I’ve had a very busy week at home with my grown up children. Some of the highlights were SSSI wild flower meadows (above). Finishing a yew draining borad, visiting Saltaire – again (still good), getting lots of bike advice, cooking and eating, drinking beer from Saltaire, Ilkley, Rose Cottage and Belgium. And, of course, le tour de France!
The Wild flower meadow is at the site of the fever hospital between Grassington and Hebden in North Yorkshire. It is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest because it is a now rare example of the diverse flora that used to grow in hay meadows, now sadly almost all blown away by the change by farmers to making silage from mono-cultured perennial rye grass. There are about 50 species in this meadow, here are some of the ones we spotted from the flagged path through the two fields.
Meadow sweet (the tall white ones), dog daisy, Great Burnet, ribbed plantain.
Buttercup, scabius, red clover, sorrel, goatsbeard, yellow rattle (seed heads). The latter is a very interesting plant, as a hemiparasite it attaches itself to the roots of other plants in the meadow to extract nutrients and water. It prefers to paratise grasses which thus encourages growth of the flowering herbs and suppresses the growth of competing grass.
I’ve also had to get the draining board finished for my son and his wife to take back home to Brooklyn. We decided to keep it as natural as possible with the draining runnels following the grain like rivers:
It is a beutiful bit of yew, even if it was a challenge to plane.
On the way back from the airport, we called in at Ravenden Wood at Smithills Hall, Bolton. A clough wood – that is in a steep-sided stream valley, very peaceful after the big city of Manchester and its airport.
Fine spalting in the stump of a very recently felled beech.
Town and country.