Monday, 4 June 2018

30 Days Wild - Day 4 - Settle - Castleberg Rock:

Day 4 - Monday 4 June.

Volunteer Week - Wildflowers -Splendid Views - Lichens - Ash die-back 

1-7 June is "Volunteers Week".  In Settle Victoria Hall today (4 June) there is an Exhibition / Meeting of Settle / Craven organisations that need volunteers. What an opportunity to meet people, tell them about Craven Speakers Club, and introduce people to wild flowers... I still have my bunch of flowers from yesterday...

Here I am with a young lady from the National Trust Stall. If you like the outdoors you can volunteer and help the rangers up at Malham Tarn.  She recognises the flowers

(Speakers Club is at Skipton. We practice giving mini speeches, more experienced members evaluate them, we all watch and clap and improve and have lots of fun. Yes- its indoors, but we have had some outdoor trips)

Right. I had better do something really "wild" and outdoorsy. I shall climb to the top of Caslteberg Crag, the rock/cliff in the picture below. (By the footpath, not by the grade 6 and 7 climbing routes).

Can you see the white patches on the rock - that is a lichen called Aspicila calcarea (I have written about this here)

There is a flagpole on top of the crag

The foot path as I walk up to the crag is getting dark because of the leaf cover. I always say we get full leaf cover by 31 May.. After that the leaves start to go darker green. 

Path up Caslteberg

About 20 years  ago I joined in a conservation work party here, where we cut down a lot of the young sycamore and hazel saplings. .. To keep the slope from getting too dark, and to protecting the ground flora. (Pictures from 200 years ago show this as a grassy slope). "Don't worry too much about chopping down the trees" said Russ who organised it.. "They will just grow again, as coppice. " And they have done - and are now much bigger.

Here the ground flora of Periwinkle is extensive here.

This is one of the climbing routes. I am looking straight up. You may have to turn your head left

I have written about the lichens elsewhere - the big white patches (Aspicilia calcarea) and the "beautuful golden plaques - Caloplaca flavescens -  

but this time I noticed patches of a golden lichen that was much more dispersed. At first I thought "Caloplaca dichroa because there were orange parts and lemon yellow bits (two colours).. but now looking close I am not so sure.. I will have to look it up..


Almost at the top now.

Near the top are sheets of Dog-daisy or Ox-eye Daisy plus a yellow hawkweed.
The white building below is Settle Social Club

Beyond the Social Club is Settle Railway Station, and beyond that the Creamery. It really is worth climbing for the view

Then at the top we are next to a field.See the flagpole 
Aspicilia calcaria is the white lichen on the wall top - 

Do you like the designer handbag?

Well, OK.

On the bush behind me is a wild Dog-Rose flower and behind that is Settle Methodist Church (Two arrows)

There is to be a coffee morning there tomorrow. 5th
See the church (left) and church hall with solar panels (right)


I carry on down the gentle northern path through Castleberg Wood
In both parts of the wood there are ash saplings affected by ash die-back. Can you see the reddish twig -now dead  in the top centre of the picture?  And the leaf dying. Sad.

This is Wood Meadow Grass - Poa nemoralis - It has tiny spikelets. I filmed some here in February 2012

As I return to Settle the Sun comes out (at last) and lights up a garden  honeysuckle

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