A well known Yorkshire Dales smokehouse is being put up for sale with a year’s free rent in the offing for the right purchaser
The award-winning Kilnsey Smokery near Skipton is up for sale and the present owners are looking for an entrepreneur with a passion for quality food production who can build on the heritage and successes of the smokehouse including the smoked rainbow trout using fish sourced from the on-site trout farm.
Jamie Roberts, owner of the Kilnsey Smokery, explains: “We spent decades building up a successful smokehouse business and can look back with pride that our smoked trout has been recognized as some of the best in the country.”
“However with the increasing popularity and growth of Kilnsey Park as a visitor attraction, we needed to take a step back from the running of the smokehouse which stopped trading this spring. It’s now time for somebody else to enjoy the business and develop the brand while working in fantastically scenic Dales surroundings.
“We’re offering the rent-free enticement as we’re so keen for the right person to take over the reins and see the smokehouse thrive for years to come. We will also provide full training to those who are new to smoking food as we can see the potential for building on a great artisan brand.”
Prospective purchasers can expect to take on a business with a great heritage. The Kilnsey Estate harks back to the time when Cistercian monks from nearby Fountain’s Abbey farmed the surrounding lands and smoked fish and meat for their guests.
Then three decades ago the Roberts family resurrected the practice, learning the trade from master smoker Jurg Bleiker before developing a range of smoked fish and meat products inspired by authentic recipes and ingredients dating back to the 12th century.
Since then the smokehouse has won a string of accolades including 13 Great Taste awards, a Deliciously Yorkshire Taste Award and a Yorkshire Life food award.
The smokehouse is ready to trade from day one, with premises comprising two smoking kilns, a separate processing room and vacuum packing machine.
The business will also appeal to those interested in sustainability as the smokehouse is powered by green energy and will benefit from Kilnsey Park’s Green Tourism Gold accreditation.
For more details contact Knightsbridge on 01204 227 661 or visit www.knightsbridgeplc.com
New TV series highlights the delights of the Yorkshire Dales and other National Parks
This year Kilnsey Park welcomed a couple of keen cyclists who happened to be TV personalities Larry and George Lamb, plus a camera crew.
The first episode of new series Britain By Bike – broadcast on Channel 5 on Friday 29th September at 8pm – shows father Larry and his son George visiting Kilnsey Park to learn the noble art of fly fishing. Along the way they learn about why spring water makes our rainbow trout unique and how we produce 40 tons of fish each year.
Larry and George were given a crash course in fly fishing by Anthony Roberts, who established the trout farm and fishing lakes in 1978. It’s probably fair to say they didn’t take to it like ducks to water but they were determined to catch a fish for the BBQ.
Did they succeed? Well it’s probably best if you watch the episode to find out.
A preview of the series Britain by Bike can be seen here:
It’s official, the Yorkshire Dales (specifically Craven) is the happiest place to live in the UK.
The new survey by the government’s leading boffins highlights that residents of the area have the highest levels of happiness, highest level of life satisfaction and lowest levels of anxiety.
Unofficially we’ve known this for years but didn’t want to mention it for fear that a) we might be considered big-headed (never a good thing) and b) there might be a stampede of people disturbing our peace and quiet.
So if you’re looking for happiness (aren’t we all?) you could do worse than go for a relaxing drive in the Yorkshire Dales and drop into Kilnsey Park for a few hours of quiet fishing or a good lunch.
The Guardian report of the new survey can be found here: https://amp.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/sep/26/yorkshire-dales-craven-happiest-uk-ons-hertsmere-london
You might recognise the photo that they used to accompany the article. Yes it’s the much-loved view of Kilnsey Crag across our fishing lakes.
The official government report can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/bulletins/measuringnationalwellbeing/april2016tomarch2017
We are delighted to discover that we have been rated as Excellent for our carbon footprint because we only generate 0.1kg of carbon dioxide per visitor. This is due to the large amount of green electricity we produce from hydro-power each year. It confirms that we are leading the way as a sustainable business. We will receive out Green Tourism grading this summer.
“At Kilnsey Park we’ve always prided ourselves on being one of the greenest business around – so it’s great to get this recognition that we’re very close to being carbon neutral,” says business owner Jamie Roberts.
Photo shows Lisa Wilson from Green Tourism with Jamie Roberts and the carbon certificate.
The Tour de Yorkshire 2017 will be passing through Upper Wharfedale on Sunday 30th April – and Kilnsey Park Estate is a good base for viewing this exciting event.
Visitors to Kilnsey Park will only be 3 miles from the race route, which passes through the picturesque villages of Burnsall, Linton and Cracoe on its way from Bradford to the Peak District. As well as offering free parking we also have a busy day of family activities planned (including bushcraft, wild art and marshmallows on the campfire). The Cafe by the Lake will also be open as normal.
The road closures will be minimal for the event, with organisers indicating that each road affected will be closed for no more than 45 minutes (25 minutes before the race arrives and 5-10 minutes after the last rider has gone).
So we recommend that you arrive before 12.30pm, or ensure that you are north of the planned road closures (Threshfield and Grassington will both be open as normal and within short walking distance of the race route).
Join us for what should be a special day in the Dales.
A sculpture trail and a series of interpretation panels have been unveiled at Kilnsey Park Estate.
One of the sculptures is a giant Lady’s Slipper Orchid woven out of willow by Wetherby-based artist, Leilah Vyner; Kilnsey is one of only a handful of places within the National Park where the flower can be seen. Another is a leaping fish, by Wensleydale chainsaw sculptor, Andris Bergs.
The ten interpretation signs, designed by illustrator Gary Davies, give insights into the history of the park and its wildlife, while a new geocache trail uses linocut prints by Hester Cox from Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Her evocative images capture the essence of the park, including the view of the lakes with the magnificent Kilnsey Crag in the background.
The project has also included the creation of new map for visitors to use. It has been made possible in part by a grant of £9,882 from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund.
Estate owner Jamie Roberts said it had been a pleasure to work with so many local artists: “With this new project we want visitors to experience a sense of wonder about what makes this area of the Dales so special. From the awesome natural landmark of Kilnsey Crag to the smallest bee at the hive and everything in between, there is something here for everyone to enjoy.”
YDNPA Chairman Carl Lis said: “An important part of our work is to promote the Yorkshire Dales National Park as a leading sustainable tourism destination. These new artworks and interpretation make Kilnsey Park an even more distinctive place to visit. I salute Jamie and his team for their imagination and investment.”
Andris Bergs, who has been creating chainsaw sculptures across the country for 16 years, said: “The trout sculpture was carved from a willow tree. I worked closely with the fishermen, so each time they caught a trout I was able to look at it and take inspiration for the carving. Fortunately the tree stumps were just the right shape to be turned into leaping fish.”
As the air gets warmer, the nights get longer and the birds start to sing, it’s time to move onto our summer opening times and welcome you onto the Discovery Trail again.
We’ve had a busy winter of improvements around the Park. This year our new attractions include:
Waterplay area (open Saturday 8th April) – pump water from the stream using a vintage hand pump and watch it race down wooden channels, turning a water wheel as it goes.
Seasonal geocache trail – boxes hidden around the Park contain different animals and scenes. Collect all 8 to enter our special monthly prize draw.
New animals – meet our cheeky Tamworth ginger piglets and our teensy weensy miniature sheep. Plus there are chicks hatching as we speak and lambs to be fed!
Improved signage – we’ve got some great new information panels that tell the story of Kilnsey, its wildlife, history and quirky stories.
Sculpture trail – new willow sculptures celebrating the heritage of the Dales are hidden around the Park – can you find them all?
The opening times and prices of the Discovery Trail can be found by clicking here.
The main 2017 events are now on the website in the Events section – with lots more being added in the next few weeks!
Our event season kicks off with Easter in the Dales (8-23 April), before we get the buzz with Life is Sweet (29 April -1 May). Flowers start to bloom with our Wild About Orchids month (14 May – 18 June) and then the little ones will be swapping Minecraft for bushcraft as we get back to nature during Go Wild Week (27 May – 4 June) and at Wild Weekends throughout the summer holidays (29 July – 28 August).
We’ve got lots of exciting new events this year, including Alpaca Picnics where you can go for a lovely woodland stroll and picnic with our alpacas, Catch & Cook days where you can catch a fish before we prepare it and cook it for you in the cafe (we call this ‘instant fish & chips’!) and new Family Bushcraft Days. Dates for these new events will be posted in March.
Out in the woods the Discovery Trail will be relaunching with a new guide map, new information signage and a new seasonal Geocache Trail which will have the little ones hunting the nature trail for clues. We’re also creating a new fun Waterplay Area which will be up and running for Easter.
This year there will be a new online ticketing system for some of our events so you can pre-book, but for the main events you’ll still be able to turn up and pay on the day.
So there’s lots of new reasons to come up to Kilnsey Park Estate this year and get closer to nature.
Scientists are warning that the traditional fish and chip supper could be a thing of the past as warming seas drive species such as cod and haddock away from the North Sea – but help could be at hand from sustainably farmed fish like rainbow trout.
The report says that in future battered squid and calamari could become the Friday night staple, but if they aren’t your thing then rainbow trout makes a lovely alternative to cod and haddock. We’ve been frying our own fish here at Kilnsey Park for over 20 years and our ‘pink fish and chips’ (so called because rainbow trout has a beautiful pink colour when cooked) are well known and loved in the local area.
As well as having a flavour that many prefer to conventional fish and chips, rainbow trout has lots of health benefits and can be sustainably farmed (in fact it’s one of the fish to have been awarded the Marine Conservation Society’s green light meaning it’s good for the planet).
So it’s not quite the end of fish and chips as we know it, just time for a change…
Kilnsey Smokehouse wins best fish product for our pate.
“It feels great to have won an award for our smoked trout pate, which was first made by my mother to her own unique recipe over 20 years ago!” says Kilnsey smokehouse owner Jamie Roberts.
The award was collected by Jamie and his father Anthony, who established the trout farm and smokehouse in 1978.
The entries were judged by a panel including Radio 2 chef Nigel Barden. The judging panel described the winning product as “rich and delectable, with a luxurious taste and lovely flavour combinations – a real pleasure to eat.”
The full list of this year’s winners can be found by clicking here.