The dynamics of our villages are changing. Gone are the days that generation after generation grow up in the same place. In our own lifetime this has changed dramatically. What we are loosing are the spoken histories, the historical link to a village past, the stories that aren’t written down. Now is the time to capture this before it is lost forever.

The village used to rely on itself, but now transport and access is so improved that it is far from necessary to maintain that reliance. This loss of dependence has weakened the community. Neighbours can be unknown to each other for years. Only really getting to know each other passing walking the dogs, the odd carol service and the chance of trick or treating. Even pubs have diminished, the forum of village life.

There are few solutions for this loss, other than effort from individuals and group activities. But what we can do is replace the forum and make it the whole village.

Tess of the Vale hopes to provide a route through the village and parish. The path can connect the history to its landscape, identify features, ruins and ancient trackways which has made it what it is today. This can then bond visitors and locals with their surrounding countryside, increasing appreciation of every lump and bump and their associated tales, that previously could have been dismissed and lost forever.

We need to save these stories now, capture the spoken history too, as pressures on our villages to develop, is only increasing.