WFV, Ledston Luck & Roach Lime Hills, 13th Aug 2019

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 14th Aug 2019, 3:09pm

The day began with a trip to a garage for a replacement tyre after which Julia sadly had to leave us. We had previously received notice of two cancellations and then we had another absentee on the day; so we were left a select band of six, our driver Kevin, Amanda, Alice, Sue N, Jane & myself.

It was a fresh day following overnight rain. A mix of clouds & blue sky with a northerly breeze but thankfully no rain forecast. Our next disappointment was the toilet stop at Kippax Leisure Centre. This venue nowadays only opens at 13:00 on a Tues! 

Our first site, Ledston Luck, was just 5 min's around the corner. This used to be a coalmine which only closed in 1986 & is now a YWT local NR. We were able to park the mini-bus in the nearby Enterprise CP and then had a walk of a few hundred yards alongside the very busy A656 Ridge Rd to our destination. A party of volunteers were busy at the entrance removing excessive vegetation, one of them known to our driver!

Hirst Wood Burial Ground and Trench Meadow, 30 July 2019

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 31st Jul 2019, 12:00pm

Today we stayed local for visits to two contrasting sites. 

We started at Hirst Wood Burial Ground, gathering in the gloom of the wooded burial ground adjacent to Nab Wood Cemetery. BEES Friday volunteer group have been involved in some management of the site over the past couple of winters, so I wanted to return in the summer to collate a species list for the site, and get some ideas about the best way forward to implement the ecological management plan. 

The land is owned by St Paul’s Church and managed by the Hirst Wood Burial Board. Since regular burials ceased in the 1980s, the site has developed into a woodland habitat which the Church recognise as offering value as natural green space and a space to pay respects and for contemplation. The recently devised management plan states the aim to sympathetically manage for both access to graves and support the ecology of the site.

WFV, Three Hagge Wood Meadow Project, 23 July, 2019

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 24th Jul 2019, 3:56pm

 On what was destined to be one of the hottest days of the year, 12 of us set off for Escrick near York, to visit the Three Hagge Wood Meadow project.  We were greeted on arrival by Professor Dave Raffaelli and Rosalind Forbes Adam, whose family own the estate on which the project is sited.  Through the introductory talk by Professor Raffaelli we learnt that the site was originally an arable field of 25 acres on which had been planted 10,000 native trees of 28 different species alongside local wild flowers, with the aim of creating a wood meadow ecosystem which could support the most diverse habitat thereby increasing biodiversity.

WFV, Langstrothdale, 16th July 2019

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 17th Jul 2019, 3:57pm

You may have believed that the source of the Wharfe was at the northern extreme of Upper Wharfedale, but you would be wrong. It does in fact rise in the above named minor dale.

A full mini-bus driven by Stuart made its way via Bingley, Keighley, Cracoe, & Kettlewell towards our toilet stop in Buckden and then onto our destination New Bridge. The weather began cooler than expected but later warmed considerably, with plenty of sunshine, but always with a keen westerly breeze.  

WFV, Wharram Quarry (YWT) and Robert Fuller Gallery Thixendale 9th July '19

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Thu, 11th Jul 2019, 6:28pm

Wharram Quarry is a species rich chalk grassland, home to the many characteristic plants that thrive on the thin soil levels found there. Quarried for chalk from 1919 it fell into disuse in the 1940’s and was offered to the YWT in the 1960’s when the owner found Bee Orchids growing on the quarry floor. Nine of us set off in very unpromising drizzly rain, to discover this promising flower and butterfly rich site in the Yorkshire Wolds.

Scout Scar, 2nd July 2019

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Fri, 5th Jul 2019, 2:31pm

With the distance putting some people off, and a few last-minute cancellations, it was a small group which made the journey to Cumbria. 
I’d been on a course at Blencathra FSC, so it was ideal for me to meet the minibus at the church near Brigsteer, so thanks to Kevin for being sole driver. After lunch on arrival, we set off downhill over the field to a stretch of woodland. 

The woodland was full of Black Bryony, several clumps of Hemp Agrimony (just about in flower where it was in full sun), Enchanter’s Nightshade, Wood Sedge and Wood Melick. We saw a solitary Greater Butterfly Orchid and a small amount of Hairy St John’s-wort. The patches of bramble were attracting the butterflies; Ringlet and Meadow Brown being the most numerous. 

WFV, Strensall Common, 25th June 2019

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Mon, 1st Jul 2019, 10:12am

Nine hardy souls braved the dire weather forecast and journeyed via the M62-A64 to Strensall Common, a site several miles to the north of York. We sort of got away with it as during our 4 hour stay we experienced no periods of the heavy stuff, just light rain for the most part and even some dry spells; alas that yellow orb in the sky was totally absent.

Our lunch was taken underneath pine trees at a crossroad of paths with plenty of evidence of the numerous sheep on the common all around! We were pleased to hear at least 2 cuckoos and we also had good views of a singing Tree Pipit and later a Stonechat.


Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Thu, 20th Jun 2019, 10:57am


A better Tuesday than the last two. The rain kept away, there were fleeting glimpses of the sun and the minibus, driven by Julia, headed out on the much loved and familiar route to the Dales.  Our destination was the recently extended  YWT Ashes Pasture Reserve near Ribblehead.  This is a diverse grassland area with acid pasture, fen meadows and calcareous flushes which hosts a wealth of species. In view of safety consideration we were dropped at the site and the minibus then parked some distance away.

WFV, Askham Bog and Bolton Percy Station, 28th May 2019

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Sat, 1st Jun 2019, 7:37am

There were 14 participants on this week's trip. With the weather forecast predicting a 70% chance of precipitation, we were expecting a wet day.

Our first port of call was a toilet stop in Tadcaster. With only one toilet, a 20p fee and an automatic door with a self-cleaning cycle between each visit, it became a drawn out process. Several 20 pences were lost ( according to a local this is not uncommon), some gave up and others snuck into the toilet at a nearby surgery. 

Anyway, we pressed on to Bolton Percy Station Nature Reserve where parking was very limited ( well done Stuart). Bolton Percy ceased functioning as a station in the year I was born. ( That will send you all to google.....). The small reserve spans the old platform and bridge embankments. You cannot forget the railway history with numerous trains racing past on the Leeds to York rail line.

WFV, Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford 21 May, 2019

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Tue, 21st May 2019, 5:13pm

A lovely sunny day greeted us as we met at Undercliffe Cemetery Lodge.  The site has a fascinating history having originally opened in 1854, not only for burials, but also with landscaping to provide formal parkland where people could spend recreational time.  By the early 1970s burials were becoming less common and the Bradford Cemetery Company went out of business in 1975.  The site suffered neglect reverting to a more natural state until Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council purchased it in 1984 and declared it a conservation area.  The Undercliffe Cemetery Charity now manage the site through a board of trustees.

We had been informed by the Registrar of the best areas to explore and so 11 of us headed for a wooded section near the Otley Road entrance.  Whilst the main section of the site is looked after by volunteers, the periphery is left in a more natural state and thus provided opportunity for exploration.