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.

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