Sunday 9 January 2022

Keasden Head - 1 Jan 2022 - Walk for the Climate - Lichens and New Year Plant Hunt flowers

On the 1st Day of the month January "Walk for the climate" we joined the annual New Years Day  Austwick, Clapham, Keasden and Eldroth Parish Walk to Keasden Head.
1) Go straight to the Lichens section
2) Go straight to the Wildflower Plant Hunt section
3) Carry on here for the general account or the walk  

"We" being
1. - A group from Churches together in Settle and District
2. - A group from Craven Conservation Group.
We have a climate walk on the first day of the month each month - so it seemed a good idea to join in with the Keasden Walk. Today there was Sally and Keith, Jane and Geoff and me.

The Keaden Walk people made us welcome - and we put money in their collection box to donate to church funds; I knew several people from previous visits and was pleased to meet them again. We had brought a group of families from Messy Church - long ago before Covid - before they had built the new balcony and room at the end of the meeting room. I had met people in previous years at the Lambing Services at Wenningside Farm, lower down in Keasden.

Back to today:
The four mile walk - 1 mile from the tarmac road  to the farm, 1 mile up from the farm to the shooting hut on the moorland - 1 back to the farm and 1 back to the road.  The shooting hut is only 270m above sea level.
Walking from the farm up to the shooting lodge / hut.

Walking from the farm up to the shooting lodge/ hut.

Exploring the new bridge and virtual rope handrail

Above the lodge a new road has been built
to give access to more of the moorland
We were very privileged to meet the family on the walk who are part of the new syndicate that has the shooting rights. (That's us above, not the family) They explained a little of the work involved. And also talked with and listened to the farmer  who has grazing rights for his sheep here on the common.

This is a view from the same place -
You can just about make out Ingleborough

I left the path to go to the nearest summit 20 metres away. The ground was quite wet and I found Cranberry - which only grows in boggy places. But next to it was a drain: 

"That will not do the Cranberry any good."  I thought "Nor carbon storage - As the peat dries out, the peat will break down and turn back onto carbon dioxide. Maybe they need it for the road."

At this high up place we read a couple of prayers from the Methodist Covenant Service, appropriate for 1st January,  though we had lost the other half of our group who had started to descend earlier.

It was the warmest New Year's Day on Record for over 100 years. 
Even though part of our walk was to pray about the climate, we did not seem too concerned - it made walking a pleasure - (But I wonder-- is this like when the tide went out before the tsunami - and caught people unawares- only history will tell.-
It wasn't hot - just cloudy till we were returning back down when the sun broke through briefly .

Back at the farm we enjoyed walking through the barn and seeing a variety of sheep including seeing a brown Texel with one brown and one white lamb - New Year babies!


We found 7 species in flower:
1. A dandelion - in a field
2. Annual meadow grass - in several places along the track
3. After much searching, a Hazel catkin fully out, in a wood by the gill,
4. In the wall at the front of the farmhouse: the richest place: three garden weeds: Bittercress, a Speedwell and Petty spurge and Groundsel



Looking at Baeomyces rufus on a rock
 near the Shooting Lodge at Keasden Head

Baeomyces rufus 

A beautiful Cladonia

I'm just guessing: Porpidia macrocarpa - the apothecia were so big! up to 3mm across.

Maybe you would like to come with us on 1st February - the time and the location have yet to be finalised  - Watch this space - or better, email me.


Four miles down the road, at 148m above sea level, whilst driving home, opposite the cemetery at  Crina Bottoms, between Clapham Station and the main road, I noticed a tree with striking lichens on it.  SD742684 

This might be Pertusaria albescens var corallina
with its margin like an oyster

This might be Pertusaria albescens var corallina.
It is in a well fertilised reseeded field, looking across to Growing with Grace greenhouses.

In the wall top under the ash tree  was Parmelina pastillifera

The wall being made of  limestone,  sandstone and slatey stones,
had a wide variety of lichens.
The tree itself would provide shelter from excessive sun in summer, and a supply of nutrients and lichen propagules raining down. 
I was also intrigued by the white lichen on the old tarmac at the gateway, that looked like spilled paint. - see below. will try and provide a name soon - any suggestions?

Another picture of the tree.


Five years ago on 31 Jan 2016 I attended the same walk. Here are a few pictures:

Inside the shooting hut 5 years ago - note same hat!!

 31 Dec 2016:Ace Runner Rev Ian Greenhalgh demonstrating the muddiness of the slope. Doris  (85) waits on the bridge.

In the footbridge, Keasden Shooting Hut.

Punctellia subrudecta on the Rowan

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