Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Category: Cliff Ridge Wood

  • Kissing trees

    Kissing trees

    Nineteen years ago in February, the landscape draped in snow, I found myself fascinated by a pair of beech saplings, their slender forms intertwined like old lovers. Over the passing years, one of the trees has asserted dominance, its girth swelling, while its companion languished in subservience, scarcely growing at all. Yet, despite this apparent…

  • The Great Ayton Scallywags

    The Great Ayton Scallywags

    A certain topic that has occupied my thoughts for some time is an Auxiliary Unit Patrol that was stationed in Great Ayton during World War II. This covert unit differed significantly from the stereotypical ‘Dad’s Army.’ I recall hearing at some point that, in the event of a German invasion, the anticipated life expectancy for…

  • “T’ biggest hill in all Yorkshur”

    “T’ biggest hill in all Yorkshur”

    It is generally accepted that the now populous district of the North Riding which we call Cleveland is bounded on its southern extremity by the Cleveland Hills. This is not so. Historically, the district of Cleveland comprises the archdeaconry of that name, which extends considerably farther south, as far as Pickering, retaining in part the…

  • I set out this morning intending to take a photo on the route that Dalton Taylor would have taken on his last day at work at Roseberry Ironstone Mine from his lodgings in Ayton

    I set out this morning intending to take a photo on the route that Dalton Taylor would have taken on his last day at work at Roseberry Ironstone Mine from his lodgings in Ayton

    He would have climbed this path, probably before dawn, in 1913. I thought it was on this day, 110 years ago, he died from a roof collapse but have since found out that Taylor was actually killed a week earlier, on the 4th January, 1913. It was reported in the Darlington and Stockton Times on…

  • King George on Blackthorn

    King George on Blackthorn

    The flowers of the Blackthorn are, I think, past their prime by now, but this Peacock, one of the aristocrat butterflies according to early entomologists, is feeding on any remaining nectar. In keeping with this blue-blooded theme, the fenmen of Norfolk called the butterfly ‘King George‘. On the other hand, another long-lost dialect name for…

  • A doomed Ash tree

    A doomed Ash tree

    The Ash, one of our major trees along with oak, birch, elm and lime. It’s a strong and flexible wood, traditionally used for spears or axe handles. The name comes from the Anglo-Saxon ‘aesc‘ meaning a spear or lance. But since 2012, a disease has been devastating Ash trees ‚ÄĒ Ash Dieback, caused by a…

  • Bluebells in Cliff Rigg Wood

    Bluebells in Cliff Rigg Wood

    Another wet morning. The bluebells seem to be slow this year, although perhaps still a bit early. Cliff Rigg Wood is south facing so the flowers emerge earlier than in the north-west facing Newton Wood. These bluebells are in a gulley which is in a bowl at the south-east end of Cliff Rigg Wood known…

  • Aerial Ropeway Base, Cliff Rigg Wood

    Aerial Ropeway Base, Cliff Rigg Wood

    Standing proud in Cliff Rigg Wood, a concrete base that supported one of the steel trestles for an aerial ropeway that ran from Ayton Bank Ironstone Mine to sidings at the west end of Cliff Ridge where the ore was loaded into railway trucks. As the trestles were of a tripod design there would have…

  • Kalsarik√§nnit

    Kalsarikännit

    A Finnish word for that feeling you have when you spend the evening getting drunk at home alone in your underwear, with no intention of going out. The word came to me when this afternoon when I was so attired, log fire blazing away. The beer came later. I had returned home tired and weary…

  • On Cliff Rigg

    On Cliff Rigg

    An end of the afternoon dog walk up Cliff Rigg, part of the Cleveland Dyke, an igneous intrusion formed 56 million years ago that withstood the forces of the glaciers. In the distance is Capt. Cook’s Monument on Easby Moor, and the Cleveland Hills, but the air is filled with the coconut scent of the…