Country Diary: Chiffchaffs have returned from their winter holiday

A terrified scream emanated from beneath the wheelie bin as I moved it a few inches nearer the wall. I froze to the spot, and waited. Silence. What was it? A kitten, or a mouse perhaps? Moving it back, the scream was repeated, and I hardly dare imagine what I’d find beneath.

Yorkshire is home to a beautiful range of parks for families to enjoy

The best parks in Yorkshire to visit this weekend with the family

Make the most of the warm weather this weekend and head off on an outdoor adventure with the family.

Daffodils in bloom at Farndale.

Walks: See Farndale’s daffodils in all their glory

Go now, before April ends to see wild daffodils in full bloom at Farndale. There’s no actual village at Farndale, just a community of scattered farms and three hamlets – Lowna, Low Mills and Church Houses. It consists of a long, narrow dale in the moors, north of Kirbymoorside where wild daffodils stretch for about five miles along the banks of the River Dove.

There are a number of impressive caves and caverns to explore around Yorkshire

Going underground: Yorkshire's hidden caves and caverns you need to visit

When looking for adventure, the mysterious world just below the surface is the perfect place to start.
There's a great array of free things to do across Yorkshire

15 completely free things to do in Yorkshire

A great day out doesn't have to cost the earth.

Yorkshire boasts a wealth of scenic locations to enjoy the daffodils this spring

9 of the best places to see daffodils in Yorkshire this spring

With spring now in full swing, there's plenty of reason to head outdoors to make the most of the warmer weather and enjoy the scenery as the flowers come to bloom.

Country Diary: Plant is rich in minerals and trace elements

It was a joy to receive a beautiful hand-written letter from regular reader of ‘Country Diary’ Sheila Gray. Is the art of letter writing dying out? I do hope not, it’s so personal and friendly.

Wild daffodils bloom in profusion in Sycraham wood at Cloughton Wyke.

Walks: Cherish wild daffodils on Cloughton route

Cloughton’s truly wild daffodils in a secluded wood setting just alongside the Cleveland Way are a treasure to cherish. Many travel to Farndale near Castleton, and north of Kirkbymoorside to appreciate such a rare sight. Here they bloom in Sycarham Wood devoid of crowds.

Wild daffodils

Country Diary: Sunshine will slowly release winter’s icy grip

In the bleak mid-winter, Frosty winds made moan,

The sea cut at Mowthorp Farm, Hackness.

Walks: Follow the Sea Cut with this delightful walk

Just north of Scarborough is a delightful, easy and level walk of six miles, which follows the Sea Cut. The weir, due west of Mowthorp Bridge, marked the start of the Sea Cut. From the weir, the River Derwent was channelled into a swift-flowing stream to continue through Forge Valley.

Check out the pond which will be heaving with frog spawn.

Country Diary: Take time to explore haven of tranquility

“Hoooo ... hoo-hoo-hukoooo” – the far-carrying song of the tawny owl is well known. Originally it was purely a woodland bird, but is now the most common and widespread by Britain’s owls, even in parks and gardens.

Rock pools provide great interest for all at Robin Hood's Bay.

Walks: Discover treasures of the sea on seashore stroll

I can think of no walk more spectacular than the Cleveland Way from Ravenscar’s Raven Hall Hotel to Robin Hood’s Bay. This week, for those who wish to extend their walk, I suggest a stroll along the beach to meet some of the natural inhabitants of the seashore.

A redwing

Country Diary: Well-stocked food supplies at mere site

Immediately after the Beast from the East moved west, an optimistic frog hopped along our drive to welcome spring! Unfortunately, many birds may have suffered, due to lack of food.

Falsgrave Park. Scarborough

Walks: Easy walk on outskirts of Scarborough

Enjoy this short interesting walk on the outskirts of Scarborough, with its important springs and water supply.

Lesser periwinkle

Country Diary: Plant is regarded as a symbol of immortality

Recent wanderings have been local, owing to Michael’s hospitalisation, and subsequent home-coming. He has at last been fitted with a pacemaker which should considerably improve his condition. I enquired of a chap in the same ward whether he had a pacemaker. He replied, “No, only the wife!”

Gypsey Race at Boynton.

Walks: Discover the enchanting Gypsey Race

Put a spring in your step on this easy, level springtime walk. Planning your gardening programme? Then Bridlington’s popular Eastfield Garden centre is a must. It makes a great day out for the family, with a 5-mile walk and ‘Fine Foods Hall’, a real foodies’ heaven, packed with hundreds of locally-produced treats.

Country Diary: Humble plant and its many medicinal uses

Country Diary: Humble plant and its many medicinal uses

The humble dandelion – a common flower which reaches its full glory when daffodils fade, has been blooming throughout winter. At one time it was regarded with more respect than it is today.

Blue sky over the South Bay, as seen from the Spa.

Walks: Breath-taking views and historic features

What’s better than a sharp frost and winter sunshine, for a short brisk walk with no soggy meadows, stiles or gates to negotiate? This route encompasses breath-taking views and historical features, along with a golden carpet of daffodils in season.

Roe deer

Country Diary: Roe deer are sighted on wooded slope

Oh dear, no deer when we visited Seamer Road Mere together. Michael’s previous visit proved more successful. A pair of roe deer were observed mid-afternoon, about 2.45pm in the field adjacent to the mere, with wooded slopes.

Entering Muston village, Filey.

Walks: Muston - Hunmanby Lock-up - Centenary Way

The twin villages of Muston and Hunmanby feature on this pleasant and historically interesting route which uses the Centenary Way as a link.

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