Sunday 23 June 2019

Winskill Stones - Plantlife Reserve - in Midsummer - Flowers and Lichens: part 1

SD 8366

Midsummer at Winskill Stones ( 22 June 2019). This has been a Plantlife Reserve for just over 21 years now.  It is situated a mile and a half above Settle, in North Yorkshire
It does not seem two days since I carried out a botanical survey for Plantlife 21 years ago.

It was bought because there were only two places left in mainland Britain where people were legally allowed to dig up limestone pavement - this was one.  Once these last two places were protected, then there is no-where where people can quarry the pavement, so the remaining pavement should be protected. 

(Topical to mention that protecting pavement was actually set up as an EU law) 

This "Classic view" view is taken from the above the car park.
In the extreme foreground you can see blocks of limestone pavement with big patches of the white lichen Aspicilia calcarea (I'll test you on that later..)

Enjoy looking at the iconic Ash tree, so beloved by photographers. It has Ash die-back so next year there well be far fewer leaves on it.. and the year after??

The white house half a mile a way is Lower Winskill Farm - where the Northern Scythe Championships will take place on 7 July.

The grassland bank beside the road is currently covered with..

Bird's-foot Trefoil is also known as Eggs and Bacon..   here seen with white Limestone Bedstraw.

Salad Burnet

Red Clover

Even the daisies look special today

But we've barely left the car-parking area (layby/quarry cutting). 
Note the wall leading to the right off the picture.  We''ll walk up to that and look over it.

We're looking over the wall now towards Pen Y Ghent. Look at the wall top - What is the name of the white Lichen ? Yes, Aspicilia calcarea.  It seems to grow well where there is a lot of sunlight and also where there are nutrients added by bird droppings - 

At our feet are flowers of

Forget me not

Bulbous buttercup

The great thing about Winskill Stones reserve is that the near part is so accessible - step out of your car and you are in it!

That's all I have time for now.

Hope to post another day about more of the other lichens I found but here are just a few of my favourites: - the joy of looking through a handlens !

Opegrapha gyrocarpa  On siliceous rock but with lime influence

Solorina saccata - damp limestone ledge

Porpidia incrustans - limestone cliff
Porpida incrustans closer up- limestone cliff

Finally before returning to the car, a glance back over the Bird's-foot Trefoil and Thyme. See the wall on the skyline -  - See how it has Aspicilia calcarea on the top. Look out for it when you travel in the Limestone Dales