Wednesday 23 June 2021

Settle Wildflowers Day 116 - Day 23 of 30 Days Wild - The Joy of Getting up early


5.30am - Although the sun is "up" this part of the valley is still in shade. The newly shorn sheep shelter by the wall, at the side of the newly shorn (just yesterday) meadow.

The River Ribble is low

The sun has come out now - Note the state of this young ash  tree.

Looking back into the sun.

At Stackhouse a field full of White clover - and a Foxglove at the edge

Foxglove and Ox-eye daisies beside the water tank

The Anomodon viticulosus moss on this wall
is very dry and dead in the middle of the patch

Lambs tails on a wall at Stackhouse

Not quite sure what this lichen is. It looks a little bit like a cross between Aspicilia contorta and Squamalina cartilaginea

Toad rush - rather dry in a dry cart rut.

I found some Farnoldia jurana lichen on some scree. 

Wednesday 16 June 2021

Day 15 of 30 Days Wild: The Sedgewick Trail on the Dent Fault with Settle U3A Geology Group


The Car Park perched on the side of  the A684 at the low end of Garsdale looked strangely familiar to me  .. as did the vegetation near the river Clough below.

For the geology day skip this smaller writing.

I came home and worked out that I had been to two places close to here before - 

To Aye Gill with Craven Conservation Group - and Linda Robinson from BSBI VC 65 - six years ago August 2015- and Pat was there too!!  See Aye Gill Pike - CCG-VC65 Botanical Surveying visit this link to see a picture of the same car park. Ayegill (556m) is 3 miles (plus) south east of the car park

The second place is Frostrow Fells - which I visited twice with Martha Newton on Bryophytes courses held at Malham Tarn Field Centre -it is a superb place for a variety of Sphagna and "brown mosses" (Mosses that grow in base rich flushes). This is about 1 and a half miles west of the car park, though we walked to it from a village closer to Sedbergh.

Vegetation? the sort of weakly base rich flushes as base rich water flows over acid rock - with  rushes, sedges, sort of M10 but more acid.. Purple Pinguicula vulgaris - butterwort. A plant that Tamsin noted near the river clough  was Trailing St John's-wort Hepericum humisiferum - I have only ever found this once near Settle. As search of the BSBI distribution map   shows it has been found 21 times in this hectad and twice in this tetrad - so it is realtively common here. the same map show it has been found once near Settle *near Rathmell) - that was our record in 2019.

A highlight of the day is that we were privileged to have chosen the day of the Sedburgh School Fell Race "The Wilson run". this is usually held in the term leading up to Easter, but this year because of covid was being run in June. This is an annual tradition in the school. See the Route here

A drinks station had been set up in the car park (2 and a half miles from "home") I met several boys walking down to Danny Bridge waiting to cheer on the runners, including one with a what seemed to me tiny drone - He admitted that if the wind got to more than 9 miles an hour he might have problems.

I showed one group some of the pretty Tormentil flowers in the grass.

A distant runner

OK Back to our Geology Trip.

Keith introduces the walk. (Howgill Hills in the background)

We set off

Down to Danny Bridge

There is still hawthorn in flower 190m above sea level.

Looking at the river Clough

Brachiopod fossils in the rock in the foreground


The valley widens .this is where the actual Dent fault is
 at right angles to the river

need to figure out this Sphagnum,
there are sheets of it as I climb up the bank
after the last post near the second conglomerate site.

In the car park, one of our members prepares to cycle
back up to Garsdale Station,
from where he will catch the train back to Settle.

Back in Settle ... The Coop being shut for renovations for several weeks, I call in on Booths for some carrots . and meet some new residents of Millennium Gardens.

This year's Settle Flower Pot festival will start in July 


Sunday 13 June 2021

Day 13 of 30 Days Wild - Yorkshire Naturalists Union visit to Duncombe Park, Helmsley

The VC 62 2021 meeting was held at the National Nature Reserve of Duncombe Park, Hemsley on Sunday 13 June.

Here we are assembling in the Car Park and Sarah White (left) invites us to introduce ourselves. We have come from all corners of the County - Darlington to  Doncaster - Leeds to York, Bentham and beyond.

With interests from Sawflies to Sedges, Galls to Grasses, Butterflies to Birds, Flowers to Flies, 


We set off,singly or in interest groups. I join the botanists - including three from Darlington and Teesdale Naturalists Field Club

We espy this splendid adult Mayfly resting on a twig covered with the Common Yellow Lichen (Bird Perch Lichen) Xanthoria parietina

Ephemera danica, Green Drake Mayfly

There are lots of interesting plants in the fenced off river bank including Wood Stitchwort.

Photographing a Mining Bee.

Andy finds a Long-horned Beetle

After lunch some of the group return to the car then drive up to the veteran trees near the Birds of Prey Centre at Duncombe Park House.

I take the steps and walk up through the woodland.  There is an exposed cliff.

Although it is sandstone, the species of moss growing on it show that it is very basic sandstone.

Anomodon viticulosus - Rambling Tail-moss  (and Hart's-tongue Fern)

Polystichum aculeatum Hard Shield-fern

In the woodland at the top there is a veteran oak tree - well several.

Here is a veteran Ash Tree.

The white patches in the foreground bottom left are Pertusaria amara -  I  establish this by its bitter taste.
There are several other species in the grooves of the tree.

It is 3.30pm. We return to Helmsley and walk through this beautiful town  to the Hotel where tea has been booked in the courtyard at the back  (In the open - we still have Covid Restrictions remember)

We meet at the main hotel in the square "The Feathers" where we are served extremely welcome tea (and biscuits and coffee).

We have a role call, to see which natural history societies are represented. Then each group describes / summarises what they have found.

One  person shows the Rhinoceros Beetle he has found

Another member shows the feathers she has found and we work out which birds they have come from.
 Very appropriate since the hotel is called The Feathers.

Thank you Sarah for organising the meeting, Thank you everyone for coming - it would not happen if the people did not come and share knowledge. 

And Thank you The Feathers for the welcome  tea.

If you are interested in the YNU why not

1. Attend one of the the fortnightly Zoom meetings on Fridays at 7.30pm

2. Join your local natural history society

3. Visit the YNU website to find out about other field meetings this year

4. Read my blog post about the Sharow Churchyard Meeting last week which had a high YNU input.

Saturday 12 June 2021

Day 12 of 30 Days Wild - Roudsea Wood NNR with the Cumbria Lichen Group

The Cumbria Lichens and Bryophytes Group arrange trips in.. Cumbria .. and on 12 June I am pleased to join them at Roudsea Wood.  This is on the coast - on the estuary of the Leven leading to Morcambe Bay . It is 45 miles by road, or 30 miles by crowflight  direct  WNW from where I live. There is limestone rock, acid rock and -just  above sea level raised peatbog - (Mosses). 

This is a National Nature Reserve and you have to get permission to visit.

Quoting the Woodland Trust  "This is a splendid wood to visit. Ancient yews and small-leaved limes abound. Occasional bay views add to the delight."

Small-leaved Lime probably

Small-leaved Lime on limestone

Wild Columbine - Aquilegia columbinum - on limestone in front of Yew

Opegrapha elegans on hazel?
 negative reaction with C (above) and K. Note the orange prothallus

Opegrapha elegans on hazel


Peltigera leucophlebia  - on the left pale grey as we found it, on the right - we added water and it went bright green. centre - the rhizoids.



Rhamnus catharticus - Purging Buckthorn. This has toothed leaves, and opposite leaves - compared with Alder Buckthorn that has smoother edged leaves and alternate leaves.  

The tree next door is Spindle - with narrower leaves and green stems

Melanelixia glabratula

Stenocybe pullatula - on young  Alder twigs - an honorary lichen - really just a fungus

Opegrapha calcarea  on limestone

Anisomeridium polypori

Anisomeridium polypori - my camera could not get down to resolution to showthe conical pycnidia with nipple like or peg like tips. On Oak

Pertusaria albescens-coralloides? - "These lumps are soralia because if you rub the they go powdery," said Pete. On an acid rock boulder

A huge thank you to Pete Martin who organised this trip. (And to any who might have supplied data for him) . and to Liz Campbell who helped me on the way home:- 

Here is a picture of Lake Windermere. A policeman at a road diversion near Newby Bridge sent me off the A590 towards Windermere. Fortunately Liz rescued me and showed me this scenic route home. Note the hawthorn in full bloom at about 200 m - near the easily accessible "mountain"/viewpoint Gummers How - (321m)