Following distribution by Sally of the day's plans and information on Rosedale’s history, eleven members set off to a new destination for BEES. Stuart drove through the rain and after a relief stop for both minibus and passengers at Sutton Bank Nature Park we continued to the North Yorkshire Moors. Even in the poor conditions the route through twisting leafy lanes was appreciated by those of us lucky enough to be driven. On arrival in Rosedale lunch was taken in the minibus.
The early part of the walk by Northdale Beck provided most of the bird life. We watched the aerial acrobatics of the swallows and house martins as they caught the flies abundant in the cattle grazing pasture. We had close views of young pheasants and a heron was seen. Animal life was lying low; even the frog I saw hopped quickly under cover. However, we did not search closely and, other than the aforementioned flies, only the occasional disturbed grass moth made the record.
Hedgerows were showing signs of season change with fruits on alder, hawthorn and hazel, sloes on blackthorn and even some red berries on a holly. Higher up, a rowan had both flower and fruit. Thistles, creeping, marsh and spear, gave the most colour, and common meadow species were spotted by the observant. The higher areas increased the variety of plants to include Harebells and Fairy flax. Although not in flower, it was good to see Ivy-leaved Crowfoot and also a fine specimen of Great Mullein albeit going over. New to most people was Buckwheat, most likely from a previous crop grown for pheasant rearing. A tall yellow patch in an otherwise drab hillside turned out to be Common ragwort! The downward path through the pine wood was negotiated with care and at its end a clump of Common Hemp nettle was noted.
The number of plants seen in flower or fruit totalled seventy. Four ferns joined the list.
Fungi spotted were few; Larch bolete, Ochre and Purple Russulas and truly impressive Parasols- perhaps the latter were keeping their "roots" dry!
Back in the fields again we were distracted by the attentions of a lonely horse and lost our path. Team work and map reading by our best scouts solved the problem and soon we were at the designated end of the walk. While the rest of the party chatted companionably, Sally and Stuart went the extra mile to collect the minibus to return us to the village centre. A rest in the bus or, for some, a quick visit to the teashop replaced the planned exploration of Rosedale.
A meal at Weatherspoons in Thirsk recharged the batteries after which Julia drove us home in even heavier rain than had started the day.
Yes, the day was wet but it was still enjoyable. Thanks to Sally, Stuart and Julia for getting us to a new venue which, personally, I should like to see on a future programme.
There a few more pictures in the gallery