Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Pictures of walk at Hellifield Flashes on 19 Jan with FOD

Friends of the Dales  (FOD, formerly Yorkshire Dales Society) organised a walk round Hellifield Flashes. 

These are three large fields which include three ponds that rise and fall according to the water level, and where many waders and other birds stop over. 

Developers have applied to Craven District Council to build holiday cabins/chalets and a hotel over these fields and  aoome of the pools. This would stop birds coming. Most villagers in the area do not want this.

The flashes lie  between Hellifield Railway station and the road to Long Preston. We were joined / led on our walk by Roger of Save our Craven Countryside
Sixty  people set off on our walk.. go under the railway ahead, then turn right into a field.

We cross the first large field diagonally and stop at the fence, and look over to this small flash. Today it is  mostly covered with ice - it was cold last night.

We climb over the stile (some go through the gate). Towards the road we enter the fenced of area that was  planted with trees about 12 years ago.

The trees were planted very densely.   The trees may act as a sound screen to the road. But if the trees (some of them oak) are to grow into big fine trees, they are planted far too densely.  We notice the plastic tree guards lying around. Why have they not been removed? 


I enjoy looking at the hazel flowers - the yellow lambs tails are the male flowers and they make pollen. Just above the centre of the picture is a female bud with its red stigmas - I have put a close up below.
but Hazel is supposed to flower in February - and today is just 19th January - This is an example of the effect of global warming/climate change


Female Hazel flower

We briefly hit the A65. then turn right along the side road. There is a turning place with a view of the flash where cars sometimes park. Sadly we see the result of human visitors:

We continue past the new house. Beyond that is an area where mounds were illegally dug in a field before locals alerted the Council. 


On many of the millstone grit walls round here - even on the tops of hills away from the roads and farms -  you can see a velvetty green alga called Klebsormidium crenulatum - It is an indication that nitrogen compounds in the air  (nitrogen oxide or ammonia) are rained down onto the wall and act like fertilizer, allowing the alga to grow, and covering lichens that would grow here. Pollution: We have less sulphur dioxide in Yorkshire than we used to have 50 years ago, but much more nitrogen pollution. 

We continue past the new house. Beyond that is an area where mounds were illegally dug in a field before locals alerted the Council. 

We come to a new footpath.

Using the microphone to ask about the trees, and high density of tree planting.

Yes, Hellifield has its own snow-capped mountain peak - Hellifield Haw

We bend down back towards the village. We are currently in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The railway-line marks the boundary of the YDNP here.

Back in the village the FOD encourages members to use local facilities for lunch: I choose HazyDayz Tearoom 

There is just time for me to visit Ahern's Clothing shop where I discover a long sleeved t-shirt in the sale with blue sky and red poppies - which I later buy

In the afternoon we return to the Village Hall for a showing of the Film "Streams of Wonder" made by the Moonbeam Collective. John Avison was there to answer questions.

I enjoyed the film - He had copies for sale on DVD, but sold out. You can buy copies at Dales Angels shop (on the east, uphill/behind the Shambles side of the Market Place, Settle

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