Outdoors

Outdoors

Discover unspoilt beauty of Troutsdale

Troutsdale was my first experience of cycling locally, when I first came to live in Scarborough. The memories remain after almost 60 years! Troutsdale is a treasure lying roughly south-west of Langdale End. Both Troutsdale and Rosekirk Dale Fens were given the status of Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1984. These two fen systems lie in the narrow upper reaches of Troutsdale and show examples of spring and flush fen flora in the local area where springs emanate from the Corallian Limestone. Such fen systems are restricted to areas in Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Anglesey and the North York Moors, therefore they are nationally rare.

Lifestyle
A handsome male bullfinch.

Birds fall silent as moulting season begins

Feathers, feathers and more feathers! Feathers have a limited life and need to be replaced, so they’re periodically shed and renewed. This is known as moulting. All birds moult at least once a year, usually after breeding and before migration when brand new feathers are an advantage.

Outdoors
Blue sow thistle

Identification of mystery plant is solved

As summer ticks by, now is the time to examine your pets for ticks. These are small parasitic arachnids that live on the skin of warm-blooded mammals and suck blood from their tissues. They are present in sheep pasture and woodlands, just waiting for a possible host to come along.

Lifestyle
View of Great Fryup Dale from Lealholmside

An enchanting walk round Great Fryup Dale

Great Fryup may suggest a good old, full English breakfast. The name sounds attractive, but I’m afraid it has no connection with cooking. You’d better enjoy your eggs, bacon and mushrooms before you depart.

Lifestyle
Monkey Musk flowers

Plant with strange name is seldom seen

Have you seen the Fox and Cubs? What an excellent name for one of our common hawkweeds! Most hawkweeds are difficult to identify. They are so variable, and have hundreds of microspecies. However, Fox and Cubs is the Orange Hawkweed found on grassy verges and wasteland. The flower heads are an orange-red, and this plant is covered with blackish hairs. The leaves are mainly in a basal rosette. One flower tends to be larger than the others, and is referred to as the fox. The smaller flowers are fancifully called the cubs!

Lifestyle
Red valerian establishes itself in crevices of stone walling.

Country Diary: A pageantry of spring flowers are now seeding

Scarcely has summer arrived, than signs of autumn bedeck our country lanes! Beneath our feet are strewn thousands of minute horse chestnuts, barely 4mm in diameter; sycamore keys, and elm seeds. A pageantry of spring flowers are likewise seeding, and if you’ve been lucky enough to see a cuckoo, he’ll soon be departing when July returns.

Lifestyle
Walks: Ravenscar - Stoupe Brow - Railtrack

Walks: Ravenscar - Stoupe Brow - Railtrack

Ravenscar has defied development over the centuries on account of its steep and geologically unstable cliffs. A developer named John Septimus Bland intended creating a holiday resort to rival Whitby and Scarborough, but it was not to be. You can still see the station, and traces of the layout of streets, but building plots proposed, are now overgrown. Consequently clear views out to sea remain to be admired.

Outdoors
St Thomas' Church, Gristhorpe

Country Diary: Out and about discovering hidden delights

“June is bursting out all over,” as the song goes, and the countryside is fresh and flourishing after welcome rainfall. Wild dog roses swiftly follow May blossom, and the fragrance of lilac and lavender perfume the air. Now is the time to get out and about and explore more hidden delights during long summer days.

Lifestyle
Goldfinch

Country Diary: Joy of being outdoors in late spring

Have you spotted it? The two-spot ladybird? Michael and myself each found a single specimen this week, well over a mile apart. They were 2mm-3mm in size, and usually though red with two black spots, these were black with two red spots – a variation found especially in northern areas. The legs are always black, and they feed on aphids.

Outdoors
Casle Howard

Walks: Explore Coneysthorpe to Castle Howard

Here’s a grand walk for summer days, exploring the village of Coneysthorpe, a small picturesque village about 5 miles west of Malton, at the north entrance to Castle Howard park, along with exploration of Castle Howard’s footpaths and bridleways.

Outdoors
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