Wednesday, 8 April 2020

SD86 - 05a - SD8065 - Huntworth Common

Huntworth Common is a small area of common land lying along the South Craven Fault, uphill of Settle Golf V
Course.  There are usually a few cattle in the field. I was told a long time ago that three people had grazing rights, but I don't know what the situation is now. 

The north west of the fault (and the land to the north west of the road) is Carboniferous Limestone.  (Lying on top of Silurian rock) 

The land to the South West is  Gritstone the fault may be a mile deep. There are also Silurian boulders left by the glacier. 

There was a strip of Common Land all the way from Settle to Lancaster once, but most of it is now enclosed. 

I hoped it would be good. I remember finding Parrot waxcaps here 30 years ago. 

So on 1 April 2019 I set off. I had a quick look at the Ebbing and Flowing well. then at the woodland between the road and the common.

I enjoyed looking at the siliceous rocks and boulders lying around

I had several new species and two especially delightful finds.
1. My first record of Normandina pulchella in SD86 - In moss on the trunk of a very solitary, very exposed Ash Trunk.

I have seen Normandina at Ingleton churchyard (the Hectac SD67 to the NW) and a lot in the woodland at Leck Beck (In Lancashire) a bit further to the NW and in the same SD67)

Thanks to Janet Simpkin and the BLS for the map of Normandina  made in 2019/2020 and the other maps below

2.  I found Pycnothelia papillaria growing in a rocky heathy area -  it is related to Cladonia.  and though it grows in peaty heathland in North West Scotland and Western Ireland and the Dorset Heaths, it is very rare in our area.

I  found  my first  record Punctelia jeckeri  (I think) on some scrub by the wall at the foot of the bank next to the road, and one or two more new species.

Punctellia jeckeri - or just Parmela sulcata? Needs checking

My score for the day  came to 38.  (Remember the cut-offs for colour change are 18 yellow, 29 pale orange, and 41 dark orange, 56 scarlet.)  I  only need to find another 3 to get it into the dark orange category.

Well there is land on Giggleswick Scar - (woodland) , limestone cliffs, and the summit limestone pavement land let to explore another day.

In fact I did visit the summit in 2020 - on 6 April - that is within walking distance of home so great opportunity for "Lockdown" exercise. .. but I'll write about that another day... Maybe as  SD86 - 05b

May Beck near Whitby - Lichens with the BLS - March 2020 at Cober Hill, Cloughton

    Join us as we walk down May Beck on the  The British Lichen Society's field day on 6 March 2020  in the North Yorkshire Moors  We are joined by a group from Whitby Naturalists
    Yorkshire had repeated record breaking repeating floods all the previous month. Now on the third fine day in a row,  we rejoice the ground is beginning to dry out a little.  
    On the 7th and 8th March we will be indoors at Cober Hill  enjoying the good food there and sharing of lichen ideas.
    Little do we know that within a fortnight the UK will be in lock-down due to Coronavirus

This is the fourth year the British Lichen Society has had a workshop at Cober Hill, Cloughton, near Scarborough.

The first year was an autumn field trip. In 2018, 2019 and this March 2020 were workshops where we brought specimens in ourselves.

We are joined by a bunch from Whitby Naturalists .. some of whom detour in the afternoon to count frogs elsewhere.

There is plenty to see on the big sandstone boulders in the car park 

Pertusaria corallina

Porpidia platycarpoides
Lecidella stigmatea

Trapelia coarctata

Trapelia coarctata seen closer

Lecidia lithophylla
Clauzadea monticola

An Ash tree by the bridge

Lecanora hybocarpa (The apothecia will have more crystals in than Lecanora chlarotera )

Thelotrema lapidinum on holly near the ash tree.

Fuscidea lightfootii
Cladonia polydactyla

Cladonia polydactyla

Waiting to find the name of this splendid fungus - Have any of the Whitby Nats people found out yet?

Cliostomum griffithii

Ochrolechia microstictoides yellow with C (not red);
diffuse soralia; on acid bark trees

Ochrolechia microstictoides yellow with C (not red). Diffuse soralia. on acid bark trees

Lecanora expallens  K  yellow; C yellow to orange red

Arthonia spadicia  Tar Spot

Dimerella pineti

This is the first time I have seen Dimerella pineti

Opegrapha ochrocheila

Opegrapha ochrocheila: the black lirellate apothecia are orange red pruinose

On the Saturday and Sunday we spend time in the workroom at Cober Hill helping each other with specimens that had been puzzling us over the year.  Thanks especially to Neil Sanderson and Brian Coppins for helping us.

On the way home I stop at a tree near the road near Hackness to the north of the Forge Valley. Over the road was Crossdales Beck, which shortly joined the River Derwent. The river Derwent and the river Aire which starts near Malham Tarn 80 miles to the east both flow into the Ouse. (This observation kinks in with other flooding items on this blog)

On the tree is Calicium viride.  It is VERY tiny. It is a pinhead lichen.

Calicium viride. 

I return home with renewed enthusiasm to continue studying my home Hectad SD 86 which I started after last year's Lichen workshop...

And lots of opportunity to study the trees near where I live in exercise walks, in the five weeks before the leaves come on the trees and hide them!

Now (March 8th) only one week left.

Do visit the The British Lichen Society Website. Many of the events which were planned for this year will be held next year.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Speaking Truth to Power - Ash Wednesday Climate Emergency Pilgrimage - CCA Leeds

Ash Wednesday 26 Feb 2020

My report of my visit to the Christian Climate Action Ash Wednesday Pilgrimage at Leeds.  Summary first: 

I was on the way to a "Pilgrimage" - walk in Leeds with five outdoor stopping points / reflection areas. This was organised by a recently formed group called Leeds Christian Climate Action.  One of the aims was to end up outside Barclays Bank in the pedestrian precinct in the  Shopping Centre at Leeds and hold a short Ash Wednesday Service 

and to make sure that the bank manager and public would hear.

Would hear  the leader saying that Barclays investments in industries causing climate change amounted to 85 billion dollars.

And to ask the manager to  move the money to funds that do not damage the climate.

(Our leader had arranged to meet the manager beforehand).  

Two police officers had been assigned to come with us. 

There were about 24 people. Three people were videoing and interview some of us. They were students  #Leeds Hack - on a journalism course. 


In many ways the context of the trip is as revealing as the service itself.  Read on..  

as I set off at Settle Railway Station at 7.28am. Settle is 45 miles west of Leeds, on the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle Railway

I buy a cup of coffee from the railway station and perch it on the bridge as I await the train. I wish I had brought my own cup instead of having to use a disposable one.  (I must add this picture to my "44 places within three miles of Settle where you can eat or drink!" blog post) 

 There is a light covering of snow from the previous evening - we have had hardly any snow this winter apart from one weekend in November. 

The train arrives - four carriages today. Long Preston Deeps (River Ribble ) are flooded. Then 8 miles and we go past Gargrave and we are in the Aire Valley.  The Aire flows east through Leeds to the Humber. After Skipton  the Aire Valley is significantly flooded. Still - it is doing its job - holding water here so there will be less flooding downstream.  The road and the railway have been built on strategically high platforms.

Six days earlier late Fri 21 the River Ribble had flooded into Watershed Mill car park near where I live and into the Mill itself. - It had been midnight or I would have gone out to watch. - The post in the river that I see from my bedroom to record record flood heights of water in the Ribble was washed away by record flood heights of water the previous week. We are getting used to records being broken.. but think..  each record of water level depth must be deeper that the last. 

The views to the north of the line looks like Switzerland with a lake in the foreground and snow capped hills beyond.
THE LAKE SHOULD NOT BE THERE. It should just be cattle grazing land.  The train follows the Aire down to..

Leeds Station, 

and I walk thorough the being-dug-up streets.

I am an hour and a half early so I fill in time by visiting Leeds Library. I recommend this a place to visit.

I photograph a Caxton map of Yorkshire on the wall there.

See it marks Settle (on the Ribble) and the River Aire which starts just to the NE of Settle and flows down, past Leeds  and Pontefract to Snaith after which it joins the Humber. See how so many different rivers are converging on that area, like the fingers of a hand.
Snaith from drone, on BBC Website

No wonder Snaith is in the news on the BBC website this week for flooding.

Later  I buy several "Library throw out" books including one on "Getting things done". (It is still sitting on my shelf a month later unfinished, "not done". Hey Ho) 

It is a quarter to 10 and I meet up with people at Millennium Place. Although I haven't met any of them before I soon find links and people we know in common.

The leader, Rev Jon (Jonathan) Swales gives us a handout service sheet on grey recycled paper. 

The first Station, at Millennium Place  is Confession:

"Desmond Tutu said "Twenty-five years ago people could be excused for not Knowing much about climate change. Today we have no excuse."
"Climate breakdown requires extensive and sustained action to prevent the unfolding of a disaster of apocalyptic proportions." 

We have readings, sing a short hymn and have prayers.

Second Station: War and Climate Breakdown:

We hold this at the war memorial

Jonathan points out that if people and countries had held back, the first world war need not have happened.

If only....

If only. ..

If only ..

I photograph the garden with crosses planted in it and the war memorial.

Then the  deafening noise of pneumatic drills hammering into the adjacent road  covers up the next part.

This is the Leeds Pipes Network: 
Can't complain as it is very sustainable and laudable: 

Leeds Pipes "have been working with Leeds City Council to develop a low carbon energy solution connecting 1,983 properties and numerous businesses to an efficient district heating network."

 Hymn - O Lord hear my prayer.

The main group then shoot off south led by the gentleman carrying the cross. 

Jon stays behind to be interviewed by the journalists. 

I photograph the pipes. 

See the insulation!!

I look up and everyone has gone!! 

O deaarrrrr.

I hurry south and meet the couple in the pilgrimage who have come from Great Ayton.  40 miles to the north east.

"They have gone to Trinity," they say. "They said they were going to Trinity"

"Trinity? "

"Trinity Church or Trinity vast huge great labyrinth of a shopping centre?" I ask.

We go to Trinity Church. Not there.!

We are stumped. Trinity Shopping area, according to the map, is huge. We find Jonathan's mobile phone number and try, but he does not answer .. by now he must be leading the next Pilgrimage station session, with his mobile switched off


To come all this way and loose them!

We decide to go to a Barclays Bank since that is to be the final station. The wrong Barclays as it turns out. On the way however we spot the group. 


We sing "Amazing grace."

We skip the fourth station location as we are getting behind schedule  but say the prayers elsewhere (Litany for the Earth) and head for the correct Barclays.

On our programme, this station is labelled 

"Ashing and Protest"

For the first time Jon uses the hand held microphone, and he uses it to good effect. 

- and lets rip

 - speaking to us 

- to the shoppers passing by 

- and to the Barclay's bank manager who politely does not shut the bank door on  us.

pointing out that the bank has invested billions of pounds in the industries which are causing climate change.

He gives many more Jeremiah like forecasts 

We sing "When I survey the wondrous cross" to the folk tune "Waley Waley - (The River is wide)

A gentle man who had been approaching the bank came up and said to me "I had been planning to open an account here. Perhaps I should find a different bank".

We line up to be "Ashed".

I have never been to an Ash Wednesday Service before.

The ash used in this case seemed to be very, VERY black - not ash coloured at all.

Jon makes the mark of an ash cross on our foreheads.

"Ashes to Ash, Dust to Dust" he says  as he does so.

It is rather poignant to me. A good friend of mine, who might even have been with us today, is now enjoying palliative care at home, having said "No" to further hospital treatment.

It also reminds me of my own mortality.

We finish  the  service:

"God our father
you created us from the dust of the earth:
Grant that these ashes may be for us
a sign of our repentance from our addiction to consumerism
a reminder of our sinful indifference to the plight of the world's most vulnerable and a symbol of our mortality and frailty."


I revisit the Leeds City Library. I visit Waterstones bookshop and buy three (language) books. Is that consumerism? (Maybe not .. Little do I know I will be restricted to my house and making good use of them the upcoming months) 

I sit in the cafe at Leeds railway station, resting my feet, making a list of some of the people I have met, and notes on the day. The girl opposite me is Italian speaking and is filling in an official looking form. "Is that related to Brexit and getting a visa to stay in the UK?" I wonder.

I travel home safely by train.