for in their own homes. In 2014 we are again delighted to be working in association with the Rotary Club of Harrogate for our annual sponsored walk. We hope that everyone will have an enjoyable day.

Martin House Hospice cares for children and young people with progressive life-limiting illnesses and provides support to their families. We are based in our purpose built hospice in Boston Spa, Wetherby and care for children and young people from throughout the Yorkshire region. In 2012 we celebrated our 25th Anniversary and the 10th Anniversary of the opening of our teenage unit Whitby Lodge. As a local charity relying almost entirely on voluntary donations, we are always faced with the huge challenge of raising sufficient funds to continue to provide the highest quality of care. The continued support …… means we are able to provide facilities that make Martin House feel like a home from home for those who may stay with us.

The Haven Breast Cancer Support Centres provides, free of charge, a wide range of support and therapies to improve your wellbeing with, and beyond, breast cancer. Our specialist nurses and experts in nutrition, exercise, emotional support and complementary therapies provide individualised, in-depth programmes to help with the physical and emotional side effects of breast cancer treatment.

Our staff of clinical experts, experienced fund raisers, communications experts and highly trained therapists work across our Havens in London, Hereford and Leeds and are supported by our administration and reception teams.

The Meningitis Trust Our vision is a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need to rebuild their lives. We save lives and rebuild futures by:

- Funding research
- Raising awareness
- Providing support

Friends of the Walk

The Walking Englishman (Facebook page)

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Refreshments - Walkers should make their own provision for food and drinks. However, squash and water will be available at checkpoints and tea and coffee will be available at walk control. Toilets will be available at Ramsgill Village Hall and Lofthouse Memorial Institute. Some refreshments will be available at Lofthouse Memorial Institute.

Don't Leave Rubbish

Wildlife: Nidderdale is a beautiful area rich in wild flowers, birds and other wildlife, with a delicate ecology balance. Help preserve it for the future pleasure of yourself and others. Enjoy the views, observe the birds and wildlife but please leave them undisturbed. Do not pick flowers (it is illegal to do so). Please do not leave any litter - it can kill birds and animals.


The organizers do not accept responsibility for accidents of any kind or for the safety of those taking part on the walk. Personal accident insurance is the responsibility of each individual entrant.

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The Walks - a Historical Note

Pateley Bridge, the starting point for five of the routes, was originally a lead-mining town. Our eight mile walk, which replaces the shorter walk up to Ashfold, goes south from Pateley Bridge past the picturesque little village of Bewerley which in the the 12th century was owned by the famous Roger de Mowbray who gave Bewerley to the monks of Fountains Abbey. They erected a commodious grange there together with a chapel which has now been restored.

Coldstones Quarry, which is run by one of our sponsors, Hanson, part of the Heidelberg Cement Group, is situated in Greenhow Hill at 1400 feet above sea level and is one of the highest quarries in Britain. Several small limestone quarries operated around Greenhow over the past two centuries and in the early 1900s the surrounding hills were dominated by stone quarries. Gradually these closed until Coldstones became the last working quarry in the area. On the edge of the quarry is the Coldstones Cut, a remarkable piece of public art, created by the artist Andrew Sabin as a sculptural response to the quarry; it functions as an array of platforms from which vistors can view both the spectacular quarry hole, the limestone quarrying operation and the landscape in general.

The route goes towards the village of Greenhow Hill, one of the highest villages in Yorkshire at an altitude of between 400 and 420 meters (1300 and 1380 feet). It is an old mining village, a major supplier of lead. Sir Stephen Proctor bought the Manor of Bewerley, including the mineral rights in 1597. He was also responsible, as a part of a settlement with John Armitage over disputed land, in the founding of the actual village of Greenhow. Joseph Kipling, the grandfather of Rudyard Kipling, was the minister at the Methodist chapel at Greenhow and Rudyard himself is known to have visited the village. Kipling mentions Greenhow Hill in his book "Life's Handicap". He comments that "You could tell Green-how Hill folk by the red-apple colour of their cheeks and nose tips and their blue eyes, driven into pin-points by the wind."

The route of the 4, 15, 22 and 26 mile walks, which run North from Pateley Bridge up the valley to Wath, passes along part of the route of the old Nidd Valley Light Railway, which was built by Bradford Corporation between 1904 and 1908 to carry workers and materials which were required to construct Angram and Scar House Reservoirs. Passenger services ran along the line from Pateley Bridge to Lofthouse and at one time there were five trains each way per day, the fare being 2 1/2d; this was the first municipally owned railway service in the country and lasted until 1929 when work on the reservoirs was nearing completion.

On the way to Wath, if you look up to the right you will see the old scars created by the Scot Gate Ash Quarries which in the 19th century despatched large slabs of Millstone grit all over Britain to be used on dock quays, railway platforms etc. The great blocks of stone were lowered down the hillside on an incline which can still be seen. Wath has one of the smallest places of worship in England, the Methodist chapel was built in 1859 and measures only 25ft by 21ft. The packhorse bridge was widened in 1890, prior to which it was so narrow that a cart could not pass over it, but the local farmers faced with a long trek via Pateley Bridge to get to the other side apparently found a way around the problem by taking one wheel off the cart and pushing the axle along the parapet of the bridge.

Gouthwaite Reservoir, along the side of which the routes run, was completed in 1901 to compensate for the water withdrawn from Scar House and Angram. It is now a favourite spot with ornithologists who come from far and wide to see the many species of wildfowl which frequent the area.

On the way, Ramsgill village is of note as the settlement from which it grew, was created by the monks from Byland Abbey about the end of the 12th century. Ramsgill's other claim to fame is that it was the birthplace of the famous Eugene Aram, a local schoolmaster who taught in the village and was married at Middlesmoor church. He fell into bad company and was involved in the murder of Daniel Clark of Knaresborough; he was tried and sentenced to death at York despite having conducted his own defence brilliantly.

After Lofthouse village where the River Nidd reappears after disappearing at Manchester Hole, two miles further up the valley, the route lies along a shelf about one hundred feet above the dry river bed to Thrope House, the site of a mill belonging to Fountains Abbey in days gone by. Beyond this the route sweeps round to Scar House, crossing the desolate moorlands of Dead Man's Hill, so named because of the discovery of three headless bodies buried in the peat, thought to be the bodies of three Scottish pedlars who met their violent end after leaving Coverdale to follow the ancient drove road into Nidderdale. Scar House Reservoir, the larger of the two great reservoirs which servce Bradford, holds 2,200 million gallons of water and is said to have the largest masonry dam in Europe.

Bouthwaite Grange was one of the ancient granges owned by Fountains Abbey.

by Stephen Upton

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The Rotary Club of Harrogate

What Rotary Does

Polio After 20 years of hard work, Rotary and its partners are on the brink of eradicating the tenacious disease, but a strong push is needed now to root it out once and for all. Rotary has raised $200 million to match $355 million in the challenge grants received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.The resulting $555 million will directly support immunization campaigns in developing countries, where polio continues to infect and paralyze children, robbing them of their futures and compounding the hardships faced by their families. As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere remain at risk. The stakes are that high.

ShelterBox In the 12 years since ShelterBox was founded, the organisation has responded to over 200 natural or man-made disasters in almost 90 different countries and provided lifesaving aid for well over one million people. Each large, green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, groundsheets, water storage and filtration equipment, cooking utensils, a basic tool kit, a childreen's activity pack and other vital items. A ShelterBox costs £590.

Disasters come in many forms - earthquake; cyclone; flood; refugee displacement - but all share a common factor. The most urgent single problem facing the relief agencies is the provision of a supply of safe drinking water. In same cases, it may be possible for the relief agencies to supply water from outide the affected area. In others, there is clearly a need for those suffereing in the aftermath of a disaster to achieve an early, if temporary, self-sufficiency in the supply of safe drinking water. The soulution is Aquabox, a robust plastic tank with a family-sized filter unit known as the Aquafilter and packed with essential welfare items for a disaster situation. Once the welfare contents have been removed, each Aquabox can be used to purify up to 18,000 litres of polluted water, making it safe and pleasant to drink. That's enough for 22.5 litres per day of general use potable water for use by the family for a period of two years. An Aquabox costs £120.

Want to join Rotary?

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Interested in Joining Rotary?

The Rotary Club of Harrogate is one of the longest established in the United Kingdom with a record of almost ninety years continuous service to the town of Harrogate and wider community, during which it has sponsored four other Rotary Clubs.

It is especially noted for its contribution to the environmental movement in Rotary International. Amongst its many current enterprises is the servicing of twenty-seven units of accommodation provided for people of fifty-five and over with limited means (Harrogate Flower Fund Homes) and the organisation of the Nidderdale Charity Walk which raises over £60,000 annually for local charities.

Rotary is a service organisation of business, professional and similar people united worldwide who help those in need, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and work toward world understanding and peace. Rotarians take an active role in their communities, while greatly enriching their personal and professional lives. Each Rotary Club contains a diverse group of men and women who provide service to both local and international communities. The club is always pleased to welcome prospective members and offers several ways for candidates to get a taste and flavour of the club. If you would like more information about Rotary click here or contact Hon Secretary Mick Walsh on 01423 871340.

Visiting Rotarians

Visiting Rotarians are always welcome at our meetings and should use the Contact Form on the Club Website or call Ascot House Hotel on 01423 503523 for more details.

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Organiser's Details

Rotary Club of Harrogate

Ascot House Hotel, Kings Road, Harrogate HG1 5HJ
Registered Charity: 1031293

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