Bransdale

A lovely day in Bransdale.

Bransdale’s walls are precarious features. Irregular sandstone boulders built in a single skin with more holes than a colander, yet this wall is shown on mid-19th-century maps but as a boundary between the moor and the richer fields of the dale, it might well be much, much older, first constructed by the earliest inhabitants of the dale. It wiggles along the contour around a small re-entrant, crossing a chalybeate bog. Dry stone walls are a haven for wildlife offering a variety of microclimates. One side is damper and shadier where mosses, liverworts and algae can gain a foothold. Lichens thrive on the other dryer and warmer side. Inside the wall, the nooks and crannies will provide a dry and sheltered home for small mammals and birds.
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