It’s always nice when I’m back out surveying in the Lake District. I’m out near Cockermouth following a proposed water pipeline route. There’s not too much here but at
least it isn’t raining today.
Exploring the snowdrops at Lytham Hall
Here are some pictures of my Monday child rearing duties the other week that included a nice trip around the wooded grounds surrounding Lytham Hall. I’ve wanted to visit there for ages because at this time of year they put on a series of snowdrop walks. The Lytham Town Trust have secured significant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the hall and grounds, and this was particularly evident where the South prospect garden and parterre are now under reconstruction. The footpaths through the woodland and up on the prospect mound have been upgraded which made lugging a buggy around much easier than before.
Snowdrop walk at Lytham Hall
Clumps of snowdrops at Lytham Hall
Snowdrop walk at Lytham Hall
Snowdrop walk at Lytham Hall
Lytham Hall – February 2015
Detail of a Heath Spotted Orchid – Dactylorhiza maculata
One of the happy byproducts of being immersed in moorland landscapes through much of the year is that I can watch the passing seasons and their flora and fauna. I have been at work out surveying at Sewingshields Crags in the Northumberland National Park (blog post to follow), and a spare moment saw me crawling through the undergrowth to take these images of the orchids flowering in a slightly boggy dip. A bonus of working with volunteers is that they bring their different experiences and knowledge with them, and Martin in particular explained the intricacies of moorland flora.
Archaeologist and a Northern Marsh Orchid/hybrid?
Northern Marsh Orchid – Dactylorhiza purpurella
Common Butterwort – Pinguicula vulgaris
Detail of a hybrid Northern Marsh Orchid?
Heath Spotted Orchid – Dactylorhiza maculata
Cherub and dolphin
Here are a brief selection of images from the small formal gardens I have been out surveying on the National Trust property at Acorn Bank, near Penrith, Cumbria. Unfortunately the weather was seasonally gloomy and there was a distinct lack of exciting plants and foliage as the gardens are now closed for maintenance and sprucing up ready for the 2014 season. The photos are really just snippets of detail that caught my eye as I wandered around. I will have to revisit the property in Spring/Summer next year when the garden is back in bloom and the nearby restored corn mill is also open.
Tools of the trade
Herb garden greenhouse
Replica of the ‘Warwick Vase’
Golden apple and knobbly trunk
Festive holly gateway
Acorn Bank, Temple Sowerby, near Penrith, Cumbria
Portuguese quince in the herb garden
Cherub and dolphin in the lily pond
Expired parkland tree
It truly felt like winter had arrived in earnest this last week. I have been out surveying the parkland and formal gardens at Acorn Bank, a National Trust property located on the outskirts of Temple Sowerby, near Penrith in Cumbria. The daylight has been limited with it being so close to the shortest day of the year, and the weather has mostly been cold, overcast and drizzly. Wednesday turned out to be a fine sunny day so I will post a selection of images from that day in the parkland below. You will notice that I was interested in the bare leafless winter trees and hedges in the parkland.
Sunlight playing on expired parkland tree
Acorn Bank in winter sunlight
Early morning winter sky in parkland at Acorn Bank
Parkland at Acorn Bank, winter scene
Stand of coppice poles in hedge
Remnants of plashed hedging
Beet, trees, cottages, hills and sky
Derelict mossy benchmark
Sheep trod and winter tree
Ingleborough hillfort viewed from Simon Fell
I am in the middle of spending a happy couple of weeks back out in the Yorkshire Dales in the vicinity of Ingleborough. We are doing another landscape survey in advance of a programme of peatland restoration works. The survey involves looking at peat erosion scars and any drainage gullies for exposed artefacts such as flint flake scatters. I haven’t managed to get to the summit of Ingleborough so far this year but I should do, weather permitting, by the end of the project.
Trow Gill, Ingleborough
As I have previously mentioned I am quite partial to limestone scenery and the patterns of erosion and the forces of nature that have shaped it greatly over time. The gorge at Trow Gill is a fine example and is located sandwiched between Ingleborough Cave and the Gaping Gill pot hole. It is particularly scenic at the southern mouth where you follow the footpath up into its narrow confines.
Ash tree growing out of a shake hole, Ingleborough
The shake hole pocked area is a contrast between elevated sparse grassland with swathes of blanket peat and lower scarp slopes with exposed limestone pavement fringes. It is on these lower slopes where the greatest concentration of archaeological sites are to be found.
Peat erosion at Lord’s Seat, Simon Fell, Ingleborough
Today I was quite taken with the colour differentiations between the grassland, eroded areas of peat, standing water and sphagnum mosses.
Bright green moss
Close up of bright green moss
The Observatory Pond, Stonyhurst College
I have just spent a happy, and alternatingly torrentially wet/overcast/sunny few days exploring and recording the delights of the registered park and garden at Stonyhurst College in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire.
Here are a just a fraction of the nice photos of various photogenic sites etc.
Autumnal Colour at Stonyhurst College
Statue of St Mary Magdalene, Stonyhurst College
Stonyhurst College Garden and St Peter’s RC Church
Statue of Regulus in the Observatory Pond, Stonyhurst College
Flight of Garden Steps at Stonyhurst College
One of the Garden Pavilion, Stonyhurst College
Front Tower of Stonyhurst College
Approach to Stonyhurst College
One of the Pair of Fish Ponds, Stonyhurst College
The Mausoleum and Burial Ground near Stonyhurst College
The Burial Ground near Stonyhurst College
Autumnal colours with a ladybird found in the woods near the old bobbin mill, Knowle Green, Lancashire.